Wednesday, 29 December 2010

After Christmas, the void and beyond....

Well it's been, and now it's gone... almost in a blink of an eye, the Christmas festivities have passed.  I find this time the oddest of all, the void between the end of Christmas and the New Year.  I always feel quite unsettled and even a little bit blue.  Nothing of note happens and normal life can not resume until the passing of New Year.  I think perhaps I feel this way because I am single, but I don't know for sure.  I have to admit Christmas is an odd time for a single girl in her 30's.  As yet I have never spent Christmas day in my own home!!  It seems a little odd and strange really.  I love my home, I spend all year making it homely and yet at Christmas I dessert it.  It's kind of expected that I will go to the relatives with families, rather than them coming to me.  Don't get  me wrong, I love spending time with my family and I love them dearly, but I just think I would enjoy hosting Christmas and between you and me, I think I would do a darn good job of it too!

I should add that my sister was a fabulous host too.  I had a great time relaxing, reading, crocheting, eating, playing games and even wrestling with my Nephew!  It has been a tradition for many years that I wrestle him in order to be able to kiss him on cheek.  Sometimes I even adorn bright red lip stick for the event!!  But now he is 14 and the chances of me winning are stacking up against me.  He is taller and stronger than me and very handsome young man!  But it wouldn't be Christmas without the annual wrestle!!

The good thing about not hosting Christmas is that I get to spend lots of time making.  Over this Christmas period I managed to get two cushions made.  The left hand one is simply little Granny squares, easy and quick.  The right hand cushion is from a pattern by the Royal Sisters. Its as great pattern to follow, not too difficult and once you get the feel for it, the Crochet just flows off the hook!   

As you may already know I also have a sick tortoise at the moment.  She isn't actually mine, she belongs to the Tortoise Trust and once she is well I am hoping she will go to a forever home.  She too had to travel at Christmas and I packed her and the dog up and off we went up north to stay with my sister.  I have to Nebulise the tortoise twice a day at the moment as she has a very bad cold which can be fatal, but it hasn't put her off her food.  On Christmas day she was quite happy to munch on some bought salad leaves, which are the next best thing to weeds due to the snow!  Considering the tortoise in question is in her 60's, I think it might be a little late in life to try teaching her table manners!

Since coming home I have been having a bit of a sort out.  I love old prints and over the last couple of years I have collected rather a few.  I decided to pick the best of prints and finally frame them.  Today I finished the tortoise part of this task, but I also have some beautiful dance prints to show you at a later date.

This is an original page of the London Illustrated Times from 1852!  It describes a new tortoise that has been collected.  It's giant, has a hinged front and is big enough to hold the weight of a grown man!  Now I don't believe any tortoise should be burdened with the weight of a human, but it does explain its size very well.  What intrigues me further is I am quite unsure of the species.  I know of hinged tortoises and I know of giant tortoises, but I don't know of giant hinged tortoises!  If you have any idea, please let me know.

This is an antique print of an Illustration by Margeret Tarrant from 1919. Considering I have just said I don't believe tortoises should ever have to bare the weight of a human, it is interesting that this is the second print of humans riding tortoises. I think it shows a historical view of human attitudes towards animals.  My we have come along way in our understanding and treatment of the animal kingdom. The next print also demonstrates this very clearly.

This is a 1935 print of a woodcut by C Leighton.  You can just see the tether attached to the tortoise. Until at least the 1960's it was common to drill a hole in the tortoises shell and then attach a tether, never mind that the shell is living tissue.  Thankfully this kind of thing is rare to day, but I have an old tortoise with a hole still remaining in his shell from way back when in a previous home.

I am sorry if the beginning of this post is a little blue, but you know just writing this post has improved my frame of mind.  I hope you can all enjoy the void, I will muddle though. X


  1. It's amazing to me that she is in her 60's!! Wow.
    Christmas certainly brings out alot of emotions.
    I too, live alone, but go to my daughter's with my Mom. Then you go back home and look at your tree! ButI usually plan projects and reflect on the New year!

  2. Hi Penelope, its encouraging to know there are others in blogland living alone and making the most of it! Best wihes to you for the New year! X

  3. Hi Jane, love your cushions . Know what you mean about the void. Yoy plan so much for the big days and the rest of the time gets forgotten. I am surprised how quiet blogland is .
    Hope your tortoise gets better soon .
    Jacquie x