First of all I feel I should come clean and say that I’m a bit of a ‘bah humbug’ person when it comes to Xmas. I think it’s probably the result of having no children and no close family. Don’t get me wrong, I used to love it, but as I’ve got older it has become less and less significant or meaningful.

I think that’s part of the problem, Xmas has lost it’s real meaning and become over-commercialised to the point where I think it’s getting dangerous. Pressure on parents to live up to the material expectations of their off-spring must be enormous.

Last year at this time we were snowed in but this year we haven’t even seen a snowflake. My Xmas shopping, such as it is, has been completed and all my cards posted, so I can now turn my attention to other things.

The conservatory, which was a no-go area for about 2 weeks last year, is once more sheltering my tender plants from the cold. The few geraniums that survived last winter’s onslaught, though greatly reduced  in numbers, (only 8 made it in the end) are looking quite happy.

The 48 ‘Lucifer’ seeds I sowed on 26.09.11 are beginning to germinate, only 12 so far, but it’s a start. My fuchsias are still flowering, so they are OK too.

The Rudbeckia seeds I sowed on 4.08.11, as a kind of experiment, have germinated and grown into about a dozen small plants. They too are in the conservatory, and I cover them each evening with plastic cloches (mustard and cress tubs for the supermarket) for a little added protection. I’m hoping this early sowing and mollycoddling will give them a head start when I plant them out in Spring.

Speaking of Spring, it can’t come soon enough for me. Bah humbug!