Lately

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Once more to London, to see the Christmas lights in Covent Garden. I used to travel by the coach, but over the past year the ornate ceiling of Paddington Station has become very familiar.

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I went out a lot this year, which is great. I have long had a feeling that my social life is slowly wilting away, and decided to do something about it, finally. The Knitwits have been an awesome group of people to meet, and they have reminded me that making friends is easy really.

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Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning – I snapped this picture in the morning of one of the many stormy days the UK has had over the past month or so. The colours of the sky were glorious, the day itself not so much.

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Winter berries. I took a long walk on the one sunny afternoon, met some old friends and took a few wintry pictures. Someday soon I’ll post them, promise.

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Because of the yarn bomb, Christmas season started early this year. Every once in a while I would take a break from the crochet hook and do some other crafty things. Like drink glögg and punch trees out of gold wrapping paper.

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I bought these basically to look at them – I have no idea what to use them for, but they sparkle. I like sparkle. Sparkle is good.

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Isis near The Trout. A friend I met this year drove us there for a long Sunday lunch and a walk in rather gloomy, windy weather. Lovely, lovely day despite. This friend is a new one, and I’m thankful for having met her.

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The trout across the river.

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Enjoying pudding.

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Come Christmas. The big tree in Magdalen College has always been my favourite – one can only catch a glimpse of it through the fence, and it’s a magical glimpse, like a little peek of another world.

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Scripture. We had our Carol Service at the Magdalen chapel, followed by mulled wine. Listening to Britten’s A hymn to the Virgin makes me feel like it’s Christmas like nothing else. Echoing in that hallowed hall, it is pure and sacred.

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There is always the one collegue who has time for this. It will probably never be me. Oh the cake I ate! There was so much of it, cake and wine and everything. The last few days of the term were very festive.

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After the term, to Finland. There was a tiny bit of snow when I arrived, enough to make me happy.

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Nothing ever changes. Actually, the town is in constant motion, tearing itself down, and building again, but somehow I always get this sense that something about it is frozen in time.

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My maternal grandfather made the round star mirror for my mother. One day my brother is welcome to everything else, but this mirror is mine.

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Bread and wine with a friend. Back for more come tomorrow evening.

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Christmas was a quiet affair this year. My mother, who is 80, spent few days at a care home just before I came home, and caugth noro virus during her stay. She spent a night at the A&E because of dehydration, and once she was well, the rest of us caught it like wildfire – me first, followed by my father, my brother, his wife and finally my nieces. My brother spent the Christmas Eve with his head down the toilet, surrounded by two incredibly unhappy teenagers.

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The big Christmas dinner was finally eaten and gifts exhanged on the Boxing Day. My brother has a fancy, modern fireplace he loves – he gets all technical about the size of logs and how they are laid in the pit, how long they should burn and how the heat is released. I just like sound of the burning logs.

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And then it rained. And rained. And rained. The weather would be lovely and optimistic if this March, but rain in December in Finland, 125km south of the Arctic circle, is just plain wrong.

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No snow. None. This evening we were coming back from the shops, and the temperature had actually dropped below zero. Suddenly the world was all sparkles! Still no big freeze in sight, but looks like New Year will see dry feet and a very light dusting of snow the very least.

Have a great New Year, and see you in 2014!

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