It's been a fairly busy tumbly old time this past week or so. What with cats needing emergency vet visits (Bertie is back home and perking up no end now thankfully after fighting off a massive infection), big presentations at work, birthdays and trips of a lifetime to prepare for, things have all been a bit chaotic.
Which is why a trip out today with a really lovely friend was just what I needed. We woke this morning to heavy mist that thickened to fog and a chill in the air that deepened through the day. A belated brithday outing, (I had a lovely day last week and was properly spoilt with homemade cards, lovely flowers, another trip to Ludlow and a new frock!) this was a special trip over the hills to Chatsworth House to peruse the sparkly, seasonal gifts and decorations that's been on our to do list since the summer and it didn't disappoint.
We were both very restrained though and despite much oohing and ahhing at gorgeous things we came home with a couple of small trinkets and family presents; I think we enjoyed the beautiful journey and a chance to chat more than anything. Feeling very festive now, definitely the thing to put us in the mood - although to be fair, my friend P and I are always ready for Christmas, even in June!
Preparations wise we're not doing too badly this year and might even be a little bit ahead of the game (gone and jinxed things good and proper now haven't I!) I've been hoovering up festive magazines and squirrelling away treasures and bargains for weeks and we're not far off for once.
It's a good thing really as next week I've got the chance to wrap and indulge myself in festive things as Woody and B will be away. Far away. Almost on another continent. They were really lucky to be picked for a school exchange as part of a British Council initiative to link up 3 schools across Europe.
On Monday they fly (with 2 other children, plus a parent, and 2 teachers), to a town close to the Turkish capital Ankara for a 5 day stay. Amazingly all the costs are paid for so the children get the opportunity to share and learn and visit amazing places they'd never have the chance to otherwise.
I can't believe he's going. The idea that he'll be the other side of Europe without me is bizarre and unnerving. Of course he'll be with his amazing daddy and great teachers but our little family has never been apart before so its going to feel so very strange. He's only 8! News of earthquakes and terror arrests over there don't make me feel any easier either. I know its all going to be fine and we're giving him a truly brilliant experience, life is all about risk and adventure I suppose, but next Friday night really can't come soon enough..
So Little Arch and I will be at home alone and we've made lots of plans. Tea at a Chinese restaurant with Grandma and Grandad, a visit to the library for festive books, a trip to the Christmas lights switch on and market in a neighbouring village and lots and of lots of reading, drawing and game playing by the fire. Notice anyone trying to distract themselves...?
Always enjoy your blog. My 16 yr old daughter went away with the school for a History trip to America for 10 days and it was such a life-enhancing visit. Although your lad is young I am sure it will change his perception of the world and those who live in it - for the better. Enjoy your special week with your other son, and those quiet times curled up with a mug of tea and festive magazines.
What a lovely day out! Jealous once again of your magazines! We won't have the Christmas Country Living (British edition) available over here for at least another month.......oh well. Thanks for the beautiful pictures!
Glad you had a lovely birthday. Never been to Chatsworth to see the Christmas goodies, think that is something that needs remedying!
The Country Living magazine is excellent again this year.
All your family will soon be back together again and what wonderful tales they will have to tell you.
hope the travellers have a wonderful time x and love all your Christmas inspirations x
I still choke up sending my daughter to kindergarten. You will get through it. We have never been away from my husband either and my daughter has never been away from me other than at school. I know how you must be feeling. Hang in there.
You're a good mummy dear Steph. Hope the week flies by and is slow too for you both to enjoy your time together.
Sorry I missed your birthday, belated wishes.
Sounds very exciting. I love the Turkish people and culture. It really is like they say in the adverts, where the East meets the West.
It's no good saying...don't worry..because that what Mum's do,but at least you'll have lots to occupy you while your two special 'boys' are away.Chatsworth looks amazing,these great houses are so lovely at Xmas aren't they?
Ah, Steff! There's nothing so fun as your blog at the holidays and, well, there it is!=]
Dear Steph : Great news ! I think the trip of your son is so good, but I understand your mum's worries. Meanwhile, you've prepared a lot of fun "distractions" over there!
Ps: love the magazines!
Ooh I love Chatsworth - its looks beautiful at Christmas time. I too have been feeling Christmassy since the beginning of November - I just love it! I'm sure B and Woody will have a fantastic time - it's much harder being the one left behind I think. I loved Turkey and the people are very welcoming and friendly.
I have all those mags, i am an addict, but when it comes to x'mas, even more so!
argh i am kicking myself. Last year i made a mental note to go to chatsworth house christmas market and i've forgot!!! must go next year xx
Eek! Christmas! Please don't tell me it's soon ;D
Seriously, how lovely that you are almost ready. And I'm sure, with all the pre-Christmas activities you have planned, that those days when you men are away will just fly by.
Ahhh - you remind me of myself this time last year - on Operation Organise. I am bereft if that feeling this time round as we are having a couples christmas. I need to get myself something to organise!!
I can imagine how you are feeling, my daughter went to USA with her aunt and uncle when she was just seven for the whole of the summer holiday. I was bereft. But she came back eventually and still talks about the experience 31 years later.
You'll be fine as soon as the Christmas songs start on the radio.
I love your posting full of christmas anticipation!! And your little boy only 8 on a school exchange amazing and I am sure he will so enjoy it with his Daddy.
Have a lovely time with the Arch.
I wish I could feel the same Steph. For some darn reason this year I just can't seem to get myself organised. Too much 'other' stuff going on me thinks.
Such a shame about the allotment, but I completely understand. It's hard slog with all the amenities, but no shed and no water 'phew' that sounds like a lot of hard work.
take care and send some Christmas vibes over this way please.
Happy birthday!! What a lovely outing you had. The castle already looks so festive.
Wow what an experience for your son, I hope he enjoys it. I too am organised this year, but I have a habit of relaxing half way through and then have to rush around just before Christmas. Girly days out you cant beat them. Im looking forward to a trip to York with two friends, role on Tuesday
hello lovely steph, i so enjoy your posts- Chatsworth house looks so beautiful- love all the jolly festive sparkles on those pictures. When the 'Country Living' Christmas addition hits the shelves the starts of the festivities have begun for me...All the swiss style christmas huts have gone up in my city and a big ice rink - everyone looked all full of joy in the city today. Your lovely photographs picture the warming glow i love.
I hope you little boy has the most amazing, exciting and fun trip with his daddy ;0)x And your making the most of your little'n ;0)x
Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog- i so admire your blog its always been such a wonderful, inspirational place to visit.
x Kazzy x
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