I had a eureka moment this summer. Actually that’s a lie, it was more of an aaaaaaaaaah realisation moment. One of those moments when stuff that has always seemed a bit out of kilter suddenly makes perfect sense.
I have always thought of myself as an autumn/winter person. The kind of person who loves snuggling up by the fire with the dogs and a good book; crispy winter walks; big rambunctious winter casseroles. And indeed, I do love all those things. But I love warmth and sunshine and long summer days more.
Perhaps because of our wonderful summer this year, following the dreadful excuse for a summer we had last year I have been outside much more. The garden has been more productive and the foraging has been superb. It’s been wonderful. I don’t want it to end, I don’t really want winter and darkness. I want the light to last.
I tried to cheer myself up with the prospect of Christmas. And that is when I began to panic. I have always gone full pelt at Christmas. Not necessarily spending money but in making, baking, preparing, decorating, gathering.
I don’t want to do that this year. Having spent all this time taking things out of our house I do not want to bring any back in. But that’s not all there is to it. It isn’t just a question of things or stuff it’s a question of attitude.
I want simple. I want a simple Christmas. Simple decorations, simple food, simple celebrations. It doesn’t make them any the less valued or special but the thought of a heavily decorated house and a freezer full of meals that will probably still be there in January makes me feel just a little bit ill.
I can’t stop the present fest on my own. The Boss and I tend to give each other things we need. Last year we both unwittingly gave each other saltpetre for preserving and smoked salt which we both love. Not perhaps the most traditional of presents but it made us laugh that we had both been thinking along identical lines. Or we give days out. That’s how I got to spend a weekend at Taste The Wild and a fabulous overnight at The Crab and Lobster. But I can wear the present fest down. I can do simple.