We awoke to a spectacular sunrise over the roof of our house. It was early, and we had a Christmas tree to claim. The Forestry Commission has a place in the New Forest where one can get all types and sizes, and this was our first destination of the day.
It was very cold, but the journey through the forest gave us some very beautiful scenery to look at. No photoshop in any way here, the sun came through these trees in a very 'Lord of the Rings' kind of way.
We arrived at the sales area, and as with previous years were met with far too many to choose from. It's no secret in our family that I am somewhat obsessive when it comes to tree size. Having a father who loved huge trees, I too have been known to have to drastically reduce them just to get them to stand up, and on one occasion even bought two, as they were a little one sided. This resulted in a copse effect in the lounge, which the kids have always found amusing.
Nowadays though, there is no ten foot tree, but instead a more modest seven footer, as I have bowed to the pressure of common sense. It was netted, and then I welcomed it to our care, before laying it gently in the back of the van.
As we were near Lyndhurst, we decided to stop for some lunch to warm ourselves up. Our table was next to this wood burning stove and was very cosy. I had good old fish and chips, Amanda had seafood tagliatelle, and we left very contented indeed.
I miss my father greatly at this time of year, and not a day goes by without thinking of him. He is resting now in the cemetary just outside Lyndhurst, and near to where he shared the latter half of his life with his wife, my stepmum. He loved Christmas, and my brother Ian always makes sure that he has a tree every year. I wanted to say hello, and so went to see him.
His tree looked lovely and cheerful, and I found myself just staring at his name, not knowing what to think or say. It's strange how sometimes one can go with great purpose, only to find thoughts spinning all over the place. I left feeling calm though, and glad that I had been to him.
It was now getting to late afternoon, and the temperature was dropping even more. We had to get grand daughters pressie still, and so headed into Christchurch. The sun was setting behind the ancient monestary ruins..........
.....and the river Avon was still high, and thundering under the bridge we were on.
Tree and present safely stowed away, we returned home to face the next task for Christmas. Yes, we have all had to face this little nugget............the loft! The hatch beckoned, I steeled myself, opened it, dropped the ladder down, and entered the loft.
And here we go again......where did we put the decorations?
I hope your preperations are going well.