Work projects complete. Tick.
Winter Festival over for another year. Tick.
Packing is the allotted task for today.
For tomorrow we fly!
We woke yesterday to the sounds of rain on the roof, children wondering how we could possibly have our winter festival inside.
"It's sure to stop later," I reassured them, "every year we have some rain on the day and then it is always clear enough when it comes to taking the lanterns into the sandpit and lighting the bonfire."
Sure enough the rain did stop, a few rays of sunshine even emerged and it was warm. I optimistically hung out a load of washing and carried on making soup.
Various friends cried off at the last minute, due to children being sick and the thought of damp evenings outdoors not seeming an ideal way to speed their recovery, so we were a select group of about twenty in the end.
Bonfire built, lanterns decorated, wine mulled, soup simmering, we gathered in the damp dusk with lit lanterns and then carried them down the river of light to our circle.
The air was mild and gaps in the cloud let a few stars peek through. Serving up soup and mulled wine,wrapped in layers we were almost too hot and remarked that even at Midwinter it didn't have that foot numbing chill, traditional to Bonfire Night in
The kids had a ball with sparklers and a home-made volcano in the sand, the bonfire was eventually coaxed into roaring skywards and the rain generously held off until the sausages were cooked, when its mild drizzle got more enthusiastic and drove us back indoors.
I had made puddings for forty, so after all the soup, bread and sausages we barely made a dent in them. Today looks like a festival of packing and puddings, not to forget of course dipping the dogs whose fleas have been keeping them and us awake and restless at night!