Boxing Day tends to involve a lot of food: either leftovers, or food that is not technically leftovers, but only because nobody got around to cooking it. And when you’re combining British and Polish traditions, you end up with two huge meals, and even more food that needs eating afterwards.
This morning I cooked omelettes topped with smoked salmon, which would have been the fifth or sixth course of Tuesday’s Wigilia (Christmas Eve vigil) meal, if we hadn’t been full after several other dishes of fish/soup/pierogi/carrots/more fish. And I meant to take a photo of them for this prompt, but between cooking them and then eating them I completely forgot about it. So here’s a slice of Christmas Eve bread instead.
It really doesn’t matter. Everything I’ve eaten over the last couple of days has been delicious.
I slept last night in a house that’sbbuilt into the side of a hill, so the bedrooms are downstairs, and when you get up, you literally get up. And coming upstairs to see all the trees lit up in this glorious golden morning sunlight lifted my heart into joy.
We were talking last night about the the tendency of people (all over the place, not just here) to think of a bygone golden age, probably coinciding with the year they were about ten, which of course was never really like that. And somebody said, ‘But the golden age is now’.
Today is golden. Today is illuminated with visible light and a deeper light.
Look at that apple tree.
Crevasse and chasm, piano, bookshelf, mantel: we set off
when all the rest have got there, go the long way round,
know nothing of what draws us save that far faint blaze
of glory glimpsed across vast empty skies. We saw,
and set out on a path long known, unprecedented,
traced our own steps; idled, forgotten,
one last unlikely leap compelled us, just in time. To see,
learn what we had forgotten, remember what we longed for.
We have been here before, but never quite like this –
– For one brief day we stand before eternity,
knowing at last, and seeing, seen and known,
this moment not to be clung to, lost in its attainment –
– Journey done, we wait once more in darkness. Next time
we’ll start again from the beginning, knowing
the way to be long, fulfilment fleeting,
but worth the travel, travail, this time, next time,
for all time. Beyond time.
… an intriguing mixture of the sacred and the secular;
… a large number of people in a small space;
… a party;
… for the children, and also the rest of us;
… what has been long awaited, and only the beginning of the journey.
Morning: last minute dashing around (this year, looking for wool for my mother, who was playing yarn chicken with my brother’s fiancée’s Christmas present); making mince pies if I can be bothered
2.55pm: the radio is switched on for
3.00pm: the Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge (not last year; we were there in person)
during which –
- the tree is decorated
- the cake is iced
4.45pm: change for choir
5.30pm: leave for choir
5.45pm: brief warm-up before:
6.30pm: Nine Lessons and Carols at our parish church
8.00pm: dash home
Through the rest of the evening:
the several courses of the Polish Wigilia meal, beginning with sharing opłatek (pictured) with a hug and a kiss, and finishing with cherry vodka in tiny green and gilt glasses,
and, if we’re done before
11.15pm: dash out to the midnight service
12.30am: come home, put the bike away as quietly as possible given the fact that the padlock on the shed has frozen up, and go to bed
Two families’ worth of traditions, together with our shared tradition of singing (and therefore telling us what the Director of Music tells us). It’s like this every year, and next year it will be different again.