The first night is here;
The first of twelve days and nights when the world stands still.
The candles are lit, the house aglow, paper chains and trees decorating my home.
While we wait.
Outside it’s chilly, the wind a brittle needle stab; the wild hunt prowling in the night.
Inside there is peace, and warmth, and light; love and friends a welcome sight.
While we wait for the return of the
I’ll give the bad poetry a rest for now and get to the point, shall I?
Good evening, ladies and gents. It’s Saturday 20th December 2014. You might have noticed that already; I did when the Hell Hounds forced me out of bed at half eight this morning. In return I bathed them then put their bedding in the wash. Because I love them so.
Also, Yule, the holy season from Midwinter to New Year, started, for me at least, at sunset today. I never decorate before the 20th December, and I’m not over fond of premature decorating, but to each their own. One of my neighbours has all their outside lights on by early December, which lets the world witness their shocking lack of taste or moderation.
But back to my tale.
Yesturday I went to Boyes on my dinner break to get a gift for my oldest friend, and spotted some air dry modeling clay. When I got home I had a crafty evening and by this afternoon the decorations were dry enough to paint. I use acrylic paints, for the colour and drying speed. I made a boars head with a little apple (I am very proud of that little apple), a holly sprig, and a round matronae plaque. I’ll add some pictures tomorrow when there is some light.
This morning I prepared apple and pork stew, cooked in the oven this time, bathed the dogs and put a load of washing on, as well as changing my sheets, washing the dogs blankets, scrubbing, sweeping and mopping the kitchen within an inch of its life, and vacuuming the sitting room. I also dusted. The reason for this cleaning frenzy is not just my usual Saturday cleaning routine; it is the start of the holy nights and it is important to have a clean, tidy home, somewhere pleasant to spend the next twelve days and to welcome visitors to. You never know who might turn up.
I have spent the evening decorating; my little tree is decked in lights and wooden ornaments. I won’t risk getting the ancestral glass ornament out tonight, I’ll wait until the morning when I can see better, but it’ll go on the top branch next to my matronae plaque. I’ve got lights up over the fireplace and the stair rail, and paper chains hung in uneven swags. I’ve a Yule wreath with an embroidery in the centre hanging in the window at the front and a red wire framed tinsel and lights wrapped wreath on the back door. The overall affect I’m going for is cheery and welcoming.
I ate pork and apple stew and made an offering on my alters of peach schnapps to the Matronae and ancestors (alter on window ledge in kitchen), and to Wuldor and Wayland (beside the fireplace). Simple rituals, made to honour those I feel close to.
I like Yule. There is warmth, pretty lights, food and friendship. Also, gifts. Gifts and gifting will be the subject of tomorrow’s blog post.
Good night, I’m going to read ‘The Wisdom of the Wyrd’ by Brian Bates and have an early-ish night.