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With work now put to bed my thoughts and efforts are focused on getting the house ready from Christmas. There is much to do and in some ways it feels a daunting task.

Most houses in our street seem to be ahead of the game, wreaths are on the doors, Christmas trees are decorated and glistening in the windows so there is a festive feeling amongst the neighbours. Hopefully we will have ours up this evening.

During the week our drawing room turned into a mini Goodwood Race Circuit as several boxes full of Scalextric were taken down from the loft along with the boxes of Christmas decorations. Young Tales had the Scalextric set up in no time at all and it has been played with every day, unfortunately for him I decided to pack it away today in order to get the Christmas tree in, no doubt it will be set up again over the weekend. Even for me there is something satisfying about watching those slot cars whiz around the black plastic track until they spin off or one of the cats has them off with a swipe of a paw.

Firstly the bags of tackle and rods needed to be put away along with boxes of artists materials, paper, canvases and easel that have sat around most of the year. There has also been an accumulation of ‘stuff’, why I needed to buy another pond yacht, more vintage tackle books, cocktail glasses and bar equipment I shall never really know just that I already have enough to set up a shop. There have also been the eBay purchases and a few things from the charity shop or car boot that have been smuggled in or hidden in the shed, for if Mrs T got sight of it all there would be trouble.

One item I did wonder as to where I had put it was my artist box that converts into an easel for outdoor painting, I was prompted to think about this as earlier in the week in St James’s I saw an artist set up outside the Dunhill Store painting a street scene in the afternoon light. He was there for some time as on my return to Green Park underground I happened to pass him but this time he was packed up and heading home with his work over his shoulder, the style of his work reminded me of an artist I like called Rodney Pearce who paints scenes of the River Thames and Thames-side buildings.

During my efforts to pack away as much of the ‘stuff’ as possible I did find my artist box under the bed of all places, so I’ve decided to keep it out as I will try and do some painting over the festive season, unless of course I get side-tracked re-creating the Goodwood Revival Meeting for young Tales.

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It won’t be long till young Tales gets home, the fire can be lit, Christmas carols played and a drop of The king’s Ginger poured whilst we unpack all the decorations to adorn the tree on this the last Friday before Christmas.

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