Eek guys look what I found yesterday on Amazon. Yes, while most of us idiots are still struggling with the intricacies of the bulb order, Raven is off and running, Ironwoman triathlete-stylie, towards the long-term goal that is a Happy Christmas.
I have to admit that Christmas cookery is practically my favourite subject for a book in the entire world, so she's onto a winner with me. But how do we feel about this turning up on Amazon on twelfth day of August? Okay, it's just pre-orders. But in my family, it's totally verboten to talk about Christmas until at least September the 1st, so Sarah R really is taking a risk there. (Although probably mostly with my aunty Jude, who has yet to tackle the subject of family christmasses in her oeuvre, that I am aware.)
It's really hard this time of year not to think about autumn and winter. It's pathetic, because in some sort of Zen way I should just be enjoying the moment. It's boiling hot sunny outside and the garden looks amazing because there's been so much rain - I can see twelve five-foot canna stems from where I sit typing. Yet there is winter, lurking at the back of it all. "After summer evermore succeeds / Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold", Gloucester says in Henry VI.
Given winter's obvious disadvantages, it's quite nice to be able to get excited about the Christmas book: I am really looking forward to getting my hands on it and seeing what's in it. But I'm also anticipating that slightly sinking feeling when I realise that Christmas à la Raven would be 300 times better than anything I can achieve. Hand-grown table centre arrangements, paperwhite narcissi everywhere, jam made of her own strawberries, ugh, I'm starting to feel nauseous already. I both want to be her, and don't want to be her. Help! How can I stop wanting to be Sarah Raven, and just be happy being me?
PS. One bit of consolation. Okay, I may not even have a husband, but SR's gave her a potato peeler for Christmas. Thank heaven for tiny mercies.