This end of the year always seem to fly by at twice the normal speed. Admittedly I have put in quite a lot of time in making chutneyand so on as I try to deal with the glut of green tomatoes(!), making some bottles of Christmas Pudding Vodka, Bramble Gin, mincemeat and assorted tasty treats. The pantry shelves are groaning with delights, most of which will be making their way to the church sale this weekend.
I have also helped and encouraged the grandchildren to put some time and effort into making pine cone bird feeders, twiggy stars, natural fire lighters, and so on. I have just about run out of steam now and that mad and seasonal need to craft and create has almost ended! I inflict this madness on myself each year, I both love it and hate it.
This afternoon I attended the monthly meeting at the village hall. Our wonderful local historian brought this marvellous photograph in to show us. Our tiny village hall, way back in 1915, when the ladies were gathered to sew and make things for the men who were away fighting in the First World War.
There we were in our denims, sweatshirts and boots, all so casually dressed for warmth and practicality - no doubt the women in the photograph would have been shocked. They all look so smart in their hats and beautiful white blouses.
The hall looks nothing like the photograph now. The oil lamps have gone, the panelling, balcony, coat rack and staircase have all been removed and what was a very characterful hall was remodelled and updated thirty or forty years ago and has become a small, bland and anonymous building.
We chatted about some local history and then Miss Read handed out some worksheets which I had typed up for her. Once a teacher, always a teacher. She had written a short story, which was really a bit of a quiz, with about two dozen town and city names/part names hidden among the story. It sometimes took quite a bit of lateral thinking, but it was great fun.
Then we played dominoes which was much more fun than it sounds. After we had locked the hall, I went out with a friend to deliver the parish magazines around the three local villages/hamlets. Then had to race home to cook tea for the grandchildren; thank goodness for beans on toast.
Yesterday we decided not to attend the usual Remembrance Parade in one of the local towns. We had decided to visit a tiny church which is no longer used as a church but has been sold on.
This was why we made the trek. It is the only Commonwealth War Grave in the old churchyard and it marks the grave of an unknown sailor who was washed ashore and buried here during the war. Eventually they established his identity - the uncle of a Scottish friend of ours. Our friend has never been able to make a visit to his uncle's grave.
It was nice to see that someone else had visited. Possibly a representative of the Merchant Navy Association, given the markings on the wooden cross they had left. As I stood up and looked out across the fields I could see another of my favourite redundant churches. Three of his shipmates were buried in that churchyard, so he has company not too far away.
I suppose that now I have all the craft work and preserving out of the way I will just have to knuckle down and do some housework.
Noooo-o, so boring!
Wishing you all a happy week.