Monday, 24 December 2007
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Joy! This is the look on Archie's face every night when we turn on the boy's tree lights. It's everything Christmas is about.
I found this angel in a garden centre a few years ago and it was the last one left. It was only a few pounds and is probably my favourite decoration.
Isn't this glass heart pretty. My lovely friend Lucy gave it to me and I love the way the sun shines through it.
My infamous cards - can you spot the blank ones?! Not too many - honest
Found the perfect thing to display my collection of vintage Christmas postcards but annoyingly I can't actually hang it on a door (it's propped up on the floor here) because our doors turn out to have weird laminate on them and I can't even knock a nail in! A corner of Christmas in the bedroom. My new bedside table and somewhere finally to put my pretty bits and pieces.
Enjoy the shortest day, hope it leaves everyone enough time!
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Downhill to the Big Day
Much to do tomorrow, I've written at least five lists and have a plan of attack for the market and town that Montgomery would be proud of. I'm going to have to have a bit of a showdown with Woolworths though because they're very close to letting Father Christmas down and we can't be having that. Christmas Lesson No 1 - early December is not early enough for massive companies to live up to all their online promises. Next year I'm shopping online before the schools go back. Fingers crossed, we'll see what tomorrow brings. On the home front nearly all the decorations are up thanks to my littlest man having some huge naps, perfect timing. I still haven't wrapped a thing though but Grandma is stepping into the breach on Friday so I'll be camped out in the sitting room with a pile of presents, pretty papers, festive tunes and plenty of chocolate to keep me going, I'm even looking forward to it. I've really enjoyed reading random thoughts about Christmas on Driftwood's blog and its inspired me too have bit more of a think and indulge in what I like best about it all.
And with fingers crossed we don't crash in a big heap at the bottom! Cripes, where is all the time going? I've finished work though - yippee - I'm feeling festive and have already eaten my own weight in chocolates! Had lots of fun catching up with friends over the last few days, its been so nice to swap news and shopping traumas.
- Fruits and foliage - I don't buy flowers in November and December. They feel so much like spring and I try to hold it back because the pre-Christmas anticipation zips by so quickly. Admittedly I go a bit bonkers in the New Year for daffs and buy a bunch of flowers a week until October. In midwinter though I love ilix, laurel, fir, holly, mistletoe, snow berries, fir cones and for Christmas we add bowls of satsumas, whole nuts, brightly wrapped sweets and cranberries.
- The wrist tape dispenser is a thing of beauty - and unbelievabely the one I bought last year has turned up, didn't vanish in the move and I've even remembered to buy a refill! No more snipping tape, tearing my hair out when I can't find the end of it, trying to unpeel it from the cat - aaggh! Someone is smiling on me.
- I do love Christmas cards - and I put up favourite ones we've been given in the past back up every year. I've got packets and packets and even hang up blank ones because the pictures are so lovely. Blimey, tragic or what, we do get some proper ones honestly!
- My dad's annual festive joke has passed on to my little family, "So kids, Christmas morning breakfast, what's it to be? Cereal or chocolates? Shall I get the milk?" - We eat lunch early to give the boys chance to play in the afternoon or go for a walk so we never have a big breakfast and treat of the year is choosing a curly-wurly if you really fancy it.
Hope everyone has a lovely, busy, but not too hectic week.
Friday, 14 December 2007
Keep Calm & Carry On
In the change from cold to mild, easterly to southwesterly, high pressure to lower pressure, there is a possibility of snow, briefly. It may well be a short lived event as the trend is for little precipitation of any sort.
If there is snow, it's likely to be on Christmas Eve.
I'm not sure I can contain the excitement. Even the TV weather woman said she might have a fiver on a White Christmas this year. Oh my word!
The frost on our road hasn't melted for three days and the drive to work has been magical. Ice-rimed trees, ghostly looking branches and misty hollows mixed with blinking fairy lights in the distance looks so gorgeous.
Monday, 10 December 2007
*** office meal out tomorrow evening
*** Woody's 40th, friend for coffee and dinner out for the birthday boy Wednesday
*** Last day at work and tons of stuff to finish off on Friday
*** Farmer's market with Lucy and collect toy chest from cousin's on Saturday
Decorations to finish, baking to do, school Christmas service, food shopping to get in, carols in a cave (brilliant believe me!) ... and I love it all!
I went on the school trip on Friday with B and although it was a very long way away for 3, 4 and 5 year olds on a coach, we did enjoy it and it was all very festive. It was basically a woodland walk with nursery tale tableaux and a winter village complete with elf workshop, Father Christmas and even snow! I'd been a bit dubious but it wasn't too commercial, once you'd paid all the rides were free and it was just right for the children's age group. I remember going to the grotto in the big department store when I was little and being absolutely mesmerised. Looking at it all through the little one's eyes I saw a glimpse of how Christmas used to feel a long time. Magic!
Early start tomorrow as I'm collecting my friend Lucy ahead of our office do and the forecast is for a thick frost and a sparkling morning. Christmas is definitely coming!
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
Delights of December
Traditions - "we always...", everyone has them don' t they and I'm enjoying so much having the chance to pass some onto our little family and create some of our own. The best bit for me is cosying up with the family and sharing happy times but there are also the little, ordinary things that make Christmas extra special and some of my favourites are:
*** having fresh sheets and pyjamas on Christmas Eve
*** making jam tarts
*** fetching the turkey from the wonderful butcher in a gorgeous estate village and calling in at the cafe for a nice, warm drink
*** the carol service (my sisters and I did a lot of singing at school and college and Christmas was a round of concerts and services that were such fun and the perfect build up to the big day. The festive season is a lot about singing for me!)
*** peeling and chopping the veg to Carols From King's
*** pouring over the Christmas Radio Times, even though Woody is a TV reviewer and knows weeks ahead what'll be on. He's very good though and just tells me a few snippets
*** watching The Snowman
*** a walk around the lanes and appreciating the peace and quiet
*** having to have chocolate oranges, Elizabeth Shaw mints and a box of Roses in
*** a large Bailey's on Christmas Eve (hopefully in the bath when everything is finished!)
Bookshop catalogues - so many books I'll never read but browsing with a cup of hot coffee is a proper treat.
Farmer's Market Scrum - the veg shop a few days before Christmas is always a bit mad but the stall holders at our local one are really friendly and full of festive cheer - (goodness, my Christmas sounds like something out of Dickens!)
Not long to go now, and I've already got the chocolates in. Wonder if I can last?
Sunday, 2 December 2007
The advent of Advent
Thursday, 29 November 2007
Fewer words, more pictures
I'm really enjoying my new cushions although plainly I'm the only one as they end up on the floor as soon as we sit down - life as the only female in the house I suppose. Bless Barney though, he came in from school and said, "Wow mummy, the new dresser looks very fine." Not quite sure where he picked up the Victorian compliment from but it was so sweet.
House Beautiful has been my favourite this year (I don't buy it usually though so lucky me), this picture makes me feel very festive. I love the paper on the top two presents and bought some really similar a few years ago but I've got no idea where it comes from - similar at Ikea apparently but our nearest is Birmingham! Can't go to Ikea just for wrapping paper can you - it'd be madness! Would it?
Friday, 23 November 2007
Treats - because its Friday!
I'm having a bit of a cushion week this week and have made some for new ones for the dining room chairs from these beautiful Greengate tea towels, an idea I admit I blatantly poached from Jane's wonderful Posy blog. Do go and have a look at her archives with some amazing winter and summer cushions that make you want to immediately curl up with them. Mine aren't too bad even though my handstitching leaves a lot to be desired. I haven't got a sewing machine so I limit myself to making mostly square and rectangular things so cushions are a perfect project for me. Stitching the braid on was a great, therapeutic treat over the past couple of evenings, work's been a bit trying and the long dark drive home is hard work but soooooo very worth it.
This isn't my picture but is one of the views I'm treated to on my way over the Staffs/Derbys border at Hartington and is from the fabulous Lower Hurst Farm who sell amazing organic beef and I noticed this morning are having a Christmas fair in December...hmmmm, definitely another date for the diary!
We're supposed to be having broadband installed today (thanks for all the crossed fingers!) so I'm going to finish sorting the dining room this weekend and post some pictures next week. Everything seems to be getting messier throughout the new place rather than on the way to becoming straighter, so I'm determined to enforce a bit of order on the boxes/piles/empty bookcases etc. etc. I've decided to finally tackle painting my dresser because the varnished pine doesn't do my vintagey bits and bobs any justice. This is my latest find which I'm sure you'll agree would clash wildly with orange pine so it's going ivory - and I just can't wait to sip my coffee from this lovely cappuccino cup.
And obviously I'm must have a Christmas book to immerse myself even further in the season so today I bought this ...
which sounds just lovely, an anthology of Christmas tales which from the Amazon description reads...
Taken from the original omnibus CHRISTMAS AT FAIRACRE, Miss Read's wonderfully festive collection of Christmas stories is packed with entertaining characters and enchanting stories. From the rural festivities in Village Christmas and Jingle Bells to the pre-war story Christmas At Caxley 1913, the intriguing The Fairacre Ghost and the poignant tale of The White Robin, Miss Read's wry wit and light touch is the perfect antidote to the long winter evenings.
Monday, 19 November 2007
Mum and dad bought me this most fantastic hat that I've been day-dreaming about for ages.