There was no sign of the predicted storm today. Whether it's passed us by or just hasn't arrived yet I don't know but the morning was bright and sunny reverting back to grey with some rain in the afternoon. The dry morning gave me the chance to go and sort out an outside down pipe that had got blocked with leaves and was full of stinky water. Once I'd cleared the leaves and made sure it was draining properly I put some wire netting into the top (which is open to the elements) to stop leaves from going down the pipe. I also tried to clear the fine gravel in the drain that takes surface water from the patio. That drain isn't blocked but I can see the water isn't draining right away. Even with one and a half sets of drain rods (the other half is permanently jammed together and lives in the land drain under the back lawn) I didn't manage to clear out the gravel and my attempts to work from the stream end were thwarted by a bend in the pipe.
With the outside jobs done and rain falling I spent the afternoon icing the Christmas cake, including marzipan, and finishing off the chocolate cake with some blue peppermint fondant balls. Vytas likes Christmas cake so the bulk of it will go home with him and Sally.
Then it was time for some minimalist decorating around the house. It's amazing what a difference a bit of tinsel and some baubles make.
I cut a few bits of ivy and holly (I've just remembered the holly is still outside the back door) from the garden to decorate the sitting room.
I can't even pretend the leylandii branches look like a tree so here is my Christmas bush adorned with lights, butterflies and a few glass baubles & drops.