Thursday, 31 December 2020


 It’s the last day of 2020 and most people would agree that they will be glad to see the year go and will be looking for better things in the coming year. Somehow Christmas has come and gone which like for so many it was not quite what we had expected. 

I have been taking part each month in Eileen’s photo challenge, the subject for December being Christmas. My photos are limited but I thought I would use them to talk a little about our Christmas this year.

We normally, like most people have a series of Christmas activities that we do each December but this year was different. We had booked to go to Stourhead to see the Christmas lights with friends. Alas this was thwarted by North Somerset being positioned in tier 3 which meant that we could not travel to a tier 2 area for an event.

My only Christmas trip was therefore a walk around Tyntesfield grounds and gardens with a friend. The staff had made great efforts to decorate the grounds.

This little peep though the window gave an insight into what could have been if the house could have been open. I watched two TV programmes following two stately homes prepare for Christmas. The first Highclere House decorated the grounds and house. They were fortunate enough to be placed in tier 2 so were  able to open to the public. The second was Chatsworth House who also prepared house and grounds. They were unfortunate enough to be in a tier 3 so the public didn’t get a chance to see their 

It was closer to Christmas that we realised that our plans were going to change. The government announcement of the changes in Christmas arrangements and the plunging of all of Wales into a tier 4 type status dashed our hopes of younger daughter making it home for Christmas. Fortunately we were able to get a large parcel of gifts to her by post including a cake that I had made her just in case.

Our stress increased as we prepared for Christmas when Farmer Daughter went for a COViD test due to cold symptoms but after a very anxious 24 hours a negative result put us all at ease again. Well kind of at ease. I still had anxieties about my mum coming to join us. This cartoon I saw on the internet summed up the issues nicely.

Somehow we got to Christmas morning. The day promised to be bright, ideal for opening windows!

My mum was put to work on a few last minute jobs!

Amazingly my Christmas pud came out of the bowl whole so no reconstruction was necessary!

It was a quiet Christmas but restful in the end. We were grateful for each other and the available technology to speak to others who would normally be with us.
Here are a few of my Christmas tree baubles to finish.
Memories of past travels.

A gift from a blogger.

A bargain in the sales.

A previous gift from my Great nephew.

So wishing you all the best and a happy New Year.


  1. Happy New Year Maggie.

    Some wonderful finds for the Christmas search. The Tyntesfield grounds staff certainly made a beautiful effort.

  2. I love the three baubles! And the cake for younger daughter. Sorry she couldn't be there with you on the day. Let's hope that things look a bit better next Christmas. In that spirit, a very happy new year.

  3. Lovely photos. I watched that programme on Chatsworth too - wasn't it sad that they put so much effort into the decoration and then not be able to open?
    We too were plunged into Tier 4 the week before Christmas so can fully understand your disappointment about changed plans - let's hope we can have a belated Christmas before too long!

  4. Your photos are lovely. Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

  5. Happy New Year to you Maggie. Sorry to hear that your daughter couldn't get home for Christmas - I hope she enjoyed her cake, it looked delicious.

    Your photos are lovely and prompted me to check the National Trust website where I was pleased to see that the grounds are still open to visitors. The ones local to me have now closed for the winter.

  6. Wishing you a very happy new year! Glad to hear that you are all safe and had some Christmas fun, though muted.

  7. So glad you were able to salvage some Christmas joy in the end. Thanks for sharing the decorations out and about as well as inside with us. Blessings to you and yours in the New Year.