Showing posts from 2015

No 25 Christmas Day


No 24 Christmas Eve

Hello everyone

It's Christmas Eve and right at this moment the rain is hammering it down (again) which is a reminder that many people will not be spending Christmas in their own home due to them being flooded.

The news has talked a lot about Cumbria being flooded but nothing about closer to home for example St Michaels and Church Town near Garstang.

My friend and her disabled husband are currently living in a caravan in their driveway because, their newly decorated, bungalow was under three foot of flood water and have lost everything. She managed to save a few bits but that was all. They now have to wait for their home to dry out (in this rain?) before any renovations can start. I just can't imagine what they and other are feeling at this moment.

I wish my friends strength to carry on and to find joy and peace in the knowledge they have a fantastic family some amazing friends. All the best J and A


No 23 Favourite Christmas Story

Hello everyone

I missed yesterday as it was sharing pictures of our local area. It was pouring down for most of the day so I didn't venture out and I think most people are fed up of seeing rain. However there are some beautifully decorated homes around here. If it's fine tonight I will take a walk with my camera.

Back to todays - Favourite Christmas story. The Nativity.  For me that is what Christmas is all about. What else can I say

What is your favourite Christmas story.


No 21 Christmas Items I Can't Live Without

Hello everyone.

What Christmas item I couldn't live without.

After the recent happenings in our household, I say my priorities have changed and, I would have to say there are three. M. We are very lucky to have M as it could have been a whole different story and L of course. I know they're not Christmassy but Christmas would not be the same without them.

Our Christmas tree is still in the attic and we felt we can't not have a tree of some sort.

Our Christmas tree this year

The decorations are what didn't make it into the attic with a couple of cheap additions. You can't see it very well but there is a small desk top tree hidden in the picture and the little wooden tree lights up. We are in the process of making a small beaded tree that will also go on the table. We are going to remove all the gifts off the table and make a proper display. I'll have to do another show and tell again when we've completed it. The owl is a new addition for this year.  L wan…

Day 20 Last Minute Gift Ideas

Hello everyone

Last minute gift ideas

I don't like being caught out with an unexpected guest or L saying, at the last minute, she needs an extra present so I buy pretty toiletries/smellies in the sales after Christmas and other small items and stash them away. These can also be used for birthdays too although the packaging might have to be changed.

Some things I have currently stashed away are:

Flower Soaps - peel away the petals to float on top of the bath water or use it as soap.
Handbag Holder - unfolds to hang on the table to hang your handbag keeping it safe rather than   hanging it on the back of a chair where it can easily be lifted.
Wine - We are often given wine at Christmas of the sort we don't like (we don't like many wines) so we keep it and recycle it for a raffle/tombola prize or gift it.
Pack of small cans of body sprays - Great for teens.
Scarf - I was bought a beautiful scarf, one year, but unfortunately it's to bulky for me and I didn't want to put it…

Day 19 Preparing for Christmas

Hello everyone

I'm back. We brought M home from hospital a week ago. He is much better after being home a week. Still on crutches and pain killers but starting to get around a bit more. Yesterday he came grocery shopping with me (his first trip out) and managed to hobble around most of the store but had to rest a while as I went through the check out. He was then done in for the rest of the day but felt good to have actually have left the house and got a bit of fresh air.

How do I prepare for Christmas?

Well under the circumstances it's a good job I do prepare for Christmas. My preparations start in January with saving an amount each month ready for the bulk of the shopping.

I like to go shopping in the January sales for cards and wrapping paper. We need about 60 to 80 cards and usually only about 2 rolls of wrapping paper (if their decent ro1ls) If I've seen any decorations that I really, really like I wait for the sales and if it's reduced to my liking I might get it…

Taking a Break

Hello everyone
I find I can't continue with my 25 days of Christmas as I don't have a lot of time with visiting M in hospital and organising everything in between and then L going into hospital next week. It's all getting too much.
I'm just keeping up with the necessary. I will be back to blogging as soon as things have calmed down. However I will keep reading and commenting.

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a great New Year.


Update - M is now home and getting lots of rest and L operation that was due Monday was cancelled last week due to no beds in the HDU. No new date has been given as yet. I will be back writing soon.

No 7 Handmade Christmas

Favourite handmade Christmas gifts given or received.

My favourite hand made Christmas gift I've received was from my MIL many years ago when I was Dating M for the first time. It was a corset/basque  shaped pocked/bag that was made on a coat hanger to keep tights or socks in. I still use it today. Sorry no pictures as it's well used. I could do with a new one really.

My favourite gift I've made wasn't a Christmas gift but a joint birthday gift in November a couple of years ago. It too three months to make and it was the comic hero blanket for M's nephew, his girlfriend and his son. It was do that they could snuggle up on cold winters night whilst watching TV or DVD's and then for Christmas I made up a box of goodies ready for a DVD night. In the box was popcorn, hot chocolate, sweets and I can't remember what else.

What was/is your favourite handmade Christmas gift to give or receive?


No 6 When Do You Open Presents

Thank you all for your kind words. M is now sitting up and this morning they are hoping to get him standing. They did try yesterday but he felt dizzy. I suppose that's because he's been laid down for three days. He's looking better and got the colour back in his face.


When do we open our presents - The three of us open our presents when the last one gets up and then we have breakfast. Boxing Day when we go the in-law we do presents again and then when I do my Boxing Day, for my family, on the day or day after we do presents again. We like to stretch out Christmas for a long as possible.

In a previous relationship they didn't open their presents until Boxing Day.

When do you open your presents?


No 5 Favorite Christmas Food

My favourite Christmas food has to be the roast dinner.  I'm not to fussed about Christmas pudding or cake. I also like the Boxing Day buffet we do. I start to make it just after breakfast and that's it for the day.
We don't buy all the lovely fancy foods in the supermarket and we don't have anything fancy on the buffet either. We did it once and suffered for it for a few days after as it was all too rich and our stomachs didn't like it. From the star of December I've been buying little extra bits and putting them in the freezer. Some have ben yellow stickers for example: a small piece of ham -will cook in the slow cooker with water and the stock will go in the freezer to make pea and ham soup with left over ham, two cheese and tomato pizzas, chicken wings/drumsticks. I'm going to get my turkey from Aldi next week. and then we are done.

What is your favourite Christmas food?


Other news -…

No 4 Favorite Christmas Music

My ultimate favourite Christmas music has to be I wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day (this has been going through my head for the past four days) but I love them all and like to play the CD often. Usually when I'm on my own.
My favourite Christmas hymn has to be Away In A Manger. I have a CD with all the Christmas hymns and play that too.

What is your favourite Christmas song?


No 3 Favorite Christmas Movies

My favourite Christmas movies are all of them except the Gringe and Elf. I don't like Jim Carey and only he could play the Gringe and I don't like the story either. I can't stand to see adults acting like children and that's how I feel about Elf.

I noticed this year there have been Christmas films on the TV from around October. No I've not watched them. I was told "It's not Christmas" I've managed to sneak a couple in when no-one was in.
1 December arrived and I said "It's nearly Christmas can I watch the Christmas films now?"
"NOOOOOO" came the reply
"Why, it's nearly Christmas" I say
"To Cliché, too predictable, and just too rubbish"
L and M go to archery on Sunday and I can get two films in. I don't know what's on but knowing my luck it will be the two I don't like.

Why do I like Christmas films? Everything turns out great in the end but to get there each journey is deferent and I enj…

What Christmas means to me:

2 What Christmas means to me:

For me Christmas is all about spending precious time with family and friends chatting and catching up.

I like to quietly reflect on up and downs of the past year (there's been quite a few this year) and the hopes for the coming new year.

For me Christmas is also a celebration of the birth of Christ. I find this difficult to explain as its my own private feelings that are not shared in our home so I just keep them to myself.

What does Christmas mean to you?


My Advent Calender

Hello everyone. This is my countdown to Christmas. This will be a challenge in it's self to write every day though out December and give me something else to think about as well as L's forthcoming operation.

here we go:-

1 My favourite Christmas tradition?

Before L was born M and I, with a group of friends, would go to the pub Christmas Eve afternoon then come home and have a takeaway for tea. Then L was born and I felt it was wrong so I stayed at home M came home drunk bringing takeaway in with him.

About five years ago(ish) L and I were chatting about Christmas Eve and we decided to our own thing a set some new traditions for ourselves. We get a small buffet tea ready and then go to a Christingle service at a local church. We've tried different churches and L likes the Methodist service although we've not been to the Catholic church yet (not sure if they do one). We come home get into our brand new pyjamas and enjoy our tea whilst watching a film and wait for M to co…

Afternoon Tea

A month ago (how time flys) it was the beginning of half term and M and I were celebrating 25 years together, although only married for nine. We decided that celebrating our whole time together was more important than just the time being married.

To celebrate we (just the three of us) went for afternoon tea at the Midland Hotel in Morecambe. I'm so glad that someone has sympathetically renovated this beautiful historic building. It has so much character it would have been a shame to see it demolished.

We'd been saving our £2 coins all year (We over saved but hey what a bonus)
I booked the table for 3:30 and we arrived a little before. I though we were going to be late as there was heavy traffic through Lancaster.

As we arrived L was taken by the two seahorses on the front of the hotel.

We went up to the hotel reception desk and was pointed in the right direction. We were then greeted by a lovely waitress who carried a box and after seating us at a window table presented the op…

"I Don't Believe It"

I really do feel like Victor Meldrew at this moment in time. On Thursday evening we receiving a phone call from the hospital cancelling L's operation on Monday. It's now 14 December. Someone has a brain tumour and the operating theatre needs to be used. They only have two and I suppose L's operation isn't life threatening so could be rearranged. (fare do's)
Later I found this rhyme on facebook (I changed the 2nd line but couldn't think how to change the first) but it sums up just how she's feeling
On the 2nd day of Christmas L's consultant gave to her: 5 all-nighter 4 hours of crying 3 mental breakdowns 2 thoughts of dropout
And a month of anxiety

L is feeling well and truly emotionally drained. She couldn't face going back into school yesterday so I let her sleep and then we went out for a change of environment and fresh air. (did a bit of Christmas shopping and had some lunch). She felt a bit better for it.However she will go back to school on Monday. 

Another Bright Blanket

We went to the Cenotaph this morning for the remembrance service. L and the Gala Princess laid a wreath of poppies. We took our big umbrellas. Good job we did as the heaven opened several times during the service. I felt sorry for the Vicar, bald head and no hat.

What do you think of my new blanket? It's taken ages to do because for around two years I've been crocheting a small three round granny squares, using up oddments of yarn, with the intention of making a blanket. I made the squares when I was between projects and on car journeys. It was a pick up and put down sort of project. I had no image of the end result, I just made it up as I went along. After a bit of thought I did three rounds of white round each colourful square. Next I stitched four squares together to make one larger square. And after a bit more thought and deliberation  I crocheted another three rounds and now I felt the squares were the right size. I joined them together with a line of single crochet in a b…

I'm Back...

Hi all

I'm back again.

I've been doing some over-time at work due to sickness and this past week it's been half term so we have been having some fun.

But today I want to show you how we decorated L's bedroom. A few years ago I painted L's bedroom (with help from L) pink and lilac. She chose the colours and which wall to paint with which colour. The trophies in the picture are some that L has gained from her dancing in competitions, exams and shows. There is another shelf full of cup trophies.

L hated this clown and was adamant that it had to go. She didn't like the hangers. It should have been made with either 2 or 4 but definitely not 3!!!

Now as a teenager she felt the colours were far to girly and didn't reflect her personality and after much discussion and research she came up with a new colour scheme and design.
White background with black, purple and silver. We both painted all the walls in white then L trawled the internet to find the right music notes…

Forth Coming Operation

Hello everyone

Last Wednesday L went into school for a couple of hours and then we picked her up to take her to Manchester's Children's Hospital for her first pre-op appointment. We got there too early but parked up in the multi-storey car park anyway. The day was warm and sunny so we decided  we would have our picnic in the park opposite the hospital (don't know the name of the park). It's nothing special, lot's of grass and trees, a raised flower bed with railings all around it and lots of benches and picnic tables but nice and calm all the same.
Afterwards we made our way to the hospital and booked in by computer and found our way to the waiting room and waited to be called. We were called to take L to x-ray. She had very detailed pictures taken which she hadn't had done before and they took ages to do. Then back to the reception. We just sat down when we were called in to see our new consultant, Mr Tandie. What a lovely man. He talked to L and both M and me…

A Reflection of our Summer

Hello everyone

L went back to school yesterday into year 11 and I return to school today (shortly in fact). I enjoy the holidays when I can spend lots of quality time with L. M has had a little bit of time off but has had to work twice as much because his driver (M is a taxi driver) who shares the work has had 4 weeks off.

Some of the things we've done:

L's operation was put back so we had a camping trip taking L's friend with us - We all had fun.Lots of walks on the beach and collected some sea glass Went to some local fun daysAte lots of ice-creamsSpent the day at our local flower and craft show - sorry no pictures. I took my camera but didn't have time to take any picturesWent to a travelling circus - We enjoyed this very muchShopping for school uniform - No fun and oucho!L and M rode their bikes through the Blackpool Illuminations - They had fun and want to do it again next year.  Walks along the River Wyre with a stop off at the pub for refreshments before walking …

Camping in Shropshire

After completing the last gala we went on a camping holiday for 5 days to Shropshire taking with us L friend S, who's not been camping before. We stayed at a private camp site just out side Much Wenlock. I'm not sure if it's a village or town. The lovely little shops suggest it's a village but they have markets so, to me, that suggest it's a town. Either way it was lovely. This building on the right had a date on it suggesting it was built in the 1600's and it's currently occupied as a home although I feel it might once have been a public house. To me it's beautiful and I'm amazed at it's survival.

This picture on the left is the view from the front of our tent towards the town. When we arrived on the Wednesday the site only had a few caravans on it. Gradually it filled up towards the weekend and emptied again on Sunday. We left on the Monday.
This next picture just below is to the left of us. L and S having a game of giant snakes and ladders whi…

From Peelings

Hello everyone

We've been having lots of fun recently. The galas have finished and and we've been on holiday (will tell you all about that in another post).

Today I've been tidying up a corner of the garden and I got fed up of seeing the potato plants growing from out of the sides of the compost bin, and they were starting to flower. Out they came with some potatoes. I didn't plant them they just grew from my potato peelings. I guess I peel them too thick.  I'll probably get some more next year from the tiny ones I left behind and the peelings I compost next spring

Looks like these could be King Edwards and a Rooster. Just enough to go with tea tonight.

Since Thursday last week we've had to boil all our drinking water because somehow sheep's poo got into the system and contaminated it. We don't have a dishwasher so had to boil the water for that too. What a pain it's been. Drinking boiled water taste awful and on Friday we tried to get a bottle of w…

Falling Arches

We once had an arch in our small garden that held a beautiful Wisteria and a yellow Honeysuckle. Last year the Wisteria didn't do anything after doing some research I found out that it can go dormant so we thought we would leave it and see if it did anything this year. It didn't and on snapping a branch it confirmed it was definitely dead. However the Honeysuckle was doing well and we had a dilemma of what to do. The metal arch was well and truly rotten and only held up because the Wisteria was tightly wrapper around it.
I took some cuttings of the Honeysuckle but they didn't take so I took some more and I think they are doing ok at the moment. At this point the arch was now lying horizontal due to some high winds and was looking a mess.
For a number of years M has wanted to build a new arch but because the wisteria was so tightly wrapped around the metal arch there was nothing he could do until now that is. The dead plant was rotten at the base so was easy to dispose of. T…

Three Down and Three To Go

Hi everyone

Since I last wrote we have done three more galas with three more to do.

Here we are at Fleetwood and it rained all the way round the procession until we were on the last stretch and then the sun decided to shine and it shined for the rest of the day. I can't take credit for this photo but a photographer from Fleetwood called Robert Stead took it.(I just love it) He is also a judge at our annual flower and craft show.
Lots of people came out to watch the parade despite the rain and we all enjoyed it. We got third prize for visiting queen.

 Nine umbrellas drying in our bath and seven rain ponchos hanging on the line.  

The next gala we attended was Lytham Club Day. We got up at 6am so that I could do L's hair which can take me up to an hour with plaiting and back combing and pinning and the rest. As we borrow a wagon from the council it has a tachograph attached to it and you can't go over 30mph so it took us almost an hour to get to Lytham for 8.30am. After arrivin…

Unveiling and Crowning

I awoke at 5am on Saturday morning and I could hear birds singing. Well, that was a good sign, it's not raining. I got up half an hour later as I just could't get back to sleep I was way too excited and anxious for it was gala day. I wanted to make sure that everything was ready and we didn't forget anything and make a packed lunch for M and me and plenty of drinks and treats for the children.  Done.
M got up early too because he wanted to make sure the float was still ok. It had spent the night on our front.
I got L up at 7.30 so that she could have her breakfast before getting washed, make up on and dressed before her 9am appointment at the hairdressers. As it was her special day I thought it best to have a special hair do to fit her crown. And what a fabulous job they did, it was beautiful - she looked beautiful. Her hair was still up on Sunday - a pyjama day with fancy hair. By evening we had taken it down ready for school tomorrow.  I took this picture at the end of th…

Sticking, Poking and More....

Tomorrow is the big day. Thornton Cleveleys Gala and L will be crowned Gala Queen 2015. It's going to be a fantastic day (please, please don't rain).  We have spent weeks and weeks in preparation for this day with lots of help from the retinues parents.

I striped the old float sides of the old decorations saving some of the coloured strips to reuse and to save on expenses and we have used some but the rest we will pass onto the next years queen and retinue after the choosing.

Whilst doing the stripping we found that some of the wooden/MDF panels were very rotten so M bought new MDF and remade the sides. Next we glued on the polystyrene sheets using PVA. Weighting the middle and clamping the edges. In this picture we are having to make an extension to what we had already done. (More about that later)

I spent many an evening cutting up colourful plastic table cloths into strips

After transferring the design from paper onto the polystyrene, which was not an easy task when you can…

To Me.. To You.. To Me

Yesterday afternoon I took L to see the Chuckle Brothers in "The Chuckles of OZ" at the Marine Hall in Fleetwood. It was the Wizard of OZ panto which was done very well with a cast of six and two others and only three scene changes. Considering that this show has been touring since February the costumes and sets still looked fresh and new.

Anyway back to the show - It was fantastic and had us crying with laughter. It's advertised as being suitable from age 3 to 103. The humour was very cleverly done and in one sketch the children were laughing at the cucumber scene whilst the adults and their imaginations saw something different (so very funny). I don't like slapstick comedy, I find it frustrating but these two guys do it so differently and put heir own twist to it so making less predictable.

These were some accidental mishaps like when Paul (age 68) slapped Barry's face (part a hypnosis sketch and Barry wasn't co-operating, as he does) and later whilst Barry…