It's a mite cold down south this Summer but the light is good. The days are long enough for holiday luxuries - waking slowly from sleep to read, eating late or early or not at all or making a meal from fruit cake and coffee and calling it lunch. No-one has to be anywhere except where they are right now and now can be lingered over.
In the lovely lump of days between Christmas and the new year coming in we've established a routine of nothing much and it goes like this - someone - not me - when they wake to make tea and toast and bring it to bed. I'll be just conscious enough to decide on a jam. We have to three on the go: an apricot from a backyard tree old enough to be my mother, a sour cherry from local morellos and a mulberry and blackberry with that mix of floral and smoke scents that bring to mind a north wind and the whiff of a eucalypt fire. We have 14 jars of apricot on the shelf - some of them will go to good homes the rest are calling for toast and scones to be made and made often. We have three of the cherry and the same of the blackberry jam which elevates each jar to a rare and endangered status. If we are to have one of those on toast the bread better be up to the job.
After breakfast in bed it's a book and or a chat or the radio, or nothing at all and a good look and the ceiling. When we are upright enough for wandering we might watch a ship slide along outside the window or a cluster of boats tack into the wind straight out from the lighthouse and back. If the cricket is on, the telly's on too with the sound switched down and the commentary coming from the radio instead. You can still hear the knock of the ball on the bat if that's your thing.
Soon it might be time for a walk. Or not. If we strike out along the beach we are bound to find sea glass and shells and sand to bring home and the dogs will paddle or swim and bark at each other and birds.
Next lunch and a game. Maybe some friends will call in and we'll eat salad alongside a savoury tart followed up by stewed fruit or left over Christmas cake. Scrabble, Lotus or a Trivial Pursuit-like game called Parliament can be started in earnest, abandoned for something else and come back to later.
There has been a jigsaw puzzle on the table for a week and no-one has needed the space for anything more important. Like a video run on a data poor phone its assembling itself in clumps of colour. Mark sits to it for a moment or two or an hour each day depending - I wouldn't dare drop a piece into place even if I found the piece and knew the place, unlikey as that might be.