“Now is the Winter of Our Discontent…”

Mm. Melodramatic much? Perchance. But the evenings are drawing in, the clocks are going back this weekend, the Autumn leaves are falling, I find myself shivering and throwing on extra layers, and yesterday I even resorted to snuggling up in my Christmas cardigan (adorned with knitted reindeer). The bright, crisp Autumn colours may make me want to wax lyrical like Keats (“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness/ Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun”) but the dreary grey of Winter merely makes me reluctant to shake off my duvet in the mornings and prompts me to pile on calories by “warming my hands” on cups of hot cocoa in the afternoons.

But surely, you cry, there’s much to be joyful about in these colder months? Crunching in bright piles of jewel- coloured leaves? (I live in one of the “best kept villages in all Sussex” – a man with a street sweeping machine comes and “tidies” the leaves away every other day.) Fireworks? Snuggling up in layers of warm clothes? (Yesterday I remembered why I don’t normally buy woollen cardigans… adorably adorned with reindeer or not… I came out in a rash where it had been in contact with my skin.) Home-baked apple pies? Christmas?!

Ah yes… I am certainly not all bah humbug. Recently I have been pondering with friends and family when, if ever, it is too early to be planning for Christmas. Surely never? And definitely not after it’s become cold enough to drag the Christmas cardigans out of the wardrobe. Therefore, here are some action shots of our ritual “Christmas cake baking” day (alongside some sneaky glimpses of the aforementioned cardigan), footnoted by the fact that we usually do this on August Bank-Holiday Monday. So surely that makes me the very opposite of humbug?! (And I’ve even included some recently- made Christmas cards. Yey.)

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