I've done a bit of organising and forward planning for it, and have already had my fill of the outrageously commercial side of Christmas, but the real spirit of Christmas starts for me with the Glasgow Hospitals Choir Carol Concert at the Royal Concert Hall, which raises funds to help children with cancer and their families to stay together close to the hospital during treatment.
Our friends have sung in this choir for many years. A boy soprano singing my favourite carol In The Bleak Midwinter, and a South African song in tibute to Mandela, brought a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye.
If this isn't goodwill I don't know what is. You could feel the love!
Heartwarming and very Christmassy.
I'm properly in the mood now for what Christmas is really all about.
Are you there yet?
Or a slow build up to the big day..
I like seasonal things at home and when the first wintry weather arrives my painting of a snowy hill goes up above the dining table and stays till after Christmas.
Sorrow at the death of an extraordinary man, indignation at the resurfacing of the 'greed is good' mantra, storms and floods, concern for those for whom Christmas is an anxious and unhappy time - it can seem as though paintings and little decorations are trivial and unworthy of our time, but the little things matter too. Perhaps paying attention to them helps consolidate a strong base for us and our families, which in turn give us the strength and energy to deal with the bigger issues, in whatever ways we can manage.
What do you think?
Hanging on in the teeth of a gale..
Then the snow began.
No icy blast shifted him..he was set on eating his fill.
We could not even get out of the village this morning!
Trees had come down on the road.
We watched a sparrowhawk sitting on our bench, and this little red squirrel feasting on the nuts for 10 or 15 minutes - hopefully he is now tucked up warm and safe with his very full tum..
I hope you are all warm and safe too ( with a very full tum..)
Repeated rainbows today.
We are keeping a careful eye on the weather forecasts tonight. I am hoping to meet a friend in Glasgow (two and a half hours away) but strong winds are forecast and the ferries are usually cancelled in a gale force 8 or above. That's 37mph or more. 34mph winds are forecast, but with gusts of 70mph or more.... My friend is travelling from Inverness (three and a half hours) where the threat is snow! Blizzards have been mentioned. And flooding for good measure.
This has happened to us before! Will we make it this time?
We will decide tomorrow morning, early, whether or not to venture forth....
We have a temperate climate here in UK, but weather plays a big part in our lives, largely because it is so very unpredictable.
But I'm keeping it simple, and chose white.
In the foyer of City Hall I met Tom Binns who is part of a fun project begun by streetpianos
in 2009. There are now more than 1000 pianos installed in public places in cities throughout the world for anyone to play.
Tom did invite me to write my name on the piano!
Another opportunity to play was on Open Lids Day when you could play the Steinway grand!
Oh, I wish I could play the piano! Do you play? And would you play if there was one in your city?
See more about Glasgow Play Me, I'm Yours here
, and watch a 3 minute video of a street piano in Boston here
....A brilliant idea.
On this one..
a fine Steinway,
the young Swiss-Italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi played Mozart, Ligeti, Debussy and Schubert's last sonata tonight, at Glasgow's City Halls.
It was stunning.
Of this one....
In my efforts to live more simply this is something I often ask myself.
I nearly always do know the answer, and very often I just do it the simple way.
Sometime that just means letting something go undone.
Are you stressed by indecision sometimes?
Try asking What would be simplest?
I do have a tendency to make things complicated.
Daffodils in November?
My mind raced off into every ethical dilemma of things outwith their season - you know the kind of thing - in season good/out of season bad/natural good/forced bad/energy consumption/freight costs/home grown/foreign/blah blah - this is all while looking at them thinking How beautiful!
Do you tire your brain like this?
Then I asked myself What would be simplest?
And the answer was Buy them and enjoy their beauty and simplicity.
So I did.