Christmas 2016

Gosh, I haven't taken this many photos in a long time or had the time to edit and post them. I hope you've had a lovely Christmas. We've had a glorious week of family time, fun and festivities. We managed to see more members of our extended family than in recent years and Tim and I also managed to sneak away for two nights. We stayed in Shrewsbury which is an hour away from home. We enjoyed reading (I finished A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson and read Matt Haig's The Girl Who Saved Christmas), walks by the river and lots of time in coffee shops and cafes. Driving through fog and waking up to a frosty white landscape enveloped our stay in a Narnia like magic. I don't think the spell has quite broken yet.  

At home, Tim saved our Christmas with his epic cooking and skillfully managed to cater for our new vegan (eldest son became vegan six weeks ago) whilst also ensuring it was gluten free for one of the grandparents. Yes, that it is a gluten free and vegan lemon cake and it tastes as good as it looks. It's even better with a douse of limoncello (as is Christmas pud). Our starter was homemade beetroot hummus. We get through a lot of hummus these days.

We're having a quiet new year and leaving the boys to do the partying. I hope you enjoy your new year weekend and I look forward to sharing more Just a little less with you on the flip side (apparently this refers to DJs not talking until after playing the B-side of a vinyl record but it also means 'see you later'). Vinyl and vegan; it's all so 2017.



Wishing you a very

Hello dear friends. How are you? I've missed you. 

Christmas can be overwhelming – I know, I say this every year (and usually just about now, twenty four hours before the big day). The cause of this overwhelming sensation is, I believe, due to the complex contrasts of Christmas: it's a time of luxury and debt; excitement and anxiety; hope and dread; love and resentment; laughter and tears; togetherness and loneliness; long working hours and precious time off. 

Yet, Christmas is actually quite simple. At the heart of the Christian story of peace and love lies simplicity and this can be appreciated by anyone whatever their religious beliefs or circumstances. Beyond the layers of wrapping paper, underneath the towers of high expectations and lurking at the bottom of our to-do lists is an opportunity to embrace simplicity. 

I love the magical moments of anticipation, the hustle and bustle of a houseful and even the camaraderie (OK stress) of long hours in the kitchen. But what I love most about Christmas are the simple things. Chirpy robins on Christmas cards, paper hats slipping down our faces over dinner and a cheeky sherry beforehand. I love the extra time that the holiday provides. I love church on Christmas Eve packed to the rafters with tots in nativity outfits. Christmas carols calm the chaos and friends and family share their laughter and remind us of our roots and strong bonds. The years bring fond memories but also new trials. We've had difficult challenges in our lives this year and I'm sure you have too. On the bright side these often bring us closer together if we're open and generous to each other. 

So this year, let's embrace the complexities and contrasts of Christmas. Let's share our hearts and homes and be grateful for Christmas and the gifts it brings (wanted and unwanted). Let's learn more about ourselves and remember to embrace simplicity. Even if we haven't got there yet.

Once the wrapping paper is shred, the expectations have collapsed and our to-do list has expired we could just have the greatest gift of all: to be reminded of the simple riches of our lives and to take these into the new year. Simplicity calls.

Enjoy your Christmas xo