Time magazine's persons Of The Year for 2017 are "The Silence Breakers"- the women who have been speaking up about sexual harassment. They beat Trump into second place- which is as it should be- and after all he won last year. His smashing of conventions and disregard for diplomacy- I think of an Great War tank busting through barbed wire entanglements and bumping in and out of shell holes- is changing the way politics is done but nothing this year has caused such a paradigm shift as the Me Too movement.
Sexual bullying won't immediately become a thing of the past but those who indulge in it have gone from being good old boys to criminals- with all excuses stripped away and no hiding place secure- and the balance of power between the sexes has changed- probably for good- or at least for as long as this present civilisation continues.
We have two Christmas trees- both artificial- a little one and a big one. I went for minimalism when I dressed the big tree and left off all the decorations apart from the wooden ones I bought years ago in a newsagents in Oldham and the LED lights. Ailz and my mother have limited tolerance for the lights- which flash blue and white- but I love them. The small tree sits on a chest of drawers and has lights that don't flash and no-one complains if I leave them on all day.
I think we've bought all our Christmas presents now. I think we have...
Christmas cards, we'll send a few but then again too few to mention. My mother still sends cards- or has them sent on her behalf. I suspect some of them will land at addresses the recipient has vacated for ever. Is Hilary my mother's wartime compadre and my dear, spirited godmother still alive? How does one find out short of booking a séance?
Ailz ordered a box of exotic meats for her seasonal feasting. There's kangaroo burgers and crocodile burgers. I'm not sure what I'll be eating- but it won't be any of those. So long as there are chips I don't really care.
The traditional Christmas dinner? Not that big a fan. I had a nut roast last year in place of turkey. I've always thought turkey was over-rated even when I was a meat eater. All the flavour comes from the trimmings.
Sugar is addictive. The more you eat the more you want. These days I avoid it as much as I can because it's evil. I still like Christmas pudding but the ones we've bought this year have no sugar added. I broke one out to see what it was like and it was fine. It's been a long time since I wanted to eat Christmas cake. Once you start to lay off the sweet stuff your tolerance for sugar decreases and things you once craved turn nasty. I quite like the idea of mince pies- but I know most of the ones I'll be offered will set my teeth on edge. Perhaps I'll try making my own with unsweetened pastry and sugar-free mincemeat. Or perhaps I'll make little cheese and onion pies instead because that's what I'd prefer.
There was frost overnight and the temperature this morning is only just above freezing. It's a bright, sunny day. Other parts of the country have had snow. I went to see if the horses needed the ice in their water butt breaking up but they'd done it themselves.