Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Christmas 2013

I do hope that everyone has had a great Christmas so far. I don’t like to think of it as being ‘all over’, even two-days after the main event but 2014 is only moving closer. Despite not feeling at all ‘festive’ in the run up and not desiring anything more than the usual additions to my annual chocolate stash; for me personally, this has been one of the best Christmases. In a word, it has been UNIQUE

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When you’re heater’s not working, it retains other uses for display.

Past traditions have involved the almost obligatory trips to see family. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially when you may not get to see certain members too often. But 2013 marks the first year where I have been invited elsewhere by friends. Not only once but for each of the past TWO days!

This is, to me, what Christmas should really be about. Spending time with the people who mean the most; or however you may like to phrase it. I no longer write out lists or hold expectations for any item in particular.

Every year. Chocolates are obligatory!

Every year. Chocolates are obligatory!

On the 25th I arrived at my friend’s house and was soon invited to help out with the cooking… It was first time I’d used a potato peeler for about 14 years (I remember peeling my thumb the last time and I still bear that scar) and as the ‘man’ of the kitchen, I was elected to be the chopper-upper-er. That’s where my woodworking skills and the eye for hand-tool work came in to play, as I ‘ripped’ each parsnip to four quartered lengths and then used the rule of thirds to divide the potatoes equally before roasting.

My friend not only cooks but she knits and keeps my hands warm! (I love hand-made items.)

My friend not only cooks but she knits and keeps my hands warm! (I love hand-made items.)

Of course, this not being my own ‘workshop’ and working without my own ‘tools’, I was working under the guidance of my masterchef and friend who made the chicken taste delicious, where as it would otherwise taste like ‘everything’. Not forgetting the mouth-watering mixed veg. I’m normally a man who will ask for seconds [yes, “more“] but the first plate left me with barely enough room for desert. Without staying too late, I managed to catch up with my own family in the evening before heading home (although, it must be said that we had an early turkey roast on the Sunday).

One of my new 'sisters' knows that I don't like the cold. This is an improvement over the coat-and-dressing-gown combination I've been using.

One of my new ‘sisters’ knows that I don’t like the cold. This is an improvement over the coat-and-dressing-gown combination I’ve been using on my ‘second bed’.

Day 2 (otherwise known as Boxing Day) began with a walk down in Somerset near Glastonbury. To be more precise, we followed the path of a former railway line that lead us through several local nature reserves in the village of Shapwick, to the south of the Somerset Levels. We then headed back to eat leftovers, snacks, treats and, as many people do in the evening, try to enjoy some TV. I haven’t known this family for long but with the way in which them have warmed to and invited me in on several occasions, I almost feel like the brother or son that none of them have had. This is what Christmas is about!

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It does make my eyes go funny though…

All this talk about the true meaning of Christmas and my photos are only of items, cards and gifts!! I’m sorry to admit that I didn’t take a single photo on the walk yesterday and I’m not one to probe people with a camera unless they ask for it.

Socks are also customary at this time of year. But my friend went one step further to find socks that can be worn as slippers, which reminded me of my childhood.

Socks are also customary at this time of year. But my friend went one step further to find socks that can be worn as slippers, which reminded me of my childhood.

We don’t celebrates Thanksgiving in the UK so I’m going to take the time to share my thanks and appreciation now… This year, I’m mostly thankful to have close connections with people I didn’t know a year ago. You know who you are and life wouldn’t be the same without you. 🙂

I’m also thankful to you, dear reading, for your ever-attentive eyes. 😉

Here’s to the remainder of this festive period and on to the new year!!

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