It's been a busy time, so very little opportunity for blogging. It wasn't until I looked at the date today and realised that it is about a month until Christmas that I remembered this from my childhood.
Christmas was always an exciting time, but wasn't heralded by street lights or shop displays that appeared months before the actual time. Our Christmas Tree didn't make an appearance until about a week before the actual day, and presents were always a surprise, with no promptings on TV to persuade children that the latest toy was a definite 'must have'. Christmas cakes and puddings were always made in advance, but out of sight once they were cooked.
So what is the significance of the date? We lived in Surrey, within close proximity to London where my father worked for the BBC. My grandparents lived a couple of hundred miles away, one set in the north-east of England and the other in the depths of the Welsh countryside. Each year they would travel by train to spend the holiday with us in the slightly milder south of England. The holiday would begin at the end of November and go on until March or even April. Their imminent arrival was always heralded by a delivery of their luggage sent in advance. It would arrive from the local railway station, brought by something that I have today discovered was a Scammell three wheeled lorry. You can see a picture of a vehicle here.
In retrospect it must have been very difficult for my mother. My father's father had very bad rheumatoid arthritis, and my maternal grandfather suffered from chronic bronchitis. This long holiday was a way of giving both grandmothers a break from their caring roles. As children this passed way over our heads. We just remember it as a very happy family time - for the whole 3 or 4 months.