It is happening again. I hoped that last Christmas was a
‘one off’. If we could get through that, then this year would be fine. We did
not send cards then but gave to charity instead. We did not have visitors but
made a special Christmas bubble to see my eldest sister. We drove on Christmas
day stopping only to have cheese sandwiches for our Christmas lunch.
This year it was all going to be different. But we had not reckoned
with the Omicron variant curtailing our festivities. However, we thought that
at least we should write cards. This time I thought we would send to people who
sent to us. Simple, when a card arrives, we write one and send a greeting back.
But what about my aunt who is sick, my niece who is in hospital, my friend whose
card always arrives after Christmas? And then there is my godson who has had a rough
time this year. My plan is in disarray.
To cheer ourselves up in our limited festivities (again) we
have decided to revive our photographic competitions. One of us decides on a
title, such as ‘Clouds’, ‘Trees’ or ‘Sunsets’. Then for that week we take
photos on our phone when we see a good competition entry. There are only the
two of us in the competition, but we take it as seriously as if the entries
This week the title of the contest is ‘Red’. That should be
easy at this time of year. There is the post box down the lane, the father
Christmas in the house over the road and the berries on the holly bush in our
garden. But we need to be original. I am looking for something that Mr T will
not think of. My best one so far is a robin red breast clinging to the side of
a vertical shoot.
You would think that there are not many birds with red on, other
than the robin (which is, in fact, orange), but if you have a bird table you
may see the spotted woodpecker with its red rump. Or you might see the red on
the goldfinch either side of its beak. There are of course the Scandinavian redwings
which have flown in overnight grubbing on our field for insect larvae. But their
wings are only red underneath and very difficult to show on a photograph.
We do the judging together and usually agree on the best, sometimes it is a draw. Sometimes we take it in turns to win. I wonder if my robin could win, it will make a good Christmas card for next year.
Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star