One of my most disliked jobs of the year is making holly wreaths for Al to sell. There are some very gorgeous ones out there, which I don't make - a wire double ring, a base of fir and well-berried holly wired on is as much as I can put up with. At that, I spend a couple of hours most evenings from late November onwards working on them.
Apart from the rings and wire, the rest is pretty well free, as friends are willing to let the Sage prune their holly and conifer bushes, and we give them a wreath as thank-you. So it's a good earner for Al, but he hasn't possibly got time to make them himself. When he started the shop, in September five years ago, I declared that it was one job I would never help with, but the next year I just got on with it.
I've got going early this year with the bases and made the first eight this evening. I want to have some ready for him for late-night opening next Thursday.
Tomorrow, I'm off to the high school to the music department for the first lesson. There may be a frost, apparently, but I hope it will have gone by 8.45ish, when I wobble off on two wheels. I actually didn't mind the trip to town and back this afternoon, which is slightly worrying, as I don't want to enjoy this cycling nonsense. Pleasure won't last, surely, with winter still to come.
When we had our sort-out of the church last weekend, I banished a rather horrid (in both the modern and the Latin sense) carpet from the vestry. I've been meaning to look for a new rug, but haven't got around to it yet. Dilly offered to lend one, which she took up in their living room a while ago as the children kept tripping on it. Squiffany was taken aback. "But it's mine, I want it!" I explained how much it would help me and that it was a short-term loan and she was half-way placated. A suggestion that she should come with me to the church to put it in place, and that she could ride in the wheelbarrow settled it and she was cheerful again.
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Didn't you do this last year? I seem to be remembering...
I say, you are good. Yes, I complained about this last year too.
I'd complain too. Making wreaths looks easy--until one tries to do it themselves. Can't imagine how tiring it is to make many wreaths with the evergreens and holly.
I usually link wreaths with funerals (although I know they might also represent the laurel crown in ancient Games). Are we celebrating some pagan dying of the light with them?
For me Christmas has always been about birth.
It's very boring, Martina.
Good point, Dave. I think it is more of a Yuletide thing than a Christmas one. It's not meant to represent mourning or dying, though - evergreens and circles symbolise renewal and continuity. Not that this occurs to people, they just like something pretty to decorate their front door. Many Christian traditions have their origins in pagan ones, though, don't they? That's fine with me.
Don't forget the holly, a particularly seasonal pagan symbol.
I hate having to trim all the everygreen and holly in our garden, my hands get covered in prickles. Can't imagine making tons of wreaths. You are a very dillegent and caring mother.
Does Al sell big clumps of mistletoe ?. They have become very trendy up in Knightsbridge.
He does, Martin, though it can be quite hard to get hold of. The Sage goes scouting round, and people bring it in - he pays them wholesale rates. The wholesaler's stuff is French and tends to be a bit scrappy. Everyone wants their branch of mistletoe, though.
You should get Al across to Tenbury Wells and its world-famous mistletoe market. I'd give him somewhere to kip, we're only seven miles from it. Probably more expensive than foraging locally though, I must say.
Holly, Christmas trees and the like bring me out in a rash, so the decorating has to be done with gloves, long sleeves and even a balaclava. And I was going to suggest Tenbury Wells, but Badgerdaddy got there first.
I feel your pain on the wreath front, Z. But I'm only making two, and I wouldn't even think of using holly. Good luck!
World famous mistletoe market? Gosh. I have a mental picture of bunches held high and everyone canoodling madly. I think I should like that...
I enjoy wreath making and think it would be grand to help.
Yes! Yes! Come right on over!
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