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Following the glory of last night’s Masterchef final, I’ve had to come down to earth with a bump. No smoked salmon scotch eggs are on offer in this house, sadly.  I may give it a go, but only once I’ve triumphed on Christmas day. Dodgy oven and all.

I can’t think about food at the moment. I’m on overload, having been to the supermarket at 7.15am. I honestly thought I’d got the wrong time and hoicked myself out of bed an hour early.  The roads were empty, the supermarket deserted. Unfortunately this lead to shopping inertia.  In spite of my list, I dithered in front of produce. Why did I put down double cream? What recipe is it for? What’s for dinner on Monday? This is not my usual style at all. I’m normally in and out like a dose of salts, having meal planned and made the most of my leftovers. It’s like I need a bit of a crowd to make me feel purposeful, prepared and ready for a bit of a festive battle. I’m not sure how I managed it but I was home again within an hour, yet still have no idea why at least three items were on my list.  Looking at the meal plan brings no light to the matter.

I soon got fed up with looking at the fridge and trying to figure out the food mystery. Someone will eat it.

I decided to sort out the fairy lights as the batteries made their way home last night.  I put the Southern batteries in the Northern lights. They worked! A Christmas miracle.

I draped and adjusted, fiddled and fed them through the tree.  Half the existing decorations fell off. The cat tried to eat a fabric heart, gave up and settled for ‘killing it’ instead – one down, nine to go.  I rescued and replaced the fallen, checked the new light placement and tweaked as required.   I even filled up an empty wine bottle with water and watered the tree, and the poinsettias which I rescued from the supermarket this morning. They no longer look quite so forlorn, thankfully.  (I may water my garden this way. It’s a lot more entertaining than using a watering can and gives me an excuse to try different types of wine in case any lingering vestiges of grapes enhance the water and grow better flowers).

Trotting merrily through the living room half an hour later with a pile of cards to put up, I realised I still had one remaining set of battery operated fairy lights. The tree is bedecked, festooned with festivity.

So what should I do with the ones which are left? I don’t want to leave them out, when all their friends get to light up and party.  I thought about draping them over the clothes airer in the kitchen. I pondered incorporating them into the table decoration I’m yet to make. In the end, I’ve settled for winding them around and about the mantelpiece. I’m not sure about this. It looks alarmingly Nigella-ish, and much as I love her and her cooking, I’m not sure I want her in my living room. (Lounge? I am still undecided).

Then it came to me – the banisters! But that just looked naff. I need great garlands of spruce to make that work. And, ideally, a banister which goes down the stairs not just along the landing.  Yet another requirement for the next house – a banister for draping garlands on. And a spruce in the garden.  I’m really not convinced the Other Half is going to fall for that rationale, but I’ll give it a go.

In the meantime, in Casa del Apple, the lights are back on the mantelpiece.

It may be an ever changing situation.  I’ll probably just give up and drape them on the tree once I’ve had a bit of mulled wine and realise how stupid they look.  I can channel Nigella in the kitchen, but for interior decoration? I’m not sure it’s really me. Not unless I paint the living room – sorry, lounge – duck egg blue.

Now there’s a thought…

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