Monday, 2 December 2013
Cheer Amid The Chill
HERE at Great Marton the air is crisp and still just now, as though awaiting a great event.
Winds off the Irish Sea have stripped trees of autumn leaves; the chill of winter breathes down necks, hurrying our steps to home fires or, perhaps, a snug pub and friends.
But there is also a certain magic in the air.
Lancashire folk are down to earth and, here on the Fylde by blowzy Blackpool, streets bustle with weekend revellers then, in mid-week, equally determined shoppers.
They're expectant . . . of presents and treats.
As we get older the gifts - pairs of socks, bottles of wine and woolly jumpers - aren't so exciting. But, then, there is a pleasure in giving and showing we still care.
I looked out at the frosted garden behind Edmonds Towers to see an old friend returned once more, our robin.
Inside, She Who Knows started early with festive decorations - a modern 'tree', or pyramid of greens, golds and reds reflected in lights.
I'm happy, now, to spend evenings by a cosy fireplace where a red candle burns reflecting - as always - hope for now and our future.
At the local inn, by our corner, log fires crackle cheerily - helping to stir good-hearted banter.
For just as, outside, it appears cold and bleak - with worse to come - a stubborn cheer within surfaces to sustain us.
It's a reminder, amid all that glitter and spending, that our most valuable gifts cost us . . . nothing.
Enjoy them all, along with our festive presents to you - updates on our other pages, also free.
* A brickie shows his softer side on our Poem page.
* Memoir brings a timely reminder that distant adventures can fall flat and home is where the heart is.
* There's a festive taste to our Chapter page, with a short story entitled Pizza Christmas.
* Last, but not least, our Books offer something to relax with by that fire, or gifts to loved ones or friends.
After all, that cheerful giving is the real story of this month - and the best ending to a year.