A bit of fanciful thinking

Hannukah finished last week (see pic of last day candles below).

It’s the last week before Christmas. So far, work has been decent but not mad. But I looked back at late December 2022 and for unknown reasons there were a lot of big notes. Sigh. We shall see.

I finally have my osteopathy appointment Monday evening. My shoulder was clicking a few months ago. Then, my whole upper back started to click. Using a cape-like heating pad has helped a lot with that.  The osteo guy is very good and I’m sure he’ll give me exercises to assist with this beyond doing all kinds of pokes, prods and twists to get me back in alignment (my pelvis goes wonky and I ‘lean’ to the left – I’m hoping for a bit of acupuncture too – he is a wizard at that).

Most of the Xmas dry goods will be delivered Tuesday. The protein gets picked up Sunday. The cake Saturday.

A lot of the village Xmas decorations are really nice. But, I’m a grump, so here’s a pic of one of the Grand Design houses that looks to me like a fort. It’s an eco-house. They put up their lights etc early in December. In fact, I think they are the earliest in the village. I hope all the electricity they use derives from solar panels…

My son had asked what I want for Xmas. I ended up telling him an older Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (River Cottage guy) vegetable cookbook. Which I’m really looking forward to. If you don’t Hugh FW, I like him in the same way I like Monty Don (Gardeners’ World). He wants you to eat good proper food but he’s not moralistic. His shows might be on YouTube. His cookbooks are great.

In any case, this led me to thinking about things that would really knock my socks off as gifts and aren’t really in the realm of possibility right now.

So, that’s where we’re going today.

First off, bees. I would love to keep bees – ie, have a couple of hives in the back of the garden. I’d do it seriously: do a course, make sure they had everything they needed, etc. I think I could tuck them in the back, next to the shed, and get rid of the fairly useless plastic composting bin thing. It’s a wonderful idea. But. 1) my garden is fairly small and abuts three other gardens. So, they’d have to put up with my bees too. 2) it gets very wet here and I’m not sure how much they’d like that. I’m in a notch at the bottom of a hill which holds moisture. I know people who have hives nearby (but on higher ground) so I might ask them.

Second, I’d like to replace my small section of lawn with low flowering thyme plants. Like a carpet. It would be low maintenance, wildlife friendly, and probably a lot nicer than my patchy grass (due to the wet and the dog). But. I’d need someone to come in with a roto-tiller thing and churn up all the compacted dirt which might also tell me where the jasmine and apple tree roots are. I’d then want them (the roto-tiller people) to put down proper well-draining soil full of grit. The water table is high here so that would need to be taken into consideration. This desire seems more likely in the shorter term. Plus, it’s the one that would really benefit the house.

Finally, I would like a Small Green Egg outdoor cooking thing or an Ooni wood-fired pizza oven. I’m leaning more towards the Ooni, as 1) you can roast veg etc in it in addition to the pizza and bread and 2) it’s smaller and less expensive. I’d have to re-jig my patio area to accommodate it and find something safe for it to sit on (plus provide it with a really good cover regarding the rain and wind we get here. And the plants would have to make room. I do have a fantasy of having one of those glass shelters put up in the part of the garden closest to the house but that’s really far off in fantasy land.

Portia once talked about getting friends and family to contribute to certain ‘gifts’ and I tucked away that idea with regard to the above.

Clearly, these aren’t necessaries, like house fixes or car requirements, but a bit more … when I’m a bit flush for some reason.

What do you think? Do you have things like this that get tucked into the back of your head for possibly, maybe, at some point in the future?

My next post is up Xmas day. But I’ll still wish you all a pleasant day now (for those who celebrate), with a sane run-up and good food. Whatever you plan to do.

Pics are mine

  • Portia says:

    Hey there Cinnamon,
    We still do the crowdfunded gifts. It’s seriously good because nobody ever knows what to get and this way everyone can give a little or a lot depending on their circumstances. We have thought about doing some big things over both our birthdays and Xmas but are yet to try that.
    Hope you all have a fab season.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      It’s a wonderful idea. Thanks regarding the season. I’m strangely looking forward to baking.

  • Tom says:

    I love your ideas. I have nothing resembling a backyard and could kill the everglades if you put them in my care for a week, so it’s best. I also am terribly afraid of bees, so while I appreciate all they do I would prefer they do it over THERE, away from me.

    We kind of “close” our office between Xmas and New Years and I am going to go through stuff and toss things that I haven’t looked at or worn. I tend to keep things in a silly “why I might have a 30″ waist again and have an event where I will need a green taffeta ball gown..” which should be dealt with. And I need to scrub the bathroom and kitchen floors. They’re white vinyl and they show dirt if you look at them.

    • cinnamon says:

      I hope you are able to get time off over the holiday period. I would keep the ball gown though.

  • Musette says:

    Btw – I kept bees for 2 years before they swarmed. I didn’t replace (or go get) them because their hive was located at the back of my garden – and it abuts my neighbor’s patio. they are not gardeners and they have very young children – it seemed like a disaster waiting to happen.

    • cinnamon says:

      Yes, that’s the only thing I’m really concerned about: the bees being problematic for neighbours. I don’t think anyone directly around me has kids, but there are a lot of dogs…

  • March says:

    I may have to move out of my rental next year, which is a hassle. I had plans for improving the landscaping outside the current rental… but now my imagination is focused on the potential upside of maybe a place with a garden or outdoor patio, etc. so there’s that!

  • Musette says:

    oh honeydoodle! My fantasy list reads very much like yours – Idris? faugh! I’d rather fantasize about my pending back porch! The only thing keeping me from inundating my Cranky Contractor with yet MORE ‘what if?’ texts is the knowledge that he would be so irritated he might bury me in the foundation. Or worse, put me at the back of the line!
    Fwiw: The Green Egg seems to be a big hit for a lot of folks – one of my clients has one and he said they haven’t actually used their kitchen stove in two years!
    But they live in TX so their mileage definitely varies.

    • cinnamon says:

      Your contractor would never push you to the end of the line. Never, ever (if he valued his being). A back porch sounds great. Will it be screen in? I’m thinking less egg and more Ooni.

  • Dina C. says:

    First off, I hope your osteopath has been able to adjust you and give you some comfort and relief. I hate having a flare up of back pain. Secondly, I love your dreams for your home and gardens! It’s so important to have dreams. This is a great time to embrace them as you enter retirement. They each sound like a good idea. Start researching, look for lightly used items maybe, talk to other beekeepers…I’ll be eager to hear how it goes. My household dreams are more pedestrian. We’ve lived here 29 yeas and need to repaint and recarpet.

    • cinnamon says:

      Thank you. Osteopathy went well. Redecorating can be a joy — especially when you’re happy with the results (or you get someone else to do the body of it).

  • Kathleen says:

    Your dream gifts are beautiful, I especially love the wish for keeping bees. I love bees. I hope one or all become a reality for you one day! My family doesn’t exchange gifts, only for the great niece and nephew. We go out for a fancy dinner on Christmas Eve to celebrate. Wishing all a happy holiday season!

  • alityke says:

    We’ve done the “everyone chip in” when someone wants a big ticket item. My last one was a laptop. The kids are putting together for a laptop for DH. We have never shared tech, phones or a bank account. Probably why we are still happily married. Sharing cars is still in its infancy! Sorry off topic.
    Bees forage quite far from their hives don’t they? There is a local beekeeper near us whose bees get overcrowded & swarm quite regularly in summer. He pops a “swarm alert” on the village FB page & it’s hilarious reading some of the posts from those on swarm watch.
    I like the idea of a creeping thyme lawn though it could be a bit woody underfoot/paw. I’ve always found the idea of a camomile lawn romantic. Probably because of the novel.
    My fantasy is an outdoor kitchen with a brick built wood fired oven & and kamado bbq. Though to be fair it would be as much use as a chocolate teapot in Yorkshire!

    • cinnamon says:

      No, sharing a laptop is silly — and I imagine would cause strife. I love the idea of the ‘swarm alert’. Ah, outdoor kitchen. Now that would be a wonderful thing.

  • Maggiecat says:

    My family has occasionally done the “everyone chip in for a big gift” thing, and I think it makes a lot of sense. Especially gifts that you can use and enjoy all year!
    We have a Big Gift this year – We’re heading out the day after Christmas for a 10 day trip, two days in Rome and a 7 day Mediterranean cruise. I’m excited, even though things keep getting moved around or cancelled due to holiday issues. The weather won’t be ideal, but this is the most affordable option we’ve found.

    And this will likely be my last big overseas trip. My back is deteriorating at an alarming rate, and long plane rides followed by over scheduled days just isn’t really feasible any more (I’ve been given an interesting array of meds to get through the 10 days, but that’s not a way of going on). We will see how things go. I’m incredibly grateful for the travel we have been able to do, my supportive husband, and all manner of good things with which I have been blessed, so no whining here.
    And may all of you have a blessed Christmas, however you observe it.

    • cinnamon says:

      I’m sorry about your back and the ongoing trouble it will cause. I know business class is pricey but is that even a possibility health-wise — ie, having a lie-flat bed? In any case I hope the trip proves wonderful.

      • Maggiecat says:

        Thank you, Cinnamon! I hope your back problems are resolved soon too. We fly premium economy, which gives us mire legroom – other options are really too pricey (though we are always looking for deals!)

  • Tara C says:

    At the moment my most pressing need is to replace my failing iPad. But I would love to have lots of money to travel and get away from my husband & son listening to footie matches and yelling over the tv night and day which is my current existence. I may need to do that in January whether it’s affordable or not to maintain my sanity.

    • cinnamon says:

      I am with you on iPad. I am gifting myself with a new one next birthday as the current one (6 years old) does all kinds of weird things now. I hope you get a small trip away from the TV and football — some place sane and pleasant.