BY Sharon McLellan

DATE: 19 DEC 2013


The smell of proper coffee downstairs will wake me. Not too early, not too late. I will not have a hangover. An omelette, basil and tomato and cheese, will appear like magic with brown toast and fruit juice. My second cup of strong coffee will be had on the swivel chair by the window, looking at the squadron…five great tits will be breakfasting, taking turns. Blue tits, coals tits, dunnocks, robins and chaffinches will come and go. Blackbirds root about up the back. It is crisp and clear and white and blue when the great spotted woodpecker visits, clambering up the tree before grabbing some peanuts.

Molly and Lola have been stalking the birds, and now chase across the floor the silver foil casings of mince pies from yesterday’s Christmas dinner. I sit, I watch, I potter. This can be done for a while…

A walk around the village, taking in the cycle path that is the old railway line and gives views across the fields, is life affirming and leisurely when there is no work for over a week. There will be no work chat here and my phone is on the bedside table. Lunch is spicy soup, sweet potato and red Thai curry. There is football on somewhere- there always is- but for me it will be music or reading or cats. Or all three. Or pottering, which I like: sorting out my seeds for the spring, a bit of tidying-up around the house or even the garden and getting things in their proper place. Who puts it all in the wrong place during the rest of the year?

Then a long bath, with candles and wine. Molly will sit on the edge, splashing curiously at the water’s surface. Dinner is fish done any way you like, at any time you like. But not too late and with a glass of white, fizzy if you fancy. Then there is maybe coffee- or peppermint tea- and chocolate. There will be chocolate, with bits in.

A good film or a few episodes of a favourite series we are behind on in the front room, with curtains drawn for extra cosiness. Then it’s up to the most comfortable bed in the world, with an episode of The Big Bang Theory or a skim on the iPad at the sales or winter sun destinations to round it all off. It’s eleven at night and I’ve still not checked my emails, the phone is still on the bedsider. There have been no calls to make and the phone has not rung all day. There is a chance that tomorrow will be just the same, though I’m willing to concede a mushroom omelette or a dinner that includes three-day old turkey and sprouts. Love those sprouts.

Not exactly what Lou Reed would class as a perfect day, but this one can run and run for me….   

Merry Christmas


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