First weekend after the New Year

Is there any more melancholy time of year than the few days after Christmas when all the noise and bright lights have come to an end and children are moving away.

There has been talk about our taking the tree down early but I have resisted the temptation. Outside the weather is so resolutely wet that any excuse not to go outside is desirable, and the tree, three weeks on, is still a magnificent beast.

Sometimes a tree will take on a forlorn air about itself now. Not this one. It is still almost grazing the ceiling and it seems a shame to take it outside to be converted into firewood. So it will stay put for another few days.

By way of a goodbye we went into Liverpool late yesterday afternoon. Walking through the crowds it seemed that notwithstanding the excess of Chistmas there is still plenty of money to be spent.

Not wanting to miss out I slipped into Probe and picked a re-release of an old Lee Hazelwood album and a compilation of film music written by a Russian composer called Mikael Tariverdiev. The film music is particularly fine and seems to be fitting well into the post Christmas whistfulness. It is mostly from the 1960s- 1970s. The pieces are short with lots of accordions, mid -European waltzes and ballads sung in strange voices. A bit like an out of kilter Tom Waits. Every home should have a copy.

We then moved onto Oxfam where I was pleased to be able to pick up a fine copy of Roald Dahl’s Cookbook published in 1991.

With this in hand we made our way to Roya de Pinchos and spent an hour or so gorging ourselves some more on the balls of cream cheese, slices of good bread with cheese, quince paste and chorizo and pieces of toasted bread with pork loin, prawns oand pieces of flash fried steak. The major disappointment was the lack of quail egg to go with toasted mushrooms.

Late Sunday afternoon now and it has been wet all day. It is darkening outside and the house is quieter now apart from the sound of Russian film soundtracks.


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