Those who have been opening the doors on this Advent Calendar since the beginning of December may recognise this shelf. Yes, the reclaimed recycled shelves are still waiting in the kitchen to go down to the cellar. Not only are they still there, but young John populated them with a heap of stuff that had no permanent home. They'll still be there next Christmas at this rate.
Back to the calendar. Today's offering is a trio of Christmas cacti, bought at Columbia Road Flower Market this Sunday - modest little succulents with the added excitement of not knowing whether they will flower or not in time for the holiday.
It may happen, it may not. And it's been a bit like that here for the last couple of weeks. There is not a present bought, a card sent, a floor hoovered, a decoration put in place. Other things have taken precedence. And to try to get back on a more even keel, I've just been at "An Evening of Music and Readings for the Festive Season" with the Giltspur Singers, an amateur choir of impressive accomplishment. Now I feel a little less prickly, ready to tackle the challenge of putting my house in order. I just need a good night's sleep, or two, a plan of action and I'll be away. Preferably not in a manger or a straightjacket.