Life has been relatively quiet recently and, increasingly, I have dipped out of large social gatherings such as the Community Shop Christmas Party and the monthly local Pub Quiz. This is in the hope that I avoid the latest Omicron variant of Coronavirus at least until after the Christmas period.
Christmas too is going to involve fewer social contacts than usual but we do hope to see all our sons, their partners and our new grandchild. It’s going to be a treat but a different treat from the usual.
The last few days have included a number of Christmas preparations (including my booster jab). Our family are doing a Secret Santa again this year so little present buying is required. But, despite the other differences to our Christmas Day this year, I am maintaining the recent traditions of home-made party hats and a Christmas picture quiz. Both are now ready to go.
Local walks have continued to be a Covid-safe feature of my retirement. I’ve been on a couple of different ones with mates from the village. That is always interesting, not only for the conversation but because, no matter how many times I traverse the local footpaths, they almost always take me on routes or to places that they know but which are slightly different from my normal haunts.
Long-Suffering Wife (LSW) and I also squeezed in a rather impromptu visit to Bath. Walking past the Georgian Crescents and through the streets reprised a visit we did a couple of months ago. Then, I visited The Holburne Museum and saw an interesting exhibition on (Dante Gabriel) Rossetti and his portraits of his muses and girlfriends (usually, they were both). He certainly seems to like women with big, lustrous hairdos!
This time, the main purpose to the visit was to try out lunch at the relatively new Landrace Bakery. We have loved the Bakery and café since it opened well before Covid struck; LSW has been going there since it opened. Landrace has more than survived the lockdowns of the last 18 months by evolving and shifting its focus to takeaway and, most recently, a small restaurant upstairs. The lunch we had there didn’t disappoint. The service was informal but excellent, the servings were tasty and of a good size and, despite the ‘London prices’, lunch was good value overall. We’ll go again and we recommend it.
But now, attention turns to a trip to Scotland and to Christmas. The socialising may have been scaled back in the run up and the numbers around the Christmas table will be less than a third of last year. Nonetheless I am looking forward to it more than ever after the constraints of the last year and in advance of the restrictions that are likely to come as the pandemic moves to its next stage. Hopefully we will get away with a great little Christmas!
I hope too that readers of this have a happy and healthy Christmas and holiday period.