“Blow, blow thou winter wind… Then heigh ho, the holly!”

I have taken this moment to break my own rules in favour of festivities. Although Shakespeare does not seem to ever spend long pondering Christmas in his plays, these lines from a poem in As You Like It are suitably seasonal and definitely topical wintry-weather wise.

Today’s post is short and merely features some recent Christmas crafting activities: candle table decorations,  home-baked gifts from the kitchen and a selection of my favourite red and gold themed tree decorations.

“When Shall We Three Meet Again?”

The other night I was fortunate enough to catch some of the BBC’s Macbeth, starring Sir Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood and directed by Peter Goold. I was even more fortunate to have seen it in the original, raw, live flesh on stage in Chichester’s close-quartered, atmospheric theatre, and this televised version took me right back, having lost none of its terse tension, high drama or beautifully acted characterisation. It also reminded me how much I have missed watching theatre critically: whether for university or for the theatre reviews I used to write for University of Warwick’s newspaper The Boar: http://theboar.org/arts/2009/jan/13/wherefore-art-thou/

This post’s opening line also serves another purpose. Recently I visited my very best friend in Northampton and whilst there was certainly no witchcraft or aiding and abetting plots to kill Scottish kings, she did re-teach me the magic of using sewing machines, resulting in the following draught excluder (matching doorstop and cushions to follow: Northampton’s material markets are full of bargains). I was also reunited with the pottery I painted at her hen party. Funny how these things never turn out the way you expect…

Next stop: Christmas!