Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Slow Living 2013 - December

I'm once again joining the Slow Living Month by Month series - follow the link for more info. Please join!

[NOURISH] Well, plenty of this going on. I wondered what our first Christmas as hosts would focus on, and unsurprisingly it has focused on food, or rather on preparing and eating fabulous food with friends and family.

[PREPARE] The homemade cranberry, port and cinnamon 'sauce' (really more of a jam) was such a hit that we've now made three batches and have several jars in the cupboard. We found that it really developed flavour over the few days we were able to stand not eating it, and so we're looking forward to opening in later months.

[REDUCE] Does using up the last bits of turkey for chelsea buns count? No? How about reusing packaging from deliveries received to send gifts by post?

[GREEN] Not much change here, still using lots of homemade cleaners and toiletries.

[GROW] Much planning here, of which more anon!

[CREATE] Presents! Knitted wristwarmers, covered and decorated notebooks, earrings... Lots of craftiness!

[DISCOVER] Turning my hands to new crafts - papercrafts and jewellery-making - first for a while, actually. I have been reading up on container gardening, as well as rediscovering an old favourite, Lorna Doone, on my ever-less-cluttered bookshelves.

[ENHANCE] As is most appropriate for the time of year, this month has been full of visits to and from friends and family, gifts and cards sent and received, and much reconnecting. I'm also, rather unexpectedly, finding that something as simple as unfriending people on Facebook who aren't really my friends is leaving me more emotional energy to reach out and connect with people I really care about. I hadn't realised how much it was draining that.

Also, this month, I have finally introduced myself to a neighbour I have passed in the street almost every day for well over a year. I used to pass him in the nearby park walking his dog last year, and now it seems we've moved onto his street so I pass him daily, as his evening dogwalks overlap my walk home from work. It felt good to reach out and say hello.

[ENJOY] Every minute of the festive season! More friends coming over tonight. I have discovered two joys this month. I never before realised how much fun preparing food together can be - rather than splitting the cooking, we have been sharing it and I like it. The second is just how much I love welcoming people to our home - having a home to welcome people to, I think, is at the heart of it, and making that a place of warmth and welcome and comfort.

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