A New Computer

Here comes the first blog post on my new MacBook Air – a very fun and so, so light device. It’s everything I wanted it to be! Technically, it’s still my work day, but for some reason my concentration isn’t coming back after a gorgeous walk by the wintery lake.

But also technically, any writing hones writing skills and therefore counts as further education, or so I used to tell my junior copywriters back in the day, so I guess this counts as work, too.

Today is St. Nicholas Day, which used to be a Big Deal when the kids were younger. Traditionally, it begins with a shoe shining spree the night before, which is always a good thing. Then everybody goes to bed and I get to burn the midnight oil, filling boots with chocolates, nuts and apples and such, and writing a note on St. Nicholas‘ behalf. This usually helps get me into holiday mood, as does the annual making and putting up our advent wreath. This year, I wanted it to be red, and it is :-).

Is it just me or are people even more pissed off this year? The fact that we’re in for the long haul with Covid divides us into those who try and cooperate (hoping to help get a handle on it) and those who have resigned themselves to being mad at everything and everybody (evidently not believing we can).

I really wish all the deniers would get over themselves. In this country, we’ve lived a sheltered life, in terms of experiencing a true crisis for many decades. While some of us have transgenerational issues to sort out, this is the first life-threatening situation we have ever really experienced in our lifetimes. And now, throwing a tantrum like a species of tired out toddlers? Being angry changes nothing, it’s not helpful, and it seems a bit selfish to boot. I personally try not to focus on all the things we can’t do, and instead be happy we have access to the vaccine, and make the best of the way things need to be, for now.

At my daughter’s school, the annual Winter Bazaar had to be cancelled, obviously. What we did instead was decorate the place to spread some advent cheer:

Doesn’t it look pretty? The kids love it, the teachers and other staff do too – and it was very gratifying to see it all come together. I had not been to the school in a minute, which is unusual for Waldorf parents, because we’re there quite a bit, under normal circumstances.

My own contribution were these: the twig stars, in collaboration with my new friend, A-M, and the giant crochet snowflakes which I made by myself.

For the twig stars, collect twigs or cut off shoots (or collect the shoots that were already cut off by park maintenance; this is what I did. The ones you see here are from a couple of linden trees close by our house).

Bring them home, prep your glue gun and cut out large cardboard disks in the size you would like. Cut out the center for easy hanging of the finished installation later on. With the glue gun, fix the twigs on the cardboard disk, let dry and install anywhere you like.

These make a beautiful, seasonal gift for anybody who appreciates natural materials.

For the crochet snowflakes, I’d like to direct your attention to this fabulous crochet blog, Attic 24. It’s a very easy and intuitively explained pattern, and it’s like the writer says: once you get the hang, they are easy to make and very addictive ;-)!

So we’re slowly making our way towards Christmas. While I still have work, it’s just one book for once, and only due next month, so I have time for other things except sleep and work. We’ve given our apartment a long due overhaul, cleaned out closets, got rid of a lot of clutter, and switched rooms with our daughter so she’ll have more space. I hadn’t even realized how cramped the place had become, which is saying something in a 150 sq m apartment. Sometimes you need to let go of stuff! To me this feels liberating.

In crafts news, I made a pair of color block socks for a friend

and worked on my raglan sleeve game, for the ribbed cardigan (unraveled and redid it 4 or 5 times, until I was finally happy with the shape.

I really hope it will come together the way I was imagining, fingers crossed.

I’ve prepared a treat for the brood today. It was supposed to be served over the weekend, but the truth is I had so much other stuff to do that it just wasn’t happening, so we will enjoy it on a random Monday night. It’s a festive dessert. Here comes our version of a true British classic, the Eton Mess.

You will need:

300 ml heavy cream

1 p vanilla sugar (or to taste, in any version you use, plus a little bit of sugar, no more than 3-4 TBSP)

300-400 g frozen raspberries

6 meringues

Whip the cream and vanilla until stiff. Layer in a glass bowl: fruit, crumbled meringues and top with slightly vanillaed/sweetened whipped cream.

Set aside for a minimum of 2-3 hours before eating so the fruit can thaw and soak the meringue, but not longer if you enjoy a tiny bit of crunch. I do.

And on that happy note, I wish you all a nice week. Thank you for reading!