Advent Windows

Only one window now requires some attention in the house, the others are undercoated and waiting for a warm day for top coat. We celebrated Advent Sunday with roast beef and Yorkshire Puddings. The gluten free batter put in a bread tin, my only option and willed to rise. It did a little but by no means rising and curling over like my Mum’s used to, it was still tasty.

Advent Sunday Roast Beef

Mid afternoon my inbox chimed to the sound of new mail arriving. The annual Happy Official Birthday email from my wonderful 90 year old God-Mum Betty. We always used to have Sunday lunch with Betty when I was a child, roast beef. This was when I received my first Christmas and more importantly my first Birthday present of the year. I then had to wait ALL those weeks before I could open them.

We’re still here

For the last couple of years we have been gradually making our way up the Oxford Canal at the start of Advent. Chippy Panto open, some Christmas shopping attempted before leaving Oxford, our progress northwards slowed by stoppages. Banbury our next port of call for the bulk of our festive shopping, a trip to London to gather the family and then on towards Braunston to pick up our bird for the big day.

Queueing for our bird in Braunston

Being in Scarborough isn’t quite the same. Looking out of the windows on a morning with the central heating going, isn’t the same as popping more coal on the stove to get it springing back into life watching the ducks and swans floating on by. But, this year is what it is.

Chilly paws

Unwrapping boxes of kitchen things, isn’t as exciting as presents, although rediscovering things you’d forgotten you owned is quite nice. But then I also know we don’t need any of these items having lived on a boat for six plus years. Their only purpose really is to fill cupboards. The only way to make use of them is to have a big party, a thing we don’t do very often, but maybe next year.

King Sutton Lock Cottage

My work rooms have now just about been reclaimed there is SOOoooo much space. I’ve gone from a table and the end of a two seater sofa to the equivalent of the whole boat plus more! Blimey I used to be a proper designer! How many paint brushes did I need?!

Loads of room

Last night I moved my model making and paint box from the boat into my work room and as the sun faded away the bluey glow came through the arched window by my tables. My first Advent window.

1st Advent window

No chocolate calendar for me this year, nor a candle. But there are other treats waiting to be opened.

There is of course the Herbie Awards for 2020, always worth keeping track of for good pubs, moorings and gadgets.

Animated Objects are showing some of their projects through the years, many wonderful glowing lanterns to cheer up the evenings.

Masks from my college days

The Theatre Chipping Norton also has a Virtual Advent Calendar. The first window opened at 8pm last night. Jack Dee with a tale of an actor and a boat, very apt.

This morning I’ve opened another window, one to book tickets for The Snow Queen at the SJT next week. Tomorrow our new hob will be installed. Another treat will be opening up a sketch book and starting work on the design for Rapunzel, opening night 17th November 2021.

Rapunzel escaping her high window

Then planning our route for next year, should we go down the Trent heading to London? Head to York to see those people we missed this year? Head back over the Pennines? Will the Figure of Three Locks be open in time? The Weaver? Middle Levels?

Happy Advent everyone

10 thoughts on “Advent Windows

  1. Dimitrios Theologitis

    Hi Pip and Mick,
    Great to follow you and that you are settling down for your Christmas (quasi-)routine.
    I can fully share your joy at rediscovering your treasures from home. I am in a similar position:
    I decided to spend lockdown in Athens and work on the 100+ boxes (!) of belongings of my parents which were put into storage when I renovated the family house 5 years ago (they had passed away some time before). It’s a trip down memory lane, which one has to do alone…
    Merry Christmas!

  2. Dave (Scouts)

    Ah i remember that Butchers. We rented Mill Cottage, the smaller of the 2 properties at the old windmill in Braunston over New Year and used the Butcher for supplies. Very good meat & Sausages.

  3. Sandra Walsh

    There’s a saying I often reflect on, that houses are just ‘receptacles for stuff’! We’ve been house sitting a few times and are frequently aghast at how much ‘stuff’ people collect that they rarely, if ever, use. Of course we were both ‘guilt’ of this in the past. But as you both know, living in a small space makes you very mindful of every single item that is contained therein. I hope you get back boating next year. We may meet up again if we come back – you never know!

    1. pipandmick

      The amount of stuff we got rid of before we moved aboard was colossal Sandra. We kept things we thought we needed along with treasured possessions, we were only meant to be away a year!
      The stash of 68 pairs of socks is good though, it means I can get rid of the holey ones.
      We will be back boating next year that is certain.

  4. adrian2013

    Wonderful to see the Oxford, Braunston butchers and those fine memories. The Roast Beef dish looked rather nice. Yes to right on the clutter we have! We have the equivalent of rooms full I’m sure.
    Good post thanks for sharing.

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