Am back from the holidays. Hope that all of you are still taking a break from work, and you're thoroughly enjoying life this week.
I didn't spend Christmas in Ireland, no matter what the title of this post is. I have that song in my head, since I'm nearly obsessed with it this year. Love that song.
Christmas in Killarney is wonderful to see.
Listen to my story, and I'll take you back with me.
The holly green, the ivy green, the prettiest picture you've ever seen is Christmas in Killarney, with all of the folks from home. It's nice you know to kiss your beau while cuddling under the mistletoe. And Santa Claus of course you know is one of the boys from home.
I learned Irish dancing when I was in elementary school, and that song makes me want to do it again, if only for a few minutes.
At my family's Christmas party, some friends and relatives brought their pets so that they could stay for an extended amount of time without rushing home. Here is my puppy in an Eskimo kiss with a miniature Schnauzer.
This week lots of tea is being poured. I have a collection of honeys. What I'm presently using is one of my jars of Heather Honey. This particular jar was made by the honeybees whose diet consists of the heather flowers in Tuscany, Italy.
My family isn't Italian, and I'd never realized heathers were growing in Italy, until I started learning about bee populations and delicious, aromatic, healthy honeys. If it's of interest to any of you, I suppose now is as good a time as any, to mention that I was named in honor of my grandfather. He was a violin-playing writer and swimmer. He was incredibly fond of the heather plants on the Isle of Man in the early 1900s.
My favorite ornaments might be birds that feel real to the touch with their beautiful feathers and talons. I love that they perch on the Christmas tree's branches instead of hanging from strings. I held my camera inside the tree, to spot the hidden pale pink bird.
The glass "bubble" ornaments on the tree reminded me of a room I saw in Lyndhurst Castle. When I visited their historic stone building years ago, they gave tours of mind-blowing fairy-tale rooms with a wintry feel. The interiors were designed by amazing artists, who transform 17 rooms in 7 days. It's hard to find photos online that compare to what it's like being there. It's just so detailed and creative. They decorate every space, even down to the washroom...where they filled a claw-foot bathtub with an overflowing pile of clear orbs. There were glass "bubbles" floating through the air. The transparent globes were meant to resemble sea foam.
Sea foam is one of my very favorite visuals.
I guess that's why that particular room stayed in my mind all these years.
Bummer I don't have a digital photo of that "foamy" room in the castle. I found this lovely photo online...it's Drew Barrymore in that same building I'm talking about. She was photographed there by Annie Leibovitz. She is doing a vignette of Beauty and the Beast.
When I was growing up, I lived in a cedar house in Scarsdale with cathedral ceilings. We had 10-foot-high trees every year! I'll look for old photos to scan for you.
This year my father shopped for most of the groceries for the family party, and I was so impressed that he went to Whole Foods. He's decided that Whole Foods is his preffered store if he wants a good quality Bûche De Noël, among all the other things he buys there. The "Yule Log" is a French tradition. It's basically a chocolate cake made to resemble a real tree trunk, with fresh raw cranberries and real green holly leaves on top, and a couple of white marzipan mushrooms... strategically placed to look like they are wildly growing on the log. My papa doesn't like the kind from a regular market. This one tastes like a vegan cake, or a flourless passover cake.
We ate delicious savory courses. Here is the tender beef brisket with organic vegetables and fresh spices. Dinner was served on some of our family heirlooms; a set of antique painted china plates made by Rosenthal in Europe.
We wound up playing a game called Funglish, and it was absolute hilarity. We didn't want the night to end; everyone wanted to stay over.
How was your Christmas, or any other holiday you celebrated this month, my dearest readers? Please share some of your highlights with me.
Happy New Year's Eve to all of you!
Currently listening to:
"Auld Lang Syne"
based on a poem by Robert Burns (1788)
Give a listen to Mairi Campbell's version if you've never heard it before. She uses a different tune than the traditional melody we're accustomed to. Her band's rendition has a tear-jerking quality, and lets us hear the authentic Scottish pronunciation of the lyrics. I'll paste the link, if you require a cathartic cry after your raucous partying: