Monday, 24 December 2007

Happy Christmas One and All

Well it's almost here! The tree is done at last. My favourite decorations some old silver baubles we have had for many years,a wooden angel given to me by my mother about 25 years ago and a newer cat one given to me by Sarah about 5 years ago. His name is Hamish as he reminds me of him so much.

Our dinner guests are about to arrive so I have to go. May we all wish you a happy and peaceful holiday so that we can celebrate the birth of Christ and look forwards to a better future in 2008.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Getting ready for Christmas

Well long time since I have gotten round to blogging. Where does time go? How I ever managed to get to work amazes me now! We have started to decorate for the coming season. Started in the dining room with some bits and pieces but always have a real tree which we havent been to get yet. So a few bits around the mirror. And a bit of tinsel in the kitchen.
The damson gin decanted and ready. ( had to be sampled for quality control first!)

A fibre optic tree for dining room.

A festive dresser with some of the smaller Christmas bunting made by Sarah.

Some lovely felt hearts bought by Sarah from a fellow blogger that are very cute.

Some musical Christmas crackers! We have played this with some friends and they are great fun. Each cracker has a whistle which plays a different note. The idea is that someone calls the numbers out and 8 people can play a tune. Better after a few glasses of wine!

The main bunting again made by Sarah.

So the real preparations start this weekend. Lots of house cleaning, tree buying and decorating and present wrapping.Its very cold and frosty here. I'm hoping we get some snow as that would be fantastic. I plan to read all my favourite blogs this weekend and leave some comments. Hope everyone is keeping well and looking forward to the big day. I havent finished the major sewing project yet but making good progress so should be ready for Santa to deliver!

Monday, 26 November 2007


Winter is here and I feel like I'm hibernating. It has been so cold and most days grey and miserable. The cats have to be encouraged to leave their fav spots to get some fresh air and so do I. Hamish would rather be here.

Or curled up as close to any human he can find and watch "Strictly Come Dancing" a family favorite.

Dougal prefers a good box or even a bag to curl up in!!

I have finally finished one of my sewing projects! I decided to make a little lap quilt ( or knowing those 2 cats a kitty quilt) for when it really is chilly.The red material is one that I got in France for 1 Euro in the summer.

Yes the table etc arrived on Friday in bright sunlight. Since then we have managed to put up the mirrors and some pics but I have still not sorted out all the china and glasses. Am taking the opportunity to wash some rarely used things before they all find a new spot. But here are the just arrived pics!!

They look fab and mix well with the older darker cupboards that we have had for a long time. I will post pics of the finally finished room soon.
Well there is only one month to go before Christmas now and I still have to finish my major sewing project, although I have made some headway this last week. Sarah and I are also making Christmas bunting!! She is coming here after work tomorrow and we will work hard on this. I am also sorting out the kitchen cupboards in preparation for Christmas supplies as we have a few visitors this year. They needed a bit of a sort and clean. I'm so untidy!! Our friends and neighbours have just had a short winter break in Cyprus and have bought me some saffron back. Just in time to make the paella for Christmas Eve dinner. We always have a fish option on Christmas Eve. It used to be fish pie when the children were small we have got a little more sophisticated the last couple of years and Simon and I love mussels!!
Well it is almost bedtime and as always I am yawning away. I'll leave with a picture Sarah took at the weekend of one of the pair of blackbirds that visit us regularly.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

I'm making a list and checking twice!

Winter is upon us and its cold!!! Finally we have our new central heating boiler fitted along with new radiators. We are warm inside as Dougal and Hamish demonstrate.

I'm trying to get ready for all the Christmas stuff that needs to be done. I have done some shopping and am off to IKEA and M&S this evening to do some more. Craft classes are continuing and I have been making Christmas wrapping paper.

Sarah has given me a new Christmas bauble to replace a glass one that she broke last year. Its cute isn't it. Well lots to do so must be off. New table due to arrive Friday so I'll be back with photos then.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

A Walk in the Country

This weekend we had two days in Shropshire. It's so lovely to get away and see green fields. Saturday was a horrible grey day. You know the sort of day when it hardly gets light. Hate that sort of weather. However Sunday was so beautiful bright and sunny.After the car boot sale we had a little stroll. Sheep in the field opposite the supermarket where they have the car boot.

Then a look at the river with all the shedding trees.

The differing colours of the trees in the sunlight looked amazing.

Made a friend of this little fellow!!

Then Masters Bulls' friends in the lower part of the field.

Bright red berries.

Lots of berries.

Car boot finds included a set of six old glass fruit dishes that I'm going to use for candles, a little basket and some old lace. All at very cheap prices.

Today I have been getting some of the hundreds of leaves up from the garden. Where we are there are many mature trees and now most of the leaves are on our drive and in the garden. But its a cold damp day so there is a pot of stew on the cooker simmering away for dinner tonight. Sophie is coming to see us after work and this is her fav winter food. Lots of dried veggies and pulses in it.
Well I must be away as I still have sewing projects on the go and have to finish in time for Christmas!! I never did say which Christmas!!

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Mary, Mary fairly contrary, how does yourb garden grow?

Hello. I must begin with an apology for not posting for some time. No excuses really I have just been fairly busy. Starting with my views from the kitchen window. Some garlic which I hope will survive the winter and some some winter flowering pansies.

I must thank the two lovely Sandis for their awards recently given to me. First Sandi at "The Nostalgia Fairy "for her "You make me smile" award. The other Sandi at "Holding Patterns" for her two awards, "Community Bloggers" and "Christmas Spirit". Many thanks to both of you I'm sure I don't deserve either as I have been such a bad blogger of late. However the Christmas Spirit one did inspire me to write a little about Christmas.

Christmas has always been a special time for my family, always a time when we would get together whenever we could. For the last 42 Christmas I have always worked some part of the holiday. People didn't stop being ill 'cus it was Christmas and rotas needed to be filled. We opened presents when we could, ate dinner when we could and visited family when we could. I've bought presents and filled Christmas stockings for patients as well as children. I've driven to work for a twelve hour night shift on Christmas Eve and Day seeing families through their open curtains having fun and wished so hard it could have been me. Well this year it will be me!!!!!!!. I have time to plan , shop, clean, decorate, cook, laugh, play games and entertain!!! I even have some cash to do this as finally, having been retired for 6 months the hospital where I worked have paid me the pack pay from a pay rise some three years ago. Thats some surprise! So bring it on. In some preparation I have made, with a little help from Sarah, yes Christmas cakes and puddings!!

Sarah and I also went to an Autumn fair and look at the things I got for a whole 50pence ($1)!!

I love the little swan pin cushion. The others are going to go in a hanging thingy I'm making. I'll show you when finished. Sarah got some real bargains but I'll make her blog about them.

Now for the dining room. We have almost finished. The carpet went down last Friday. The new table and chairs should be here by early next week but all else is done. Here are some pics.First are the curtains and the wall colour. Its actually a green rather than the blue it looks here.

Some decanters but most sadly lacking in alcohol! (did you drink it all Sarah?)

Whoops forgot the candles!

As you can see we are getting there and it has given me great oportunity to clear the clutter. When furniture is in I will post a pic of whole room and try to get the wall colour right. I'm not good with a camera so may get Sarah to do for me.
I'm still going to my once a week craft lessons. I have one pic of something I made which is decent enough to show you all. But its only been 4 weeks and I'm hoping to improve!!! Yes folks its a bookmark.

Well I must be away to do some dreaded housework as I want to go shopping later to buy some vests as I am really feeling the cold this year!! Apparently Marks and Spencers have some nice lacy ones!! I cannot miss the Strictly Come Dancing programme thats on at 6.30 each evening. I'm addicted to this programme!! Love it! Will catch up with my blog reading soon. Enjoy Halloween!!

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Getting better and happy with new fireplace

I'm back today covered in a light coating of brick dust and plaster as is the whole house. Here are some more photos of the recent Spanish trip. This was the view from the appartment balcony overlooking the Med and out to Gib. and the north African coast. If you click on it you may just be able to see them in the distance.In the garden was a pomegranate tree and the fruit were lovely.

Under the lemon tree is where I sheltered from the noon day sun ( oh and picked the odd ripe one for the 6pm gin and tonics!)
Here is a view of one of the main streets in Mijas. Lots of tourist shops but you can't get away from them wherever you go. Now onto the saga of the dining room . This seems to have dragged on for months. We had choosen the fireplace before I went away and it was finally fitted last Friday. We also had our new heating radiators done last week, and this is why the whole house is covered in a film of dust. I've cleaned and cleaned again but the dust is still there. Here is the hole in the chimney where the central heating boiler was removed ...

And here is the new one. Well new to us but it is a vintage one. It still has its original tiles.

We had a visit to the Laura Ashley sale on Sunday and got 50% off the new lamp for this room. Green is going to feature as a colour here.

Today the plasterer has been and replastered the whole of the room. This will take several days to dry and then we can paint. So finally on the home straight. This will be good as there are bits and pieces all over the house that belong in there and it will be so good to get sorted. This has to be done before the begining of November as that dreaded "C" word is getting even closer and I expect people will expect me to do more for it this year now I am retired!!!
Husband and I have recovered from the lurgy that we had. The weather has been kind to us (except this am when it rained) so we have been able to get in the garden. Pictures of the things I'm growing in next post.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

I have experienced summer!

I have to start by thanking the lovely Susan, Mrs Random Blethers, for her fantastic gifts she sent to me for guessing her middle name (which shall not be repeated here). They arrived whilst I was away and my photography does not do them justice. First there is a needlecase. Here is the front... Here is the inside..
Then these beautiful stitched pictures..

They are so well made and I shall frame the pictures and use the needlecase. Many thanks Susan.
We had a fantastic time in Mijas. This is a place up the hills not far from Marbella. Very quiet and a wonderful view over the Med. The weather was great indeed warm, proper sunshine. It was wonderful to meet up with so many friends and indeed make new ones. Kay, who had come all the way from OZ, had also been sewing. When we first started we wore yellow uniforms to mark us out as the new kids, so that no one expected anything much from us. To everyone we were known as the "Daffodil Girls". Kay remembered this and made us a reminder of those far off days.

Wasn't that great of her. We were all touched when she gave them to us all. A lot of talking was done and some red wine, gin and tonic and sangria was drunk!!! I made some new friends of the feline kind. A mother and its kitten.

They were so cute. They belonged to someone but took up residence with us for a few hours every day.
The appartment was good with a lovely garden and fantastic views of the Med and Gibralter. Much time was spent on the balcony and in the shade of the lemon tree when it got very warm.
View of the garden....

View of the balcony...

More photos with next post. Hope everyone is well. I have had the dreaded lurgy and spent 4 days with little voice and am still coughing. Husband is also laid low. He isn't eating much so I know he is ill. I will try to catch up with you all this week and will post before and after pics of my new fireplace, which is being fitted on Friday.