Bonne année! Hope you had a splendid time celebrating the arrival of Twenty Ten. Andre and I headed back over the Pennines to spend the NYE holiday with my parents - cue large amounts of red wine, intense scrabble and hearts tournaments, and plenty of country walks with the dogs.

On arrival back in Manchester, I took our Christmas tree down. It had been up for about three weeks, and was looking a little droopy - the dogs kept hitting their fluffy heads on the lowest branches and baubles as they scampered past.

However, I will keep our beautiful twiggy garland on the door for a while longer - and our Advent tree is still in place. I moved it through to the kitchen from the living room cos we needed the dining room table for various festive meals (including Traditional Christmas Lobster - recipe coming up in a future post).

You can read more about our Advent Tree tradition here. And here are some photos I took yesterday of the branch in all its glory - it looked lovely in the sun, with the ornaments casting pretty silhouettes against the scarlet kitchen cabinets:

Are your Christmas decorations still in place? Or have you taken them down and packed them safely away until next year?

Most people are blogging at the moment about New Year resolutions. I'm not going to do this, for the simple (and admittedly slightly bizarre) reason that I don’t make New Year resolutions in January. I make my resolutions in September, which despite the fact that I haven’t stepped into a classroom in over ten years, is the month that I still associate irrevocably with new beginnings – shiny new tin pencil cases, freshly sharpened pencils, pristine exercise books. January to me feels like a month for hunkering down, conserving, taking stock – but September is the time for a fresh slate. It’s also my birthday at the start of September, so it’s literally a new year for me. 

Thank you for reading! See you again soon, I hope :-)

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