Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo spent some time this afternoon putting together the first of the Port Swiller Manor Advent wreaths.  I’ve used the same donut frame of brass ribs for years now.  Fill it with fresh-cut fir and holly from the grounds and one can produce quite a nice effect, especially if the hollies are having a good berry years (which ours, for whatever reason, are not) and if you can find some fir branches with nuts on them.  Add candles sitting atop a little mirror and hey, presto!

I say the first of the wreaths, because it’s my experience that they last about two weeks before drying out too much.

This year as I stood at the kitchen table cutting and planting, I repeatedly had to shoo away the young kittehs, who took a very lively interest in these strange, new green things.  It occurred to me that this will also be their first encounter with a Christmas tree.  Given their propensity to get into everything, I must say that I’ve got a baaaaad feeling about this.  Indeed, I’m reminded of an old Top Ten list that Letterman did (back when he was nominally funny) of modern Disney movie remakes.  One of them, which always makes me chuckle, was entitled “That Effin’ Cat”.

Speaking of such things, regular friends of the decanter may wonder how the relationship is going between the two kittehs (who must be about four or five months old now) and the middle-aged incumbent?  Well, the elder still hates the younger two.  Early on, we had to spend an awful lot of time and energy keeping them apart.  However, now that the younglings have got big enough to defend themselves and clever enough to avoid the matron most of the time, we’re more disposed to let them sort things out for themselves.