Tuesday, 21 December 2010

All I want for Christmas....



WHEN icicles hang by the wall,

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,

And Tom bears logs into the hall,

And milk comes frozen home in pail,

When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,

Then nightly sings the staring owl,

To-whit!

To-who!—a merry note,

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doe blow,

And coughing drowns the parson's saw,

And birds sit brooding in the snow,

And Marian's nose looks red and raw,

When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,

Then nightly sings the staring owl,

To-whit!

To-who!—a merry note,

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

I love these words by the incomparable William Shakespeare.They illustrate the ancient history of our country. They evoke memories of my grandfather, who could recite them by heart. And they remind me that we, in this pampered & privileged 21st century, have quite a nice life.

I need reminding of this...because the Christmas that Paul & I thought we were going to have, and had been planning for months, has been cancelled due to our great British weather!


Right now, we should be on a plane, 37,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. Jetting towards dear and special friends for a week of Christmas joy, food, laughter, fun. Instead we are still at home, with no Christmas tree and knowing all too well what we are missing!

The snow arrived on Saturday. Lots and lots of it. And the UK does not do extremes of weather, as the world knows. Everything grinds to a halt. Roads become lethal ice rinks. Trains are halted. And aeroplanes are grounded....for days and days. Our flight was cancelled yesterday. But I count our blessings that we, at least, knew this well in advance and could make alternative plans. Hundreds of people are stuck in limbo, sleeping on the terminal floors with no hope of departure. I'm watching the BBC news now...dreadful pictures of passengers in makeshift marquees, being supplied with hot soup by the Salvation Army. Terrible!

Because of the snow, we can't even make the short journey to my parents home, up in the hills. So we'll have a different Christmas. Me, Paul & Alice...all together, warm & cosy. Lots of food, champagne, sleep, DVDs. And we have a Christmas Eve showing of 'It's a Wonderful Life' booked at a local cinema.

Not all bad news by any means. Much to be thankful for. These are the Christmas lights in our town


On Saturday evening, we held a little cocktail party for our neighbours. Those who had been stranded by the extreme weather crunched their way through the snow to us. I made a big pan of Mulled Wine, Paul relayed plates piled with food out of the kitchen. We talked and laughed with people we only ever say a quick hello to the rest of the year. It was a special evening.

I wish you everything good for your Christmas and holiday celebrations. Friends, family, food and happiness. I'll be with my beloved husband and our darling dog, and I'll enjoy every minute. But a piece of our hearts will be across the Atlantic, enjoying the Christmas that might have been, with the friends that mean so much to us. We'll raise a glass to them, and to everyone we love who can't be with us.

Merry Christmas everyone! xoxo

9 comments:

  1. I'm sorry your original plans got ruined... but I do wish you a wonderful, cozy Christmas with your husband and pet! :) ♥

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dearest Ray,
    It's a tribute to your special soul that you are only seeing the positives in this situation. I know how much you were looking forward to seeing your dearest friends. I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and remember every time a bell rings it means an angel is getting its wings! Love always xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was supposed to fly on Saturday too. A day earlier and I would be home now. I haven't quite digested it yet.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ~ i have been seeing all the snow over there and thinking of you...looks like a cozy Christmas at HOME. We are staying Home at Farmhouse and heading out later...

    Thanks Rachel for your kind words about Buddy....and thanks for being a true friend to me this year when I lost Buddy...I felt your friendship and kindness more than I did from people in my own backyard...you understand...some just don't, I guess. I still have the darling book you sent me right here on my piano. I think of you and Alice everytime I look at it ...so thoughful of you.....

    I have so enjoyed our friendship this year and look forward to more in the new year.

    I send love to you ...Paul and your sweet precious Alice...

    Merry Christmas, my friend

    Kary and Teddy
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've never posted here before, but have picked up your name from following the Twitter postings of someone on Martha's Vineyard. What a disappointment that the weather has cancelled your plans for a Christmas visit! We are all at the mercy of the weather these days, it
    seems. Perhaps you will be able to reschedule your visit.

    Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dearest Rachel,

    Hope you are feeling better today! Read your bittersweet post and love how you are able to look on the bright side. Although it is not the Christmas you dreamed and wished for, it will still be a wonderful Christmas,surrounded by those you love most - Paul and Alice. Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas, with wonderful food and drink, good fun, and lots of love. I will be thinking of you on Christmas day, tucked away nice & cozy in your London flat! Sending my love across the ocean...

    MERRY CHRISTMAS xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh good grief,

    I JUST wrote to Sue and told her to hug you guys for me. I AM SO SORRY. SO SO SORRY. I KNOW how excited you two were (and how excited they were). I need to keep up with the news.

    I was planning to call there on Christmas. Instead, I send love to you three and high hopes that you'll spoil each other with love.

    Sharon

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, dear Rachel, I am so sorry you aren't going to MV! I know you both were looking forward to it so much... sending you my love and a big hug and hoping you will have a magical Christmas anyway! With much love, Sherry

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dearest Rachel,
    I love the Shakespearean snippets- as an English teacher, words are my tools and yours are sharpened to perfection- you speak from your heart with bittersweet notes of joy and sadness, disappointment and resolve. Your cocktail party sounded just lovely- what a blessing you were to those people who were invited!
    I am busy cleaning and preparing some of the foods for the big day as I would like the day to go as smoothly as possible and not be in the kitchen the entire time! An apple cranberry pie is completed, along with a chocolate whipped cream cake for one son-in-law whose b'day happens to be on Christmas Day and who favors this particular dessert. Tomorrow I'll run out and do a few fast errands and hurry home to make pretty before a dinner and church. I'll be thinking of you all...I saw Susan's crackers and one with your name on it- how sad! Hopefully she'll toss it in a package across the pond to you!
    Merry Christmas!
    Love,
    Joann

    ReplyDelete

I love to read your thoughts....