Wednesday 31 December 2014

Off She Goes ZIZO

A trip up to Heathrow today to see our eldest off on her travels to New Zealand for 5 weeks. A big adventure for her provides week 53 ZIZO linking with Helena.
A quick goodbye and off she goes!

Off we go home to our New Year celebrations.

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt Link Up

Today I am linking up with Eileen and Joy  for their December link to the Scavenger hunt. I thought today I would add in No. 13 A Stained Glass Window. I took these photos whilst in Bath shopping. I visit this particular church  St Michaels every Christmas to buy charity Christmas cards and indeed often some gifts. It is a lovely church to visit and also has a cafe which is a great place to stop for a coffee for a few moments of tranquility in this busy city.

My all time favourite windows are however the Burne Jones windows in the Epiphany Chapel in Winchester Cathedral. I think alas that it is unlikely that I will have a trip to Winchester before the end of March when the photo hunt finishes.
I have already blogged several items including No. 1 A Reflection in Water that can be seen here, No. 2 A person in a Funny hat seen here , No. 9 Festive Lights which I featured in The Reluctant Shopper, No.12 a Silhouette was blogged yesterday and finally on Christmas Eve I incorporated No. 20 a Nativity in a ZIZO here. A further nativity was that at the German Market in Bristol which towered over and rotated in the centre of Broadmead. 

The Nativity figures rotated round inside.

Then lastly is a picture of another home made stable made by my brother in law for his own children which is always on show in their home at Christmas.

Monday 29 December 2014

Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt. No. 12 Silhouette

Tomorrow I hope to link up for the Photography Scavenger Hunt so today I have added some silhouette photos. These were taken looking out of the entrance of Victoria Park in Bath showing one of the magnificent lions guarding the gate.

In contrast these were taken on the farm.

Sunday 28 December 2014

Double Celebration

It was lovely to have all my family together for a late Christmas celebration today.

It was also my niece Lauren's birthday so it was birthday tea as well.

Saturday 27 December 2014

Busy cooking

A lot of the day has been spent getting ready for a family lunch tomorrow. The puddings are ready.

Don't look Lauren but I have made you some bread with the mould you gave me.

There was still time for some games in the evening with Emma.

Friday 26 December 2014

A Quiet Day

Today we have spent the day quietly. Despite the wet weather we went for a walk to get some fresh air and exercise. Not really the weather for photos but managed one of feeding the sheep.

Thursday 25 December 2014

Happy Christmas

Well it has been a busy day. While I did the last preparations in the kitchen the girls fed and checked the sheep.

Meanwhile the boys saw to the hens and eggs. Then there was some time to relax and eat. Emma had made a brilliant job of the table decoration. Pretty impressive considering she had never done anything like this before.

In the afternoon some of us played games.

Whilst others chilled out.

There were also some new decorations for the tree amongst the presents.
For Brian.

Kate ...

And Emma..

I hope you have all had a lovely day and enjoy the rest of the holiday.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

We went outside at 5.20pm to see the International Space Station pass by. It has been suggested that one should tell the children that it is Santa on his sleigh passing by. My girls are far to old to be taken in by such tales and were not convinced that any child would be. It seems however that my 16 year old is till young enough to stick to our family tradition of reading the lovely poem by Clement Clrake Moore aloud. 

Other traditions are still in place. The stockings hung up.

The sherry and mince pie for Santa is on the mantle piece.

They don't seem to bother with the carrot and hay for the reindeers anymore!
The biggest problem is getting them off to bed!

Well I've drunk the sherry and eaten the mince pie so better fill the stockings and get off to bed!
Happy Christmas everyone!

Nativity Zoom In

I am doing two blogs today because I want to join in week 52 of  Helena's ZIZO. This week I am also linking it to the Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt with no. 20 A Nativity Scene. The girls have had a nativity scene with a little stable made for them by their uncle. It is very simply made out of small sticks but is very effective.

They have only the main three figures. It seems that the Three Wise Men and the shepherds never made it. The girls have always made up for it by adding a number of farm animals some of which of a giant scale and I am not of the presence of pigs? Nevertheless over the years when they were small all sorts joined the scene from model John Deere tractors to Land Rover cars. It is good to see it out again this year and Emma has raided the old toy box for the animals.
However not to be forgotten are the three key people which are what Christmas is all about.

Tuesday 23 December 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The turkey has arrived and is waiting in the fridge. Most of the presents are wrapped and Emma has iced the cake! With another visit to the dentist needed today (hopefully only one more to go!) I needed a little bit of help today so Emma iced the cake, made the cranberry sauce and cooked the lunch. 

Thanks Emma!

Monday 22 December 2014

Last Bits from the Supermarket

The Advent candle needs a lot of hours burning now we have reached the wider bottom and we are having trouble keeping up with the date!

The candle is also now joined by the angel candles.

I ventured to the local supermarket early enough to avoid most of the crowds. All was very festive with Santa Claus sat outside.

All the supermarket staff were in their festive attire and this gentleman kindly posed for me. I thought his hat would meet the criteria for the Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt!

Sunday 21 December 2014

Christmas Club : Presents

I have spent a lot of the past two evenings wrapping Chritmas presents and this has given me time to reflect on present giving in previous years so it is time to join in with Sian's Christmas Club.
When we were children there was a traditional routine to the day. We put our stockings on the end of our bed at bedtime. They were always proper stockings which gave a curious view of the items inside through the semi see through stocking. Like most children I always tried to stay awake to see Santa arrive but never quite managed it. I would wake while it was still dark and feel the shape of the goodies (always nuts and a clementine in the toe) trying to decide what they were. One year my sister and I had a mix up where our stockings fell off our beds and we got the wrong ones. A little subtle intervention was needed by mum!
We then had a strict routine, one present of our choice could be opened in the morning and then the rest waited under the tree until after lunch, coffee and The Queen. They were then agonisingly slowly handed out by dad. This meant that when we had finished dad accumulated a pile of presents that he steadily opened while everyone else watched.

A regular routine was  to wear what we were given.
This is a tradition that has continued with my children.
On the subject of children the best gift that Brian and I have ever been given was  20 years ago tomorrow when our first baby came home after a very long 6 weeks in the Neonatal Unit just in time for Christmas. Who could believe that that tiny baby (pictured below) is now the lovely lady above.
Presents that bring pleasure are not always the most expensive. One year the request for christmas was a whistle, a hat and a shepherd's crook. The favourite book of the moment being The Shepherd Boy by Kim Lewis.
And out to use them she went!
Then there was the year that the ponies had to have their stockings so Santa popped in and called on them!

The delights of christmas are endless! Thank you Sian for helping us to recall these memories and share everyone elses.