Well a couple of weeks later and it’s safe to say that the coat is now firmly on! Everything is very pretty assuming you’re on the right side of the torrential downpours, which on Monday lunchtime I definitely wasn’t; see also my favourite Scarborough tree in the photo, which every year is happy to get it’s cards on the table and forge ahead of the rest in brightening the place up a bit (I’m sure there is a sensible botanical reason, but Percy Thrower I am not).
Autumn is always one of those times when everything I do seems to be in preparation for something else that isn’t happening for a while, whether it’s an impending horror festival, upcoming London trip, Christmas (woohoo!) or just the regular forward planning in the shape of the vague-but-gnawing panic which begins to set in every year around this month, and concerns a theoretical combination of potentially horrific winter weather and accompanying travel problems plus the usual time off for festivities and then tax bill time a month later, resulting in what I can only describe as winter skintness. Every year is the same, and every year these (not entirely irrational) terrors are allayed by buying and storing enough food, shower gel and toilet rolls to last pretty much until Easter, which I can then open the cupboards and look at periodically to bring about immediate calmness. Mostly buying food.
One family tradition I’ve brought back this week is making the Christmas cake long before everybody else’s tradition – Stir Up Sunday became Stir Up Saturday, specifically yesterday rather than the last weekend before Advent which is far too late for me and given the shopping, preparation and clearing up involved when there are far more pressing things to be getting on with (the pudding, for one) a relatively stress free option if still a pretty physical one. Following an afternoon which began with my assembling ingredients and neatly lining tins and ended with my collapsing in an exhausted heap on the settee (not a little pissed too, after alternately sneaking bits of rum-soaked fruit and nipping at the sherry throughout) I now have one big cake and two little cakes (these for pre-Christmas testing, to begin whenever) plus arms that feel as if I whiled away a few hours carrying buckets of coal up and down a hillside.
Sheffield beckons, and the logistics of arranging bookings in the usual way when my phone is going to be off (entirely necessarily, since I’ll be sitting in a cinema) the majority of the time has not been lost on me; to this end, I will be taking bookings further in advance than usual and anybody getting their request in in good time will be able to come along for my £20 off Scarborough discount rate – yay! Obvious the phone will be on during the week (and also the Monday before I leave), but it’s the only sensible solution for the weekend in as much as anything will be sensible about it, least of all me. Availability is piecemeal as described, but there’s wiggle room throughout and it doesn’t hurt to ask…
For Song Of The Week we’re back to the theme of long-haul baking and the slightly drunk kitchen-dancing which is all part of the process, at least in this house. Despite the Bob Marley reference in the title there is only one answer, and that’s a bit of Northern Soul and the Velvelettes – I’ve deliberately avoided one with an actual video to watch so get the oven on, take up the rugs, and try not to break anything!
More soon – don’t forget that’s Scarborough until Thursday then next stop, Sheffield!