Christmas greetings friends. Autumn days here at Flutterby Patch seems to have passed in a flash of frantic and frustrating activity. It all began in early October with the arrival of a smart new woodburning stove for the sitting room. We were told by the stove fitters that installing it was a fairly simple job and would take a couple of days (famous last words). They spent the first day lining the chimney and by day two were ready to connect the stove. However, after much pushing and shoving they were eventually forced to remove our large sitting room fireplace so that the stove could be securely linked to the chimney liner. The room was emptied of furniture and the carpet taken up. Plaster was removed from around the wooden surround, then out came the fireplace; in went the stove; back went the surround; the wall was replastered and all was made good again. . . . We prepared to light the fire. . . . . . but, wouldn't you just know it, there was a problem with the chimney and so the fireplace had to be taken out once more and this time part of the brick wall was removed. I can't begin to describe the mess and chaos. The whole procedure that was to have taken two days eventually took two weeks. When the stove fitters left we found plaster and brick dust in every corner of the house. And so we've spent the last few weeks cleaning and in some cases redecorating and have finally completed three rooms. . . . The good news is that the woodburning stove works beautifully and is keeping us toasty warm.
You won't be surprised to know that I've not had time to knit during the autumn. For several weeks the dollies remained in the playroom with the door firmly shut (dollies and brick dust don't make good companions).
This week we have been preparing for Christmas. I still have much catching up to do but thought I'd accompany my Christmas greeting by showing you this book by Brian Wildsmith. I know many of you love his illustrations and so I think you'll enjoy his version of the Christmas story.
The book 'A Christmas Story' was first published in the late 1980s and is widely available from used book suppliers.
The story begins with the birth of a baby donkey in a stable in the town of Nazareth.
One day a man and lady (named Joseph and Mary) took the mother donkey from the stable and set out on a long journey.
The baby donkey felt very sad all alone without his mother by his side.
Rebecca, who lived nearby, agreed to care for the baby donkey. But the little donkey was so sad that in the end Rebecca suggested that the two of them should set out in search of the donkey's mother.
The roads were full of people travelling to various towns and villages. Many of them had seen Mary and Joseph and were able to guide the two friends on their way.
Suddenly glorious music filled the sky and an angel appeared.
Shepherds in a nearby field pointed towards a brilliant star shining over the town of Bethlehem.
Rebecca and the little donkey followed the star and were guided to a stable.
On entering the stable they found a new-born baby lying in a manger. Richly dressed kings had brought splendid gifts for the child. They stood alongside poor shepherds and all were giving thanks for the arrival of this very special baby.
The little donkey and his mother were happily reunited and they remained with Mary and Joseph and carried them and their precious baby into Egypt.
Meanwhile, Rebecca rode back home on a splendid camel owned by one of the kings.