aderam: (Humbug)
Today is the longest night of the year!

I've got my Solstice candle lit and it will keep the light going through 'til dawn. I'm still working out a lot of things about my pagan practice (and probably will be for the rest of my life) but lighting a candle on Solstice is something that my Mum started doing when I was a kid, and it's a tradition I like to maintain. It makes me think of Egyptian mythology: the Sun god Ra going through the underworld every night and fighting against the serpent Apophis ("Dead false god," says Teal'c), and the priests who would pray all night to help him in his journey. Tonight is the longest night of the year. Ra can use every little bit of help.

(*Sidenote: my spellcheck thinks that "Apophis" should be "Sophism". What are you trying to say, computer?)

Today the sun set at 4:17 (I checked the exact time). And it was fairly clear today so it was actually still pretty light out when I was out getting groceries at 3:30. The other day it was so overcast that it seemed like it was getting dark around 2:30 - so this was a good day.

I made sure to get my candle lit as the sun went down. It was still fairly light outside even though it was not in my apartment.

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Then I started making myself a Solstice Feast! Someday I think I'll have people over for a Solstice celebration. But for now it's good to work things out on my own. For dinner I got myself a small lamb roast and made carrot soufflé and Yorkshire puddings to go with it. Very successful:

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It was my first time making Yorkshire puddings, but I had my Dad's recipe and it turns out they're dead simple. I replaced the sesame oil with olive oil because I didn't have any of the former and they tasted great to me anyway. I should definitely make them again. I've made the carrot soufflé before, although I think this is the first time I've done it with an electric mixer. In theory it should have been fairly simple too, but I cut the recipe in half (since there is only one of me) and I don't think that turned out as well as it could have. Still tasty, but not as good as it's been in the past.

Things I forgot: mint sauce and gravy.

Overall it was a great success despite my tiny kitchen.

Also - Raspberry porter (Made by the Tree brewing company) is just as good as it sounds.

I was going to make some apples (fried with brown sugar and brandy) for dessert, but after six Yorkshire puddings and almost half of a lamb roast and a carrot soufflé I'm rather stuffed in the best possible way. So I'm having mini candy canes for dessert instead. :)

And I got myself a tiny Christmas tree!

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Happy Solstice everyone!

Christmas

Dec. 13th, 2012 04:18 pm
aderam: (Humbug)
We had our work Christmas party last night (When you work in a theatre this means that we ordered pizza, drank beer - those of us who are of age - and watched Elf on the big screen). And I've actually managed to send off the packages to all three of my parents (one is confirmed to have arrived). And I'm almost done gathering things for my brother and his wife - who are celebrating late because he's at sea. So I'm actually doing pretty well in terms of organization.

But it still seems like it's coming out of nowhere really. How the hell is it Christmas already?

I guess part of that is that I didn't have any exams or papers to finish up for the first time in who knows how long. And part of that is certainly that it's still not that cold in Vancouver (although some of the locals disagree).

And part of that is that I'm just not that into it. I'm not visiting anyone over the holidays. My roommate is off to visit with her parents. And I have some friends who are staying in town. They're probably planning something for Christmas Dinner with those of us who are around, and I'll happily join in if I'm not working - but I probably am working.

I did, on the other hand, book off the 21st. So I can celebrate Solstice in my own way. I have to get myself a candle and I think I'm going to make myself a feast. But I'm not yet clear on the details.

I know I'm supposed to be sad that I'm not going "home" to visit with family and having the stereotypical happy Christmas with all the family traditions. But I'm actually kinda looking forward to figuring out my own traditions and getting some alone time. Plus, I'm going to be working a lot - the Hobbit is going to be super busy! - so yeah.

It's coming faster than I was thinking. And I'm not going anywhere. And that's fine by me.

I hope you all have a Happy Holidays! However you chose to celebrate them (or not).
aderam: (Serenity)
This is the long night.
This is the dark night.
This is the cold night.
This is the night of last hope.
This is the night of the little spark.
This is the night of turning from darkness.
This is the night of turning toward light.
This is the night of wonder.
The long night is here:
come to us, you spirits;
together let us fill the long night with light,
calling all beings to warm themselves at our fire.


Or if you'd rather:

We are grey. We stand between the Darkness and the Light.
I am grey. I stand between the candle and the star.


I had a few things that needed doing today so I didn't get home to light the candle until about 5pm, which is about an hour after sunset. But I figure the gods will forgive me that. I was thinking fire-y thoughts on the bus as I was coming back. So there's always that.

I likewise didn't have time to go grocery shopping and cook myself something nice. Instead I stopped in at McDonald's, which seemed appropriate because of all the preservatives. ;)

I also handed back my marking to my prof today. He thanked me, and let me know that he was going to praise me to high heaven on the report he had to give the department. Also he said that he was going to take me out for lunch sometime in the new year as a thank you. Which is pretty awesome, I'd say.

It got me thinking about cycles of life though. Today is the day that term ends for me. It's also the longest night of the year - everything will be lighter from here on out. And it's the full moon. Beginnings and Endings. It'll come back around.

So Happy Solstice! And have a great break if you're one of us lucky people who gets one. Think good thoughts for my brother, he went off to sea again yesterday.

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