Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas Eve ....

The star in action

Photos, we want photos, rang out the cry of the uproarious crowds .....

Well, who am I to argue?  I thought it might be a bit boring, seeing as I stick to my old Christmas decorations like a conscientious leach, and my parlour looks pretty much the same every Christmas, but there it is, the masses have spoken, nay commanded, and I am nothing if not obliging, towards my reading public.

I can report, happily, that two new decorations have been added to my stockpile this year, to wit, the hanging pyramid, propelled by candles, going around fast enough to make one quite dizzy, if all six of them are kindled, and the aforementioned Herrnhuter Star, spreading a warm glow for the neighbourhood, in the hour of dusk, before the lamps are lit.

Also, the Christmas Tree, usually positioned in front of the window, has this time been placed onto the table in the middle of the room - it was newly purchased a week ago and still is rather tiny, and I thought that looking down, rather than up, at it, might create the visual illusion of it being larger than it actually is. 

[Regular readers of this blog know that I buy little trees in pots, which I re-pot and keep thusly in the garden for several seasons in a row, until they indicate by their dropping of needles and increasingly unmanageable size that the time for planting them in the garden's welcoming soil has finally arrived.]

So I can offer you at least these few changes to my Christmas routine.

Enjoy the resulting still-lives, if you can!



Sunday, 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas!

Well, it was another momentous year ....

Never mind, today is Christmas and we will be happy!

I have finished the decorating of the Parlour, and am currently listening to A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Radio 4.

Before I was able to assemble my Christmas, I had to do some work.  Firstly, I had to fix a revolving pyramid I had purchased on Ebay - it came with a few pieces broken off.  I complained to the seller, who sent me some spare parts and instructions on how to repair it.  I had to drill out the broken off piece, and glue the new pieces into place, and also add all the leaves on top of the pyramid that make it turn.  It seems to be working OK now.

My sister had gifted me a Herrnhuter Stern, which required self assembly, but that, too, was successfully attempted last night.  It looks really rather splendid hanging in front of the window now!

More photos to follow, of course.

In the meantime, pip pip, tally ho, and all the very best for the festive season.

Remember you are loved.

Repairing the pyramid

That's the bit that was broken

Star got assembled

Parlour at the start of decorating

Triple the Fun - Dennis Severs House Silent Night

My impersonation of a 19th century roast chestnut seller, flanked by Triplets

As always my Christmas season started properly with a visit to Dennis Severs House.  This time we decided to go the whole hog, and booked the Christmas Silent Night Special, with mince pies and mulled wine and a chat with one of the curators of the house.

What can I say, it was amazing!!!!

We were in the Victorian room, complete with a Christmas tree that had real lit candles, and it was easily the nicest part of this year's pre-Christmas period. 

Dennis Severs House never fails to soothe and calm nerves frayed by modern living, and this evening was no exception.  Just being away from electronic devices, and near candle light, among beautiful surroundings, is wonderful enough. 

But this time we were honoured by the presence and conversation of a man who has been associated with the house for a long time, and was full of stories and anecdotes about Dennis Severs House and the amazing man who created it.

We were all suitably awed, and determined to do this again next year.

And NO, YOU don't get to come with us!

For previous visits to Dennis Severs House, see previous write-ups - aside from the period photos I can't really add anything to what I said before.

To copy the look, wear a large handbag under a suitably draped shawl - adds about twenty pounds to your visual weight!

Not such a good photo, but since it features the second Triplet I decided to include it regardless

The House that didn't die

Monday, 11 December 2017

Visit to Hamburg - Übersee-Club Hamburg

One of the joys of club membership is that there are corresponding clubs all over the world, and whenever I travel I try to visit at least one of them.  Sadly, most of them don't have hotel facilities, like the Oxford and Cambridge Club, otherwise I could have just hoped into a cab and sought refuge there when I first arrived in Hamburg!

This particular club is called the Übersee-Club, and is dedicated to "fostering Hamburg's status in the world".  It certainly was a hit with my aunt and cousin and myself when we visited it for lunch during my Hamburg visit.

The food was excellent of course, but nevertheless dwarfed into insignificance when compared to the ministrations of the Master of Wardrobes, Bernd Huellenkremer Esq, a gentleman to his fingertips and credit to the Hansestadt.  It is worth visiting the Club just to meet this jewel among men, and I do hope the Club manages to hang onto him for a few more decades yet - down with retirement!

The upstairs consists of a number of dedicated dining rooms, but downstairs looks more like a regular gentleman's club, and one can have drinks and snacks sitting in comfortable leather chairs, overlooking the Alster (a large lake at the centre of the city), and basking in the absence of Hauptbahnhof trolls.

But let the photos speak for themselves!


The outside of the club

The Alster

Plaque on the outside of the club

Little Christmas market near the Alster

An entire shop dedicated to Nivea!