Mon 28th Nov – Sun 4th Dec: Pick up Frozen Charlotte website again, writing some of the content.  As well as starting this blog and writing for the website, I’ve been (sadly) called on to write two funeral contributions and (joyfully) one 30th birthday portrait.  Interesting how one art form can inform another. Similarities and differences can increase awareness e.g. rhythms and cadences in words compare with quality of line in drawing.  I remember noticing how learning Tai Chi enhanced my drawing.

Mon 5th – Sun 11th Dec: Based on feedback from Ruth and others I spend a bit of time rejigging the blog. Simplifying is the main theme, with new categories of mini-essays and compost heap.  The gardening metaphor seems appropriate  – stuff is gathered and chucked on the compost heap, then left to stew organically.  In the last years of his life, my dad became fascinated by the composting process, and now it’s my turn. I remember him reverently holding and smelling a handful of rich dark humus as if it was gold. Hopefully the processing of the compost heap posts will result in rich mini essays of multiple hues and colours.

Mon 12th-Sun18th Dec: Christmas is coming. Tea at  friends – at this time of year, togetherness helps in the aftermath of an untimely family death.

We are also making progress on getting Martin’s house ready to sell. Couple of estate agents have been round and we are painting.   And we are starting to look at places to move to.   Feels good.

To celebrate, I’m online on the dot to buy tickets for Bob Dylan in Glasgow next May – fat chance! Tickets scooped up immediately and on resale ten minutes later for three times the price. Not fair.

Pick myself up  with penguin making for Frozen Charlotte’s latest project – publication of the book of the play Too Many Penguins?  Then it’s time to get on with decorating the flat and the stair for Christmas.  In the midst of the chaos I find a random and pleasing arrangement of Christmas baubles which quickly becomes this year’s Christmas card image.

The A6 Christmas card was sent out on the ocean of mail without envelopes, sealed close with a strip of washi tape.  I wonder how many made it to their destination?

Wed: It’s the season to be merry with friends.  It’s the one time of year when people are on holiday together and spontaneous gatherings happen.  Have a great time in the Burgh Arms with Jane, one of the artists in the fantastic Inverkeithing Arts Initiative.  One wine slowly turns into four…and James the chef joins us as the witching hour approaches – a meeting of minds.

Fri: We have a no. 22 Mulled Wine and Mince Pies gathering with visitors from No. 26.  First of many gatherings I hope. Kenny from 26 and I might be the only two romantics who have worked out that  the shapely hills you can see from the Road Bridge to the distant west-south-west are the Paps of Jura 🙂

Sat: In the morning I go down to the new Inverkeithing Arts Initiative shop Maker for a few Christmas presents from local craft artists, and have a conversation with Jane about liminal space! Now that’s what I call service.  What a great place Inverkeithing is!

In the evening take some friends to see the amazing Black Beauty at the Traverse, as a Christmas present.  I count my blessings in the friends I have both on the stage and in the audience. Go see!

Week before Christmas: a blur as we begin the descent into the vortex that spits us out again sometime round the 6th of January. A lot of last minute present posting and good food buying. In the madness, my mantra is – so long as you have bread and the ingredients to make a good soup you are fine.