The fire is useful when it comes to getting rid of wrappings and all the bits that the dogs have scattered around. Some of the paper gave a gorgeous blue flame ... school chemistry memories have become so distant ... copper comes to mind ... but would that be used in the manufacture of Christmas wrappings? Anyhow, it was fun to play with the fire before clearing it out and getting it prepared for tomorrow.
Next job was to dust and tidy the bookshelves. That took a long, long time. No, not because the cleaning was so thorough ... but because there are so many distractions! Little books of quotations, jokes, cartoons and general wisdom are stored here ... and it is always tempting just to flick through these old favourites.
This beautiful little book was a gift in 1972 and I've read it every Christmas since!
Creamy coloured pages with bold lino prints enhance Dylan Thomas' text. You'd not buy it for 30p nowadays - even in a second hand shop!
So, with the vacuum cleaner just sitting idle I had a good time looking through most of the volumes, including this year's addition, the New Yorker Book of Dog Cartoons.
The last of the Christmas bits have been gathered up - there are always a few that escape the first clear up! Gifts are now in their proper places and this mat is wandering around looking for a place where it won't get dirty! I know that's not the point of having a door mat ... but the sentiment pleases me so much that it would seem to be a shame to wipe muddy feet on its clean surface!
As a "Day Off" there's been a pleasant mixture of things ... nothing too exciting - just the gentle passing of hours doing bits of this and that, starting off with a wee walk and giving the plumber access to the halls so that repair work may begin.
The dogs are rather quiet ... it may mean that they're asleep in their respective baskets ... or it may mean that there's trouble ahead!
And indeed they were just where I expected to find them! Eliot beside the radiator, fast asleep, who managed to open one eye a tiny crack just to make sure I wasn't going to do anything like go for a walk!
And Mollie had wormed her way onto the back cushion of one of the armchairs. She was ready for anything as soon as I entered the room.
So, all is well. My Christmas novel awaits ... this is a good day.
Almighty God, we praise you for the blessings
brought to us through your church.
We bless you for the grace of the sacraments,
for our fellowship in Christ
with you and with each other,
for the teaching of the scriptures,
and for the preaching of your word.
We thank you for the holy example of your saints,
for your faithful servants departed this life,
and for the memory and example
of all that has been good and true in their lives.
Number us with them, we pray you,
in the company of the redeemed in heaven;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer