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I was feeling very sad and cranky earlier, but now I feel better, because I put up the Christmas tree and then went to post a parcel at the post office. The tree is gorgeous, although it wasn't quite as fun as putting up the tree is at home, because (a) my sisters and I usually do it together and (b) we have lots of beautiful glass and tin pre-war decorations which used to belong to my great-aunts, who gave them to us when my sisters and I were small. And my parents have since purchased lots of very nice wooden ones, so our tree is very jolly and old fashioned. The decorations here, as chosen by P's sister, are a bit more slick, but it still looks very pretty. So I feel rather Christmassy, and soon I will read John Masefield's The Box of Delights which I have done every single Christmas since I was ten, and feel more Christmassy still. Anyone in Dublin know of a good carol service that isn't on this Sunday? When is Christchurch's one? I need carols!

And my walk to the post office was nice because it was through the park. Our local park used to be the grounds of the local "big House", an 18th century one, so it's all landscaped in an 18th century style - lots of rolling hills and ancient carefully planted trees. It's an absolute joy to walk in, and I try and go for a stroll there every day, although I don't like going through it when there's no one else around, because it can be a bit unnerving. But normally, there are a few other walkers, and so it was today.

It's the simple things, really. Apparently all I need to cheer myself up a bit are fake trees and real ones...

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