This week the first signs of Christmas have appeared in our Abbey. On Sunday we turned the clocks back one hour and had an extra hour in bed, but as it was Sunday and we have an extra half hour anyway it became even longer. For those unfamiliar with this one, in Britain we change our clocks twice a year – it’s known as ‘daylight saving’. It means our mornings are now slightly lighter and our evenings darker earlier – I think it’s to do with children going to school or something. It can be difficult to remember which way is which but this little phrase helps ‘ spring forward, fall back’. It’s lovely in the Winter but not so much fun in the Spring when we lose a precious hour in bed.

Another sign of Christmas is the preparation of the Christmas pudding. Yesterday evening Sr Teresa-Mary ( our cook) began her mixture and before morning office we all gave it a stir and made a wish. This is the first time for me and it was really lovely – now we are all part of the pudding!

It is really striking to see  the difference in preparation for Christmas between inside and outside our enclosure. (We do go out for health reasons). Outside, the shops are full of decorations, goodies and ‘spend, spend, spend’ to make your perfect Christmas. Inside we are just quietly pottering on. The evenings are shorter, it is colder and the radiators have gone on, we have had some heavy early morning frosts and mists which make a wonderful reflective walk between office and Mass. We are digging over the earth to begin planting blackcurrants and beginning to prune.

It is all so different, simple and lovely. As more things happen over the weeks I will share them with you – my first Christmas here.

I end this post with an old English rhyme;-

‘Christmas is a comin and the goose is gettin fat, please put a penny in the old mans hat, if you haven’t got a penny, an a’penny with do, if you haven’t got an a’penny, God bless you.

Enjoy your preparations too, Pax, Adele.

That evening…the Abbey smelt wonderful, all fruity and warm from the puddings.