When we did eventually drag our weary bodies downstairs we took the Wonder Dog for a trot around Gunnersbury Park, one of our local parks. With the clear blue sky it was stunning. I love the distant skyline across this huge field. London seems like it's very far away, whereas in truth it's all around the park, which is an island of brilliant green in the middle of the great, grey city.
Emi and I were both surprised to bump into the headmaster of his Junior school out for a morning jog. Amazingly, given how many scarves and hats we were wearing, he recognised us, and shouted Hello!. It was weird seeing him out of context, and not wearing his usual smart suit. Emi was strangely thrilled. It sort of made his morning. Very weird.
We came home and I started to put together some hampers of homemade goodies to give to friends for Christmas, whilst Emi settled down to a box-set of Asterix cartoons.
I started out with some white boxes that I'd bought in Ikea (Knarra boxes, if anyone wants to buy them). I've been looking for hamper boxes that were the right size to hold all the bits and pieces I've been making, and these ones seemed to fit the bill better than anything else I could find.
I padded the bottom with some bubble-wrap, and then covered it up with a few sheets of Christmassy red tissue paper.
I've also bought some festive tins for my Christmas cakes. The one in this hamper matches the recipient's kitchen china. Inside is one of my Boozy Be-jewelled Christmas Cakes.
Beside it, nestling on the tissue paper is a bumper bag of my Epsom Salt Bath Bombs, carefully labelled with my Handmade Labels.
Emi broke off from his cartoons to take a look at my labels. He'd not been around when I made any of my earlier batches of labels, and was very taken with my label-making machines. And now, an hour or two later, I think I can safely say that he's got some of the best labelled Lego boxes in town.
We added some homemade Clementine and Cardamon Marmalade, a pot of Christmas Chutney and some homemade Christmas Mincemeat.
Then I had a sniff of the potpourri I'd made during the summer, and declared it ready to use. I decanted some into a plastic cake bag with a doily at the bottom to pretty it up a bit. Doesn't it look good?
And what's more my kitchen smells wonderful too: all summer roses and aromatic herbs. If you'd like to make some next year you can find my posts on how I made mine here: Part 1 and Part 2. I'm really pleased with how the dark roses have held their colours. Lighter roses would have discoloured into unattractive browns and yellows, but these wonderful dark burgundy beauties have held their colour and still look rich and attractive. I also like the balance between whole heads, petals, geraniums, bay leaves and dried rosemary, which gives it a pleasing texture.
Hopefully the friend for whom this little hamper of homemade delights is bound will like it. I just need to wrap it up in some cellophane wrap to keep it pristine for the journey from my house to hers.
All the best for now,
As shared on Creative Mondays