Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Shoe chains

I missed the gallery Christmas Eve party. The first time in 24 years. Snow and ice are wonderful until you want to go somewhere. The untreated roads were lethal. Angie was similarly immobile. Our lovely neighbour, Louisa, from the Quince and Medlar Restaurant opposite the gallery opened up for me at 1pm, lit the fire and did a roaring trade all afternoon. I think she enjoyed it. I've offered to take over the restaurant for an evening in reciprocation but ... spot the snag!
So, I didn't manage the Christmas food shop and I can heartily recommend this. No jostling for the last parking space in the town. No mad trolley dash round the supermarket. No queue at a crowded checkout with a jaded person in Reindeer antlers and flashing Christmas tree earrings pushing stuff past in a catatonic state. No unpacking of split bags overfull with so much food that you feel nauseous just unpacking it. No - just white tranquility at home. You have no idea how liberating it is to be freed from traditional requirements as laid down by Delia, Jamie, Nigella et al. We ransacked the fridge, pantry and freezer and came up with interesting menus and strange combinations - even found a packet of out of date Maltesers in my knicker drawer. Maybe I should put together a Non Christmas Cook Book based on what's lurking at the bottom of the freezer and the back of the cupboard.
I have a very big birthday alarmingly soon and my son has ordered me some wheel chains on Ebay as a very original birthday present. Swedish car - Swedish solution! When I announced this news, both Michael and our neighbour looked at each other and said in unison 'Who's going to fit them?' Who do they think eh? I'm more concerned about what happens when I hit the gritted road and start clanking along like the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz.
The same resourceful son also produced a pair of Postman Pat shoe chains which work a treat on solid ice. (Not for driving in though!) I just skipped across the field to feed our neighbours' cat deliberately dancing on the worst bits of sheet ice to test them out. Good job the only spectators were sheep.

Let's hope for a better year in 2010 for all of us but particularly for those who have lost their homes and businesses in the floods. Surely things can only get better.
I've put our 2010 exhibition programme up on the web site Have a look. Whatever else it's going to be a new start and a bright and interesting year.