20140119-134808.jpg20140119-134838.jpg This year was lovely - a hot and quiet day.

Christmas in my family means, mostly, spoiling and eating. We have a habit of getting out of hand with the presents, or our mother does, even though we keep telling her we’re grown-ups. But mostly it is the food that we love to indulge in. this year we had a whole trout cooked on the BBQ, a few kilos of prawns, smoked salmon, twice-cooked potatoes with a garlic-y, lemon and parsley dressing, a cabbage and apple slaw with buttermilk dressing, a mountain of green salad from the garden, blueberry pudding and, of course, a pavlova. We drank light French rose, Pol Roger champagne and Tolpuddle chardonnay then quite a few bottles of Shaw and Smith pinot noir. We had it good.

Since we’re all grown, and prefer instead to spoil my nieces, we adults do a draw for gifts each year. It is so much easier, and nice to think about just one person. I got my sister-in-law and bought her a Comme des Garcons clutch purse, all tan and soft leather, and my big sister gifted me the Kate Miss necklace I had been lusting after for months – her stuff is a real dream. And, as promised, I spent the week before Christmas making my nieces the placemats I had bookmarked from Lena Corwin’s Made by Hand. My old man helped me make the loom (shown above) and I bought some Liberty fabric from the oldest haberdashery in the world - Fleur’s of Stirling - where I’ve been buying ribbon since I was a child. I actually found the weaving kind of lovely. Calming. They didn’t work out as neat as I’d hoped, but still looked good. And I ended up sewing a quick hem along each length to give them a bit more hold (my nieces are not 'sit-quietly' kind of girls). They actually loved them, boring as they might have seemed to any other three and six year old.