Sunday, 30 December 2012

Life begins at 40!


Life begins at............


Sure footed.........


Carefree (well sometimes).............

Full of fun and surprises...........

Naughty 40!!!!!!! ;-)))

Bring on the decade, I'm ready to embrace it............

 Small boy and the little lady managed to dress in rather unusual clothes for today's lunch and slip by unnoticed.......distractions!

                                                       The last full day of the Birch Moon.

                                                 Small boy gets creative with his photography!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Surround yourselves with love.......

For most of us Christmas is a time when we celebrate; the birth of Christ, time with our family and friends, the end of another year, a break from work or routine. It's a time when we are hopefully all happy and surrounded by love.
Love doesn't have to be related only to those who are near and dear to us. Love can be cooking a meal and searching our recipes and ingredients, preparing our homes, writing letters and Christmas cards to those we haven't spoken to or seen for a while, buying or making a lovely gift for someone, meeting with friends and going for a memorable walk (or walking alone), having time out to do things that you love to do. Going to special events and getting dressed up in clothes that make you feel good.

  This was a lovely shared lunch with a group of home schooled families.

 Hama beads provide much scope to realise your creative potential.

 I love this crochet scarf that I started when the weather turned cold and haven't taken off since!

 Candle making!!! Ummm it's back to the drawing board there I think!

I have a frantic time every year at this time whipping up ginger cookies and wrapping them in cellophane to deliver to friends and neighbours. I don't expect anything in return, but I come away with a real sense of joy when I turn up on someones doorstep with my little bundle and am able to say 'Merry Christmas', such a simple gesture but it means so much.
 A beautiful gift from a special friend and her lovely family.

 Pretty flowers I've been working on......

This year I thought I would make some fudge for my neighbours. I followed the recipe carefully, it seems until the last step, which indicates 'whip vigorously'......unfortunately as a result of overlooking this vital step I now am left with a very large toffee (not good for the waistline). It can be sliced but seems to be so sticky that it joins back into a slap once you have done so. (Not good for wrapping!). I had a plan B which seems to have failed too. I thought I could melt some chocolate and dip little chunks of the toffee into the chocolate then let them harden off, then I might be able to wrap them. But no, this failed too as water drops got into the chocolate and then it also became a large sticky clump. Not winning here....I had transferred the whole lump of toffee to my chopping board and now it seems that it is refusing to come off in once piece so I shall have to leave it there until you (my friends) call by to sample my wares.
Bugger that means I still have more somethings to make, to wrap to give away. I shall have to start all over again!

Anyway where was I before I got caught up in all that sticky toffee talk?......Oh yes, surrounding yourselves with love.
So I went for a little trip around my house and it seems that this is exactly what I have been doing over the past you recognise any of these little lovelies?

 This one has appeared on the bathroom wall! No comment!!

Thanks for looking and Merry Christmas to you all xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

THE girls best friend

Ed note: I wrote this on Friday but it's taken me a while to get it typed up!........

Ooooh I am sooo excited, I can hardly contain myself!
I am seeing my lovely lovely friend twice tomorrow, a VERY special friend whom I have shared journeys with over the past few years. My enthusiasm is always enthralled when we meet for moments of girly chit-chat, but tomorrow we will be meeting to share something special........(   ) hehehe  ;-), and a night dining and dancing with friends. Tomorrow night we shall be exchanging Christmas gifts......
I do not usually become so terribly excited by such things but this occasion is different, this occasion is some what special. As two singletons this year we both felt a longing, a need, to buy something yummy, something special for a significant other. Friends are precious, to be looked after, special. This friend especially!
We set ourselves this challenge back in September. The challenge was to spend no more then £10......
To the average person to buy something decent for a tenor might prove a mammoth task. Hehe it's been rather a lot of fun! I haven't gone out on any specific occasion to buy the said something, but the list of goodies has grown organically, rather like our friendship. As we're both on  a road and journey of 'self discovery' and 'romancing of the ordinary', the whole task was simple yet some what fortifying.

The excitement builds, the climax awaits.......

The goodies didn't have to be new - well with that stipulated I was totally in my element. Oh my, you can buy sooooo much for a tenor, really you can!

I must contain my excitement a little longer.....

So my gathering of gifts began back in September. I picked up several items at a 'posh' car boot sale - (all new) a linen table runner, a beautiful distressed wooden heart, a ceramic light pull in blue and white and a scented room fragrance...I couldn't possibly share the prices of my bargain items, that really would expose too much information!
Yesterday we chatted and decided that tomorrow night would be gift exchange evening......arrrhhh the reality of bringing the gifts together, I haven't finished.... my tenor has not been maxed out yet! Time to pass on the new and totally inspiring book that I treated myself to that only arrived a couple of days back, now that is love for a best friend <3 <3 <3 <3

I gained huge amounts of pleasure in wrapping each individual gift with delicate crisp tissue paper, then tying each little bundle with pretty ribbon offcuts saved for moments just like this.

 I carefully placed everything into a covered shoebox, sprinkled some of my favourite sequin mix within and added a couple of jolly wicker Christmas decorations........a gift fit for a King (or Queen in this case).
I cannot wait to exchange later....true friends are worth treating well and holding on to.

Merry Christmas Jenny X

We were like naughty, excitable school girls sitting on comfy sofas unwrapping our goodies....and what a delight the whole experience was. Funnily enough we had both bought gifts to stimulate the senses....just perfect :-)

And look what Jenny bought for me........
All around the theme of tea for one, all for me!!!!
I shall certainly enjoy all these little wonders...thank you soooo much.


Monday, 10 December 2012

The pleasures (pressures) of Christmas

So the festive period is upon us again, how fast this year seems to have past us by.

The excitement is brewing in our house...For what? For all the wonderful things that are tradition and the time that we will spend with family and friends....isn't that what everyone is excited about? Apparently not.
In true 'me' style I differ from the norm in just about every way. It is not that I go out of my way to be different, that's just the way I am. I just have different thoughts on 'things' original values. Christmas is the one time of year where my values are criticised the most. We don't 'do' Father Christmas!!!!! There, I've said it.........People cannot understand me at all when I say this. 'How cruel' I am told. So here is my chance to justify to the world my reasons. (Should I have to do that?)

1. Christmas is the festival where we celebrate the birth of Jesus, this sight has been lost in so many peoples lives.

2. My first greatest hate is the 'I want' culture. My children have everything that they need, 'I want' simply doesn't get. In most households children are encouraged to voice what they want :-( I prefer that they are given something that someone has chosen to buy them and that they are grateful for everything that they receive. This is the time of year when virtually every one asks the children 'What do you want for Christmas?'

3. There was supposedly a fellow named St Nicholas who gave sweets to children and helped the poor and needy, how did the current Father Christmas (who gives new bikes to those in the Western world and the gift of life to those in the third world) come about?

4. Father Christmas is in fact a stranger who it is told comes into the child's house and bedroom. I do not lie to my children.

5. Parents use the the bribe of Father Christmas not coming for the whole Christmas period. Errrrrr

6. (This one isn't related to FC), the person who you feel obliged to buy for who has everything and tells you they have three of these......(not mentioning any names there Dad!!!!)

OK, so you think I have ruined the spirit of Christmas? As a family we don't spend vast amounts of money that we cannot afford on gifts that will never be played with. We are not in debt because of Christmas. We do learn about the true meaning of Christmas, we attend carol services, Christmas bazaars etc, we think of others who are less fortunate then ourselves. We do buy and make gifts but they don't have a value on them ( not worth a tenor)! We do meet up with friends for parties, merriment and our annual picnic on Christmas eve. We do possess Christmas spirit and deliver home made biscuits and sweets to friends and neighbours. We do watch lovely films about Father Christmas and comment on what a lovely tale it is. We do decorate our home. But best of all, we laugh, play and spend stress free time with our family and share in the delights of preparing a wonderful feast together. The giving of gifts is not the most important thing. Would it ruin Christmas completely for you if there were no gifts?

Seasons greetings to you all xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx