Wednesday, 22 December 2010

What a week...

Up at 6am on Monday, for Start the Week, which had involved some serious homework in preparation; though it was a pleasure to meet Michael Peppiatt, and to discover his wonderful book, 'In Giacometti's Studio'. Slid home through the snow to write my Telegraph column, glad to be coming home to warm house rather than leaking Parisian studio, like poor Mrs Giacometti, then panicked about lack of Christmas preparations. Car was snowed in, so set out on foot to buy food supplies: fish pie for dinner, but two hands not enough to carry home any further shopping. Yesterday: got car out, drove to Muswell Hill, realized that the rest of north London had followed the same impulse, and we were all stuck in the M&S car park, which hadn't been gritted. If anyone is reading this who knows said-car-park, you will understand the skidding and panic that ensued on surely steepest gradient in London.
On the up side, the fish pie was delicious, and my amazon deliveries have arrived in time. On the downside, I still have two dozen presents to buy, and am steeling myself for a trip to the West End. Oh rapturous joy...

14 comments:

Ali Mal said...

Nabbed the last but one jar of goose fat @ the butchers as I slid to work this a.m. Of such tiny joys is Christmas made :)

enid said...

I know that M and S parking and found it scary on warm days.I can imagine your terror in the snow.Once again the weather intrudes on travelling , shopping and holiday plans. What happened to global warming ? Just cocoon yourself with a wam drink, a good book and have a Merry Xmas.

kairu said...

Oh dear! Car parks are terrible places, but most of our worst ones are indoors, so while we have to deal with tight turns and narrow spaces and angry drivers, there is no ice to contend with...

I often go shopping with a backpack, because I do so much of my shopping on foot. So much easier to carry things! I did do most of my Christmas shopping online, but little presents had to be purchased in person, and I braved the mall last Saturday...

On my wish list of impossible things, I so want all of Gertrude Jekyll's reissued Munstead Flower Glasses...and perhaps a country house with garden and a flower room complete with deep sink and shelves of vases.

My windowsill is full of blooming paperwhites now, in glass containers or ceramic orchid pots (the bulbs are growing in tin buckets hidden by the openwork pots). My first successful window garden! Happy holidays to you all.

jaywalker said...

Kairu - ...and don't forget one should also have a gift wrapping room in such a mansion. Or even two, as one of the British aristocracy has - one for wrapping birthday gifts and one specially for Christmas and Easter gifts!!!

Justine Picardie said...

Survived the horrors of Oxford Street today, and hurrah for Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street, which solved most of my Christmas shopping dilemmas...
So cheering to read all your messages when I came home... thank you, everyone, as always...

kairu said...

jaywalker, I remember reading a lovely article by Polly Devlin in American Vogue when she wrote about her home, which contained a WIG ROOM! This always boggled my mind.

I only recently grasped the concept of the airing cupboard when a lovely writer on Twitter very patiently explained it to me. She must have thought I was spectacularly stupid, because I kept asking questions.

Justine, I do most of my shopping online, so an avalanche of boxes has been arriving, day by day. I confess, many are presents for myself...

Knitting Out Loud said...

Thank you for this blog, Justine. You and the commentators are wonderful companions to morning coffee. One becomes fond of people one doesn't know, which feels odd but I guess it's the blogosphere way.

Happy holidays to everyone! Drive carefully in the snow.

Justine Picardie said...

I wish I'd ordered everything online. And I had such high hopes of being organised this year, but have instead descended into barely managed chaos.
Oh well... time for another mince pie (ho, ho, ho).

kairu said...

I like the sound of mince pies. I've never made any, and so far my Christmas has been pie-less, although a friend made a stunning Christmas cake for our cookbook club a few weeks ago.

A Twitter friend has been taunting me with ginger biscuits and brack from Botham's (http://www.botham.co.uk/) and now I desperately want to bake some gingerbread...although I'm a little afraid to, lest I eat the entire cake by myself.

jaywalker said...

A wig room - how funny! I guess it depends on how many wigs you own!
Being an ex-pat British Australian, I know all about airing cupboards and wish we had them here. Very useful. Australians are more like Americans in that regard - top loading washing machines with electric clothes dryer on the wall above in a "laundry" rather than under the kitchen bench or in a "utility room".
With Christmas money from my mother, my other half ordered Juliet Gardiner's "The Thirties - an intimate history" from amazon.uk and it arrived this morning. He couldn't wait for tomorrow. He is already deeply ensconced in it and by the look of it I will want to read it too which may be some time as it is huge. Contains wonderful photos of the times.

I think I am now fully organised but that hasn't taken a great deal of effort as we are dining with step son in law and family and merely contributing pre-cooked items and as almost all my family live elsewhere, they get multi-store gift cards - unimaginative but saves on postage and duplication and the grand-kids enjoy shopping with them.

Happy Christmas to you all. Like others, I really enjoy reading your blog and feel I know many of you as good cyber friends. Thanks, Justine, it's always a treat to read your pieces.

kairu said...

I forgot to say that I finally had the chance to listen to "Start the Week" last night. It very enjoyable, interesting and amusing. Thanks for sharing!

bluelou64 said...

Hi Justine,
I Just wanted to thank you for your lovely book, which I bought following your fascinating talk at Daunt's back in December and to make a request that you don't leave Coco behind just yet! I found your story of her life so compelling that I want to write a one-woman show about her. This is a first for me, so I wanted to ask whether you had any experience of adapting your work?

Love Bakery said...

Happy new year. Hope you had a fabulous Christmas. X

Justine Picardie said...

Lou, thanks for the message. I've had no experience in adaptations, I'm afraid; but as for leaving Coco behind, it seems impossible -- she's still very much with me.