First up this month we have The Birdcage by Eve Chase.
Tuesday, 27 December 2022
What I've been reading in December
Monday, 19 December 2022
Me on Monday
But first, let me bring you the 7 days of Snowmas
1st Day - is that snow in the air? Oh I wonder if it will settle
2nd day - Oh that is so pretty, it's like a Winter Wonderland out there, Coco is having the time of her life
3rd day - Bit slippy on the pavements now where it's frozen overnight
4th day - OK I am not going out there unless I absolutely have to, the paths are like skating rinks
5th day - 'Only' took 20 mins to deice my car and we can't open the door from the conservatory because the snow has slipped down the roof and frozen over the gutter
6th day - Coco is still loving it but it's ridiculous that it is safer to drive than walk anywhere
7th day - Weather forecast says higher temperatures and rain is on its way - think the ducks on the lake are looking forward to it melting
So this Monday I am hoping for a proper defrost - especially as I am meeting friends for lunch in a pub which is accessed via some narrow country lanes!
The countdown to Christmas is gathering speed, with early finishes at school, pre-Christmas drinks with friends, Christmas Eve supper with R and family and then the big day will be here.
I hope that this week finds us all with time to pause and relax - it's so easy to try and fit too much into too few days isn't it? Have a good week!
Monday, 12 December 2022
Me on Monday
It has definitely turned wintery in our corner of the world so this Monday finds me wrapped up warm!
This is the frost on the outside of our windows! Isn’t it pretty? And take a look at the view from our front door.
Feeling more festive as the days go by
Tree is up
Nativity concerts were performed
Meals out were taken with groups of friends
The building which houses the Turkish restaurant we went to used to be the baby clinic when our children were young, it’s certainly changed since then!
Early birthday meals were had with the family on Sunday and with perfect timing look who came past just as everyone was going home!
Can you imagine the look on the children’s faces as he passed our house?
And today, the birthday boy turns 65!
So this Monday sees us hoping for a celebratory lunch at a country pub with another couple then I really do think a few days of more simple, healthy meals are in order! However all eyes are on the roads, so if they are still looking snowy and slippy I think we may have to postpone to another day!
Friday, 9 December 2022
There may have been tears
It's no secret that I am a proper softie when it comes to little children acting in a nativity concert. Even if I don't know any of the children in the show, the minute the angels arrive dressed in their white dresses made of sheets and tinsel around their head I can feel my eyes welling up. So you can imagine the lump in my throat last night when we went to see our grandson in his first nativity.
The restrictions of the last years are too numerous to mention, but children not being able to put on a special performance for their families at Christmas time was such a shame. Nativity plays seem to be such a rite of passage of primary school. So this year seemed extra special and I was looking forward to going just as much as I would have if I had tickets for a professional show.
It can't be easy to find a way to incorporate the 120 pupils in Years 1 and 2 into one show and I am full of admiration for the teachers who managed to organise 5 and 6 year olds into 45 minutes of performance!
Of course there aren't enough characters in the traditional nativity story to cater for all those children so we were treated to Lights, Camel, Action! which also incorporated a 'Strictly Come Dancing' show from the Bethlehem Broadcasting Company (BBC). Various characters from the nativity perform to celebrate Mary and Joseph arriving and the birth of baby Jesus. We had the Nazareth Line Dancers, Funky Camel Dancers, Shepherds, Inkeeper and wife Tango dancers and of course the sparkly Disco Star-lets.
It wouldn't be a children's show if some of the characters didn't do a little impromptu performance, such as the compere who couldn't stop waving enthusiastically to his family in the audience while saying his lines, or the shepherd who couldn't resist doing a bit of 'keepy uppy' with his toy sheep as soon as he came on stage. Our eyes were naturally on one of the hosts of the competition who looked very smart in his silver sequinned waistcoat and yes, there were tears in my eyes as he delivered his lines word perfect.
It's definitely made for a Feeling Festive Friday!
Monday, 5 December 2022
Me on Monday
This Monday finds me in a festive mood! What a lovely weekend we had with a trip to see the Enchanted light trail at Audley End with the family on Saturday
And then our Zumba Christmas party on SundayIt was a combined Christmas/Chinese New Year theme which is why my Zumba teacher is dressed in a beautiful Chinese dress!
Friday, 2 December 2022
Let's sit and have a cup of ...
... mulled wine! Let's get in the Christmas spirit on this first Friday in December!
We have friends who lived in Belgium for a while and the first December they were there we went to visit. It was such a lovely atmosphere there, and visiting the Christmas markets in Brussels was such a lovely day out. When you bought your mulled wine to keep your hands (and insides) warm while you were walking around, you were able to keep your cup or glass. These particular mulled wine mugs are actually from Cologne; we enjoyed the European markets so much we tried somewhere else the following year. Happy memories!
Can you believe that we are in December? You'll notice that we don't have our decorations up yet - family tradition dictates that we do that just before Paul's birthday so we have another week or so to wait yet. To be honest, much as I love the decorations, I am always ready to take them down between Christmas and New Year. My one concession to early decorating is this festive ribbon wreath that I made!
Do you have particular family traditions at this time of year? It's always interesting to hear how other people organise their time. When we went to Belgium that year we had to leave our shoes outside of our bedrooms on December 5th and in the morning Sinterklaas had left chocolate gifts for us. That's the start of the celebrations over there.
Have you heard of the statue in Brussels called Manneken Pis? A little boy relieving himself into a fountain. He's pretty famous over there and is dressed up for national occasions.
Thursday, 1 December 2022
A sentence a day in November
Gosh November, you seem to have arrived so quickly this year!
Day 1 Paul accompanied Leo on an evening bat walk with Beavers, but it absolutely poured with rain - all bats stayed safely dry in the trees!
Day 2 Had Olive here for the day, Paul was doing his volunteer work over the local park so we had a girly day
Day 3 Zumba in the morning and a friend popped round in the afternoon
Day 4 Went to Cambridge, lunch at Aromi, their open topped focaccia slices are deliziosa!
Day 5 Max and Olive here for a sleepover - they were so well behaved, but I got little sleep and felt worse for wear so ...
Day 6 Felt very tired after a disturbed night's sleep, not because either of them kept waking up, but because I was sleeping with Olive who is quite a wriggler in her sleep!
Day 7 Went to Bury St Edmunds with two other couples to visit and have lunch with friends who moved there three years ago.
Day 8 On the one day I decide to walk into town, there was a sudden downpour and I got drenched!
Day 9 Olive had her 1 year vaccinations today so no childcare today - instead I went through the toys we keep here to pass on those that aren't being played with any more to a friend who is about to look after her granddaughter 2 days a week.
Day 10 Zumba was fun and in the afternoon I spent time working on my blanket - which is very nearly finished
Look at her guilty little face, I'd only put it down for a few minutes and she was on it in a flash!
Day 11 Paul went up to London so I had a day to myself - altered the dress I have bought to wear for Christmas meals out. Remembrance Day.
Day 12 Decided that our bathroom is in need of some TLC. Cue searching for wallpapers, enquiries about replacement shower panel seals and new bath panels.
Day 13 Rachel and family came for Sunday lunch - lovely to catch up on their news as although we see them a couple of times a week it's usually just a quick chat while handing over children.
Day 14 Tumble drier broke, the drum has fallen off the motor and the damage to the back plate looks beyond repair; as we have had it almost 15 years we decided it was time to replace and spent a lot of the day researching and comparing prices and the rest of the day wrapping birthday and Christmas presents.
Day 15 Popped into town, continued to work on a half finished blanket that I was working on using up leftover wool - took a while to work out which row I was working on!
Day 16 Had Olive here for the day, she is now confidently standing up and not so keen on sitting still for a minute - this is quite a dangerous age!
Day 17 Rain, rain, rain.
Day 18 New tumble dryer delivered, cue mega laundry catch up!
Day 19 Sleepover for Leo and Rosie - they were so excited. Once again, four people went to bed but only three had a good nights sleep
Day 20 Rosie's party was such good fun, bouncy castle, ball pit, soft play and a visit from two Disney princesses, what more could a birthday girl want?
Day 21 Rosie's birthday - those four years have flown by
Day 22 Went into Saffron Walden to meet Jon, Max and Olive for coffee while Sophie had important working from home to do
Day 23 Meal out with my ex-work colleagues in the evening - such fun to meet up and share all the gossip!
Day 24 Zumba in the morning
Day 25 Visited friends in the afternoon for a cup of tea and slice of cake
Day 26 Coco went to vets and now has a big shaved area on the top of her head, had friends over for drinks in the evening and learnt a new card game Five Crowns
Day 27 Had a quiet Sunday, wrapped some Christmas presents, popped into the school Christmas fair in the afternoon and won a bottle of prosecco in the tombola and a necklace in the raffle.
Day 28 Went to Chelmsford to get a couple of Christmas gifts, was busy enough to be festive but not too busy to cause queues in the shops
Day 29 Had my hair cut and after a pampering morning, down to earth with stripping the old wallpaper from the bathroom in the afternoon! England through to the last 16 teams in the World Cup
Day 30 Olive here for the day, wondering when she will finally be brave enough to take her first steps!
Well that month was over and done with very quickly - let's condense it all down to 1 Second Everyday!