Monday, 27 December 2010

There it was, gone!

Christmas came, and then went again as quickly as it arrived.

On Christmas Eve I worked all day, then went to Mum and Dad's to prepare vegetables. Then I went home to prepare the bits I was taking the next day - bread, chocolate cheescake and a strudel type thing. I also still had to wrap my presents!!

I spent Christmas day with my parents, grandmother, sister, brother-in law and two nephews. Oh and the dog - Tarka came too! She was so well behaved and didn't get over excited by the children at all like I suspected she might. I thought I'd have to put her upstairs at times but I didn't. She really was so good and I was very proud of her. She opened her presents along with the rest of us too! She really is very good at tearing off the wrapping paper but she tends to tear it into very small pieces and makes a dreadful mess. I should have videoed her but I didn't. Sorry.

Anyway we had some lovely presents, a fabulous meal, far too much of all the wrong kinds of food, and because I was able to take the dog I stayed over instead of driving home so was able to have a couple of drinks too! In the evening we played games and generally just enjoyed the day.

Boxing day we also ate far too much - it's been the theme for the last few days. We all went for a walk although 2 yr old nephew found the going a bit tough so was carried for a lot of it. In the evening we visited cousins for a few hours then went back to Mum's and played games again.

Again we all stayed over, so today we all went home and left Mum and Dad to have a bit of peace and quiet.... until tomorrow when we all descend again, but this time including my brother and his family, and my step-grandmother! We'll be 13 in all.

I am so lucky to have a big, close family!

Tarka, Christmas morning.

Traditional turkey dinner. I don't like sprouts!

My sister's homemade Christmas pudding! Delicious!

My festive yuletide mincemeat and apple log.

My famous chocolate orange cheesecake.

The roaring fire on boxing day.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

Clement Clarke Moore (1779 - 1863)

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Nearly there!

I'm almost ready for Christmas! Shopping is almost done, just waiting for 3 things through the post. Most of my cards are done, but I didn't get around to posting the ones I should have posted - ooops sorry!

I have a list of things to do before Saturday. Not sure how I'm going to fit it all in since I'm working both Thursday and Friday, and am out both evenings! However, it will all get done I'm sure, one way or another.

My visitors for Sunday and Monday were here and we had a nice time, but my visitors for Tuesday and Wednesday didn't make it which was a real shame since they had originally planned this trip for last year and had to cancel due to the weather then too. We're going to do it earlier next year. It won't have quite the same atmosphere as being right before Christmas, but we should be safer with the weather.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Christmas preparations

So, I thought I was being organised and did all my shopping online.

Then it snowed.

So, now I have no idea if my shopping will arrive before Christmas or not, if not I'll be out there on Christmas eve with everybody else buying whatever I can find. I have got some presents, but a fair few are still outstanding. Ah well, there's still a week to go...

I am supposed to be having visitors this week. My friends from Guernsey should be arriving tomorrow but they don't think they'll make it, they're currently snowed in with another of their friends in Stroud. On Tuesday my friend and her children from Plymouth should be coming, we're taking her children to London on Wednesday to see the lights. Don't know if that will happen, depends on the weather over the next few days.

I walked up to Sainsbury's for some food in case anyone does make it. While I was there I got myself a small turkey joint. At least if I end up stuck home alone on Christmas day I can cook a proper dinner!

Sunday, 12 December 2010


Dad fixed the heating!!

Actually, it wasn't really broken. It has a filter - who knew? I certainly didn't so it had at least 7 years of gunk clogging it up and preventing the air from flowing through, hence no warm air in my house! Filter is now cleaned, air is flowing once again! It took all of about ten minutes!!

X Factor final today, Matt won! He's been my favourite every week and I actually voted today, I don't normally do that!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Feeling better

Sometimes, you need to stop looking at all your problems as one huge lump, and break them down a bit.

1) Tarka is home from the vets. She's brighter today and is obviously feeling better. I just have to wait and see what happens next, she may never get pancreatitis again if we're lucky so I'm just going to cross my fingers and stop worrying. The insurance claim form went in today.

2) My friends 15 year old dog is doing better, she's hoping he will make it through Christmas.

3) My work friends dog was very ill and nothing could be done for him. His illness was short and he is out of pain. I hope for the same when my time comes.

4) The dental work is necessary and I will feel a lot better when it's done.

5) Dad's coming at the weekend to look at the heating and see if he can fix it. I think it's the fan that's not working (it's a warm air system) so fingers crossed it is both fixable and cheap!

6) The washing machine is 13 years old so to be fair I've had my money's worth. And it's not dead yet, and Dad might be able to fix it! If not, I'll try and get one off freecycle, they come up from time to time.

Oh and one more point, I have the very best friends and family in the whole wide world and I love all of you.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Everything happens at once.

Sometimes everything all goes wrong at the same time.

1. Tarka is sick, she's got pancreatitis and is at the vets on a drip. I don't know how serious this is yet.

2. My friends 15 yr old dog is ill, and may not pull through.

3. Another friend at work had to have her dog put to sleep unexpectedly today.

4. I am having to have nearly £500 worth of dental treatment.

5. The heating isn't working properly and needs looking at.

6. The washing machine is making a funny noise and needs looking at.

It never rains, but it pours!

N.B. Edited post 08/12/10 - I'm not quite as down in the dumps today as I was yesterday!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

I was right...

...I went to agility, I froze, and hardly anyone turned up.

I'm not doing that next week if the weather is bad again, they'll have to make do without me. I wasn't even needed after all that effort as there were so few people to teach that we amalgamated the classes!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

What a difference a day makes...

Twenty four little hours....

Here's the same scene as yesterday but 24 hours later.

The snow got us!!

I've spent all day waiting for a call, text or email to say agility was cancelled tonight but finally I got a call... to say it was NOT cancelled!! So I have to go out again tonight and freeze while I teach a class that hardly anyone will turn up to!


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

No snow.... yet!!

The whole country is covered in a deep layer of snow... except for one tiny little pocket called the Thames Valley, which happens to be where I live. The news is full of reports of jack-knifed lorries, cars stuck on motorways, schools closed, people advised to only go out in an emergency, and look what faced me at work this morning...

Practically no snow at all!!

I'm happy about that though, I love snow and it's very pretty, but it's so disruptive I think we're better off without it.