Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Well It's Beginning to Feel Like Christmas!

What a lovely day I've had today! You don't get many of these to the pound!

Started the day off at 7.15 am with a phone call from my son, Neil. He was letting us know that we have a new grand daughter, Ellen. She was 8 lb 2 ozs and came into the world at 5.30 this morning. Her Mam was getting a bit worried because she was a week overdue and the hospital had told her they might leave her until Christmas Eve. Needless to say she was panicking a bit and worrying about being in hospital on Christmas Day and leaving a 4 year old at home. Problem solved, now we have 3 granddaughters and one grandson.

Next at 10.30 am met my daughter, Claire and went to my granddaughter Lauren's Christmas play, Whoopsy Daisy Angel! A lovely story about a little angel who was messy and always got things wrong. Well, until the day they asked her to let everyone know about the baby Jesus. She didn't mess that up! Brought the tears to your eyes. As the head teacher said, it's hard to believe that they are only between 3 and 4 years old and have only been in school for about 12 weeks. No stage fright, just amazingly confident little performers.

Tomorrow it's the school carol service in church and the Reception Class are performing the traditional nativity play. Lauren's brother's class who are in their final year in Junior School, Year 6 and are the Special Friends of the little ones in Reception, are doing the readings. I must remember the hankies again!

After the play we took Lauren home and had a quick lunch. Next we went to buy presents for the new baby. I have always enjoyed buying lovely clothes for my new grandchildren but today was a real pain. It was the same in all the shops we tried. The shops didn't have much left and some of them were selling the clothes at reduced prices. It was hard to find things that matched. If you could get the dress in the right size, they didn't have the jacket! We eventually managed to find a set, just hope that they like it.

We collected Nathan, Lauren's brother and went home. Then my daughter went off to see to her horse and left me with Nathan & Lauren. I opened the cafe and started to feed them as usual. Next my nephew Glenn who is a golf director at a hotel, arrived with a Christmas present I had ordered for my son in law. Then in came my husband who was in a hurry to go out to a function.


Next my daughter arrived back and we had a coffee together. We had hoped to visit and see the new baby tonight but my son rang to say they were getting out of the hospital at teatime and suggested we put it off until tomorrow. Have to say that although I was a bit disappointed I'm having a lovely relaxing evening on my own with a glass of wine or two, counting my blessings and celebrating a wonderful day. Money can't buy this and God willing, I'll have another lovely day tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Nigella's Christmas Kitchen


I heard someone describe Nigella's programme as food porn.

Have to say that after watching her Christmas show tonight I know exactly what they mean. She makes food sound so fabulous and so easy. I like her style!

Will probably have a go at her little Christmas Puddini Truffles. They look scrumptious. Her Triple Cheese and Onion Strata looks great too.

Even if you're not a keen cook, her programme is a great one to watch just for her style. She's gorgeous and not a skinny bird, she likes her food.

If you missed it here it is on the BBC iPlayer again and most of the recipes.

Nigella's Christmas Kitchen

Christmas Getting to Know You

I got tagged by That British Woman. All I did was read her Blog!

So if you're reading this, you're tagged too.


Here's what you're supposed to do. Just change all the answers so that they apply to you. It's not that hard.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? - Wrapping paper.

2. Real tree or Artificial? - Artificial. It’s more environmentally friendly, lasts for years. Love the smell of real trees but I once wrecked a hoover with the needles.

3. When do you put up the tree? - Generally week before Christmas.

4. When do you take the tree down? - Twelfth Night, not a day before!


5. Do you like eggnog? - Have no idea what that is.

6. Favourite gift received as a child? - A real pencil sharpener that fastened to the table from my Nanna & Grandad.

7. Hardest person to buy for? - My daughter in law. I'm going to suggest we don't bother next year.

8. Easiest person to buy for? - Nobody is easy.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? - Is this a crib? If so yes but I don’t put it up at the moment as it’s quite fragile and my grandchildren would wreck it.


10. Mail or email Christmas cards? - Mail.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? - Perfume. Any kind I get from anyone. I keep telling people not to buy it for me but they keep doing it.

12. Favourite Christmas Movie? - I have 3,
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Love Actually and It’s a Wonderful life.

13. When do you start shopping? - About September, then I have a rest until November.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? - Yes I put them in the Charity bags. At least someone will benefit from them.

15. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas? - The same things I eat with Sunday lunch all year round, Yorkshire Pudding and roast potatoes!

16. Lights on the tree? - Does this mean yes or no? If so yes.

17. Favourite Christmas song? Carol - Silent Night. Song - Driving Home for Christmas, Chris Rea.

18, Travel at Christmas or stay home? - Home.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? - Yes.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? - Angel.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? - Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? - Nothing really.

23. Favourite ornament theme or color? - Gold and silver.

24. Favourite for Christmas dinner? - Salmon, I don’t eat meat.

25. What do you want
for Christmas this year? - Nothing at all, have all I need.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Skywatch Friday - 15 May 2009

Now this is a picture I look at a lot when I need a fine weather fix. Clear blue skies and a beautiful calm blue sea. You might have already seen it, I have it on the side of my Blog. Yes, it's definitely one of my favourites.

It's a view of Kalithea Bay in Rhodes from a hotel we've stayed at about four times now. They have great gardens with lovely sweet smelling flowers. The beach is nothing to shout about but there's lots of lovely swimming pools.


Oh I'm dying to go back and yippee, not long to go now!

Want to join in Skywatch Friday? Just go to the Skywatch website.





Sykywatch Friday - 12 December 2008

Gateshead - Newcastle Millennium Bridge

I've eventually walked over the Gateshead - Newcastle Millennium Bridge! I think I was the only person in the North East who hadn't! Everyone I speak to has been over it many times but I hardly ever go to Newcastle. If I do, I just go to the main shopping area and never down to the Quayside.

My husband was 65 a couple of weeks ago and we decided to go out for a late lunch in Newcastle on the Quayside. Not only was it a late lunch, we were late too. I was walking as I took these photographs, the light wasn't too good and it was absolutely freezing, so they aren't exactly wonderful. I just had to record the occasion!


Tyne Bridge

This is a view of the Tyne Bridge taken from the Millennium Bridge. The struts (not sure if that's the correct terminolgy) of the Millennium Bridge are at the top edges of the picture.

If it looks familiar, the Tyne Bridge is a smaller version of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was built four years before the Sydney one by the same company Dorman Long, Middlesbrough. It's not as dramatic as the Sydney Harbour Bridge let's face it, that one stands alone over a really beautiful harbour.

This one was built in what was a highly industrialised area and has other bridges very close to it, carrying the traffic into and out of Newcastle upon Tyne. Nevertheless, it's well loved here in the North East.

I think a summer visit is in the offing to get some better pictures!

If you'd like to join Skywatch Friday just go to the Skywatch website and post your pictures.


Joyce The Librarian

I’ve always thought that librarians are stereotyped and get a raw deal. It’s the same whether it’s a TV sketch, film, limerick and in this case a song, Joyce the Librarian.

I heard it for the first time on the Alan Titchmarch radio programme on the way back from church. It was performed by Peter Skellern and Richard Stillgoe and I laughed all the way home. As I listened to it, I was reminded of how I enjoy your poems Brenda at Rinkly Rimes

Unfortunately I can't find that version on You Tube which is a pity because it's a very good recording. There are a couple of others but they're not very good. Anyway, with apologies to librarians out there, here's the lyrics:

Joyce The Librarian

Joyce the librarian
Strict vegetarian
Forty and living with mum.
Wears sandals and glasses
Attends evening classes
And wonders if romance will come.
Though she'd never been kissed
It's not something she'd missed
Until some weeks before;
When George, a rotarian,
Handsome lotharian,
Walked through the library door.

George was unmarried
And the torch that Joyce carried
Was burning a hole in her heart
She wanted to show him
But didn't yet know him
She didn't know where to start
So with growing abhorrance
She read D.H. Lawrence
To glean a few ideas . . .
Which she turned down flat
She couldn't do that
Not in a million years!!

Joyce the librarian
Strict vegetarian
Was burning with animal lust
Alarming sensations
Strange palpatations
A mix of delight and disgust
So she busied herself
Rearranging the shelf
To try to control her dreams.
Joyce the librarian
The disciplinarian
Was falling apart at the seams.

The very next day
She kept out of the way
When George returned his books
But with growing conviction
She wandered through "Fiction"
And threw him some longing looks.
And when George joined the queue
She knew just what to do,
She smiled and removed her specs . .
Then looked in horror
'Cause he'd come to borrow "
The Further Joy of Sex".

Perhaps because latterly
She'd read "Lady Chatterley"
Something just snapped in her head;
She gave herself gladly,
Wildly, madly,
To George that night in his bed.
But then just as she'd feared
George disappeared
Some other librarian to woo.
Now there's a sob in her voice
As both book and Joyce
Are a fortnight over due.
Richard Stilgoe & Peter Skellern

What's a Gansey?

                                                Photograph courtesy of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums It's a seaman's kni...