I hadn’t realised quite how long ago my last post was, until I looked at my most recently added photos when adding the ones for this post! Since then, I have had three cycles of salvage chemotherapy and it’s fair to say it was a bumpy ride (though as my medical team pointed out, I did say I wanted the lymphoma bashed on the head, and fortunately it has been for now). I’ve also had an ‘adventure’ in the form of a three day long trip to Nottingham City Hospital to have my stem cells harvested, once it was confirmed the chemotherapy had worked well enough. So now I am in a strange kind of limbo, waiting for my stem cell transplant to happen early in the new year. Luckily I have the distraction of Christmas preparations and I have fully embraced them this year (even writing the cards, a job I really don’t find much joy in!)
Back in the early autumn, my children collected conkers, acorns and walnuts on the walk home from school, and my daughter said we should put them in the porch window. I crocheted some autumn leaves into a garland, and she made a list of woodland creatures she thought should go with them. I made nearly everything on her list, and they made a lovely display. (When we had the porch built, I always envisaged it having pretty seasonal displays in the window, I just hadn’t done much!)
Fast forward to December, and it was time to change it to something a little more festive. I crocheted a snowflake garland instead, and added a candle arch. But those poor animals, I just couldn’t bare to put them away. The solution? Very simple-make them all a Santa hat and leave them there for another month. Not every creature got a spot, but most of them did. I sewed the hats on loosely and tucked the ends inside them so that they can be removed and the animals can revert back to ‘normal’ for autumn next year!
Other festive preparations have included making the Christmas cake back in early November-I still need to come up with inspiration for how to decorate that, and buying a real tree from the garden centre. Again, we overestimated the size of our living room and had to rearrange the furniture to fit it in. (And ‘modify’ the tree by chopping a bit off the top and reducing the sides a little!) I’ve also started a pair of Christmas socks-they kept me sane/less anxious when I was in hospital having chemotherapy and the nurses told me that the ward I was on was the only one that didn’t have Covid! The yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners ‘Candy cane’ and the pattern is the Blitzen socks by Winwick Mum and available on the WYS website. I’ve still got a way to go on them, but I’m sure I’ll get there. My knitting made a good talking point whenever someone came in to me too.
Something that has made it feel even more festive here is the weather-yesterday we had snow, lots and lots of it (for England!) and it settled. It stayed for most of yesterday, and I managed to get a few photos before it rained later on and it disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. One of my favourites was of my cyclamen in the pots by the front door, because even though they’re winter flowers it does seem odd to see flowers in the snow. I also made a semi-successful snow angel in the back garden, just because I could!
I have a few more Christmas projects on the go, just little things for gifts (including an amigurumi sausage dog- I must remember to post a photo of that when it’s done). What are you doing to get ready for Christmas this year? Are you feeling festive yet? It’s been a funny old year, and I know there are mixed feelings about Christmas-some are excited, others less so for a variety of reasons. It’s certainly not going to be the sort of Christmas we are used to, but I am determined to enjoy it anyway.