Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Ending the year in subdued style

I've just realised this is likely to be my last real blog post this year, which leaves me in a bit of a pickle because I don't have any news to impart.

December has been conspicuous by its paucity of noteworthy events in our personal lives. Everything's been somewhat subdued here in the Flatlands. Other than having the pleasure of my eldest moving next door to us at the Crumbly Cottage, we haven't been anywhere, done anything or explored further in our new surroundings, the main reason being – sorry for being a stuck record about this – the 'orrible weather.

Added to that, we are now in lockdown again – I won't go down that road – so access to anything even remotely festive isn't possible.

So, if you put these two together, you'll appreciate that opportunities for celebrating life, either on water or land, have been limited. Most of my time on the Vereeniging has been spent clearing leaves from the willow tree, only to have one puff of wind (seemingly timed for maximum annoyance) add a fresh layer of them to the hatches and the deck (see, I told you I had no new news!)




And when not chasing leaves, I've been ducking inside out of the rain and cold. We've been nice and cosy in the Vereeniging, though; the old diesel stove has been doing a sterling job of pumping out the warmth just as we like it. It's something of a luxury, I'll admit, because the way energy prices are escalating means our warmth is coming at a massively increased cost. We have a slight respite, however. The diesel we're using at the moment for the stove comes from the Hennie H, whose tank we had to largely drain because it was showing signs of diesel bug. Luckily, it doesn't last long enough as heating fuel to get any worse. Since we bought it when diesel was a lot cheaper, we're counting those particular blessings. Sometimes, there's gold at the end of the rainbow; in the case of the photo below, two of them! 


I took this picture in November before all the leaves had fallen. What fascinated me was that I could even see where the rainbow ended in front of the trees. Did I go and look for the pot? No, because I'm a great believer in 'let the mystery be'.

On Friday, I shall get my little tree out and our neighbour-daughter is coming to help me decorate it, as per our Christmas Eve tradition. Christmas itself will be celebrated on the Vereeniging, so I hope the rain gods will also take a festive break and allow us to go for an afternoon walk with the family. It's about as much as current circumstances permit, but at least we can be together for a while.

Have a good one yourselves, allemaal, and I'll leave you with these photos of the wild horses I snapped the other day in our nearby nature reserve. I always love to see them and for once, it was a (rare), sunshiny afternoon.





Happy Christmas and New Year, my friends
🤶🎄🎅






 

28 comments:

  1. And a Happy Holidays back to you both from the States, Val. :-)

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    1. Thank you, Tom! And the same to you and Lorraine :)

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  2. Hello Val your post, as ever, was really interesting. I am so glad that you have your daughter living next door in the crumbly cottage. I hope you are able to enjoy your family Christmas walk. Happy Christmas and much love Jean xxx

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    1. Bless you, Jean. Wishing you a lovely Christmas too. I'm sure yours will be full of warmth and sunshine, but also of family and love. Sending hugs from here!

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  3. So sorry to hear about your new lockdown but all of you have a Happy Christmas anyway. Maybe next year will be better! (Didn’t we say that last year?)

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    1. Haha, yes, we did say that last year...it's beginning to sound like Groundhog Day, isn't it, Don and Cathy Jo. Many thanks for the good wishes and I wish you both the same: a Happy Christmas and a great 2022.

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  4. Wow, those wild horses are beautiful, and what a lovely nature reserve to be near. Your Christmas in a cosy barge sounds really nice, in front of a warm stove. I hope the rainbow touched you and brings good luck for the New Year. It interested me that you are locked down again - is it Omicron? Our State has just opened up its borders and 'let it in' - and now telling us to 'live with it'. Makes you wonder why we went to all the trouble to keep it out for so long. Our cases of covid are doubling every two days, but there is no talk of lockdown. It really seems neverending, doesn't it. Merry Christmas dear Val.

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    1. Patricia, our lockdown seems to be based on fear of Omicron rather than a dramatic increase in cases. But I rather suspect the worry is because we have so many cases already. There's no talk of 'living with it' here, although many wish they would. Neverending is about right! Happy Christmas, my dear. Enjoy every moment!

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  5. Merry, Joyful Christmas, Val, and God bless you and your family and loved ones. Sometimes not having much news for a blog is a GOOD thing, and your blogs are always interesting anyway! And wonderful photos. What beautiful wild horses. Weather here...check. Lockdown...on the way. But, thankfully - neither the weather nor the lockdown can still writers. (Steph)

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    1. Ah, Steph, that is true. I have started a new book as well. Enjoy your Christmas, my dear. I know this is a special time for you! xx

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  6. Happy Christmas Val - slowing down before Christmas is no bad thing, even if it is slightly enforced. Great that you have your daughter nearby and thanks for the lovely photos!

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    1. Thank you, Annie! Yes, it's lovely to have my daughter nearby. I am blessed with that. Enjoy your Christmas with that delightful new addition to your family! xx

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  7. Happy Christmas to you all from us. Here's to a much improved 2022! Grey here as well with the welcome promise of snow on the weather forecast for the weekend now gone and replaced with, you've guessed it, sooo depressing. I'm sure spring isn't far .....knuffels.

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    1. Knuffels to you both too, dear Anne. We'll keep our focus on the spring and cheer each other on. I do hope himself is on the mend now! Much love to you and Oll! xx

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  8. I love those pictures of the horses! Happy Christmas, dear Val xx

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    1. Ah, thank you, TT. Happy Christmas to you both as well! The horses are beautiful aren't they? xx

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  9. We always enjoy reading your notes and this is no exception. We all seem to be having a subdued celebration of the best event of the year, the real meaning of Christmas. We both send you and Koos our best and we'd love to have a visit either here or there in 2022!

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    1. Carole, we'll raise a glass to Christmas and to you both with love. Yes! Let's make a visit happen in 2022!

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  10. I always enjoy reading your blogs. Happy holidays.

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    1. Thank you so much. Happy holidays to you two too!

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  11. Happy Christmas. Lovely to hear that your eldest has moved in next door. This time last year my daughter had moved about 100 miles to live a few streets away and it's lovely having her so close. Hope it stops raining, at least for the big day, but as you say, you’re warm and snug in the Vereeniging xxx

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    1. Ah, thank you, Ros. Having family close has become important now, hasn’t it? It helps so much. Have a lovely festive season with yours. Xxx

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  12. Hi Val,
    Lovely to read your latest! We need to chase the leaves out of our two garages. It is a never-ending task. Yesterday I took a walk through our small town and came across the most fabulous treasure. well-hidden away in the back of the store. It was handsewn coaster circles and hot pads! I adore them. Bought about 50 of them, matching interests to my family, friends and colleagues. They were so inexpensive. For my expensive gifts, I ordered specialty chocolate bars with a Braille message on it. I'm giving my great nieces the Braille alphabet for them to solve the greeting (Have a great day!). Oh, and you might appreciate this ... I made Lemon Butter Curd for my colleagues at work. I'm told that is a British delight, put on hot biscuits! Merry Christmas and happy walking and hope there is no more leaf chasing!
    Amy

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely message, Amy. Leaf chasing seems to be a worldwide task, doesn’t it? Your gift finds sound wonderful and yes, we love lemon curd in the UK. Sadly, it’s not commonly found here in the Netherlands. I must learn to make it too!

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  13. Though you started saying you didn't have much to report, you managed to report a lot .. :-) Glad to know the tidings.
    Here, in India, life is pretty much back to normal, with fresh cases very minimal for a large country... just about 6,000, though new Omicron cases are being detected.
    Take care, and wish you and family a fabulous 2022. :-)

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    1. Thank you, Pradeep :) That always seems to happen. I start off wondering what on earth I'm going to write and then ramble on for ages! I'm so pleased to hear life is almost back to normal for you. We would love to have only 6000 cases a day and we have a tiny country...sigh...Look after yourself in the coming months, and have a very happy New Year!

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  14. Hi Val - sorry must get your blog to pop up somehow ...but good to see your photos and 'story line' - we're all stuck in the mud at the moment aren't we. That's good one daughter has moved next to you, Koos and the crumbly cottage! Happy New Year and cheers - Hilary

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    1. Oh, I missed this one, Hilary. Thank you so much! Yes, it's lovely to have my daughter here too. We get to walk and talk a lot more these days!

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