Sunday, 31 December 2017

Week Fifty-Two

Christmas 

Well there it was.......................gone!



All quiet till Friday when we visited our younger son Peter and his wife Steph and three of our grandchildren with presents, and had lunch out with them too.


New Year

Next year tomorrow, I wonder what it will bring. 
This year we had another beautiful grandchild who will be be a year old in January, so where did that year go............? 





My saddest day was taking my 85 year old dad to his new forever home. A care-home ten minutes from my house. So lovely to visit my dad twice a week now instead of every six weeks. The positive thing is he has settled remarkably well. We had Christmas lunch in the care-home with him which was lovely.
We had Christmas afternoon tea twice this year with lovely friends Bill and Janice once on 2nd January, and yesterday, and a cream tea in the summer, and looking forward to doing it all again. I hosted afternoon teas for more lovely friend David and Jane. Also met and had coffee with the lovely Michele and her lovely dog Minnie who was beautifully behaved waiting with me holding her lead outside the local post-office. 


This year I managed to tick off a three things from my bucket list. We went to Hampton Court Palace in the spring, somewhere I have been wanting to visit since I was a little girl, and seeing The Mousetrap since I got interested in the Agatha Christie books when I was about thirteen. Also a must see on my list was the Harry Potter Experience which we did too. 









So cheerio 2017, hello 2018 tomorrow.







Wednesday, 27 December 2017

2017 Advent Scavenger Hunt


I would like yo say thank you to everyone who joined in and/or read this year's 
Advent Scavenger Hunt, 
and hope we can all do it again next year, which would be rather lovely


Sunday, 24 December 2017

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 23


Nativity

My son Robert bought this little Nativity scene back from Mexico for me


Friday, 22 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 22


Father Christmas


St. Nicholas was a Bishop who lived in the fourth century in a place called Myra in Asia Minor (now called Turkey). He was a very rich kind man whose his parents died when he was young and left him a lot of wealth. There are several legends about St. Nicholas.

The most famous story about St. Nicholas tells how the custom of hanging up stockings to put presents in first started! It goes like this:
There was a poor man who had three daughters. The man was so poor that he did not have enough money for a dowry, so his daughters couldn't get married. (A dowry is a sum of money paid to the bridegroom by the brides parents on the wedding day. This still happens in some countries, even today.) One night, Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into the house (This meant that the oldest daughter was then able to be married.). The bag fell into a stocking that had been hung by the fire to dry! This was repeated later with the second daughter. Finally, determined to discover the person who had given him the money, the father secretly hid by the fire every evening until he caught Nicholas dropping in a bag of gold. Nicholas begged the man to not tell anyone what he had done, because he did not want to bring attention to himself. But soon the news got out and when anyone received a secret gift, it was thought that maybe it was from Nicholas.
Read more about St. Nicholas here

To me the definitive Father Christmas is the John Leech drawing, second of three spirits in Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol.  


Father Winter

Did you know you can track Father Christmas on his long journey around the world?  
Follow him here

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 21

Winter

Meteorological winter is 1st December,
but Winter Solstice is 21st December.



Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 20




Wrapped Presents

These wrapped presents are books for an Advent Bag for my three other grandchildren  (cousins to yesterdays post).  The second year I have done this for them and they really enjoy it.

All the books in this bag are from Charity shops and at least 50% of them have never been opened.   You can tell by the pages clicking as you flick through the books.  I start collecting these books immediately after Christmas, but what upsets me the most is that when I open the cover to find an inscription from loving grandparents and the book has never been looked at.  Back in January/February this year I remembered I opened such a book only to read "love granny and grandad  Christmas 2016............"

Moan over..........sorry it just upsets me children don't read books anymore.  My cheeky son says to me that not everybody is old like me and does things from "olden times" this coming from the son just entering into his thirties!  I did wonder why we named him Peter*









*referring to J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 19





Stocking or Christmas Sack/Bag

I made this bag for our youngest grand-daughter.  
She already had her Christmas presents because she is in New Zealand for Christmas with her aunties, uncles and other grandad but we will see her about the New Year and it will be her first birthday at the end of January. 

Monday, 18 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 18




Mistletoe

Mistletoe growing on a tree in the grounds of Hampton Court Place

Mistletoe is a plant that grows on range of trees including willow, apple and oak trees. The tradition of hanging it in the house goes back to the times of the ancient Druids. It is supposed to possess mystical powers which bring good luck to the household and wards off evil spirits. It was also used as a sign of love and friendship in Norse mythology and that's where the custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from.

When the first Christians came to Western Europe, some tried to ban the use of Mistletoe as a decoration in Churches, but many still continued to use it! York Minster Church in the UK used to hold a special Mistletoe Service in the winter, where wrong doers in the city of York could come and be pardoned.
The custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from England. The original custom was that a berry was picked from the sprig of Mistletoe before the person could be kissed and when all the berries had gone, there could be no more kissing!
The name mistletoe comes from two Anglo Saxon words 'Mistel' (which means dung) and 'tan' (which means) twig or stick! So you could translate Mistletoe as 'poo on a stick'!!! Not exactly romantic is it!



Infographic about Mistletoe

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 17


Christmas Wrapping Paper

This years wrapping paper for our Christmas presents

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 16


Undressed. 
Its a Bottle-brush tree


Hundred lights
In Victorian times, the tree would have been decorated with candles


Tree after dressed

The "Bottle-brush" Christmas tree is finally up and we listened to Christmas songs whilst my husband dressed the tree, getting into the Christmas spirit! He seems to like doing the tree so I let him and I think he makes quite a good job of it. All the baubles are vintage inherited from my parents including the blue baubles from Advent Calendar - Door 9  But since taking the photo of the box of blue baubles we are now down to nine of them.

There is the history behind the Christmas Tree on yesterdays post


Friday, 15 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 15


Christmas Tree before dressed

The evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come. The Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.

The first person thought  to have brought a Christmas Tree into a house, in the way we know it today, may have been the 16th century German preacher Martin Luther. A story is told that, one night before Christmas, he was walking through the forest and looked up to see the stars shining through the tree branches. It was so beautiful, that he went home and told his children that it reminded him of Jesus, who left the stars of heaven to come to earth at Christmas. 

The first Christmas Trees came to Britain sometime in the 1830s. They became very popular in 1841, when Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's German husband) had a Christmas Tree set up in Windsor Castle. 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 14


Christmas Crackers

We had these crackers  a few years ago,  I thought they were so traditional and pretty.

Read about Christmas Crackers here

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 13


First Christmas card received in the post


The first Christmas cards were invented by
 Sir Henry Cole and illustrated by John Callcott Horsley 

You can read about it here

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 12


This little angel has been with me for over sixty years.  She was purchased from Woolworths in the 1950's by my mother.  In all that time the only damage is to the corner of her harp.



Monday, 11 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 11



We didn't have snow in our part of the country just very heavy rain and gale force winds




The Snowman ornament, well that what it is in our our house.  
Its actually an Egg Cup and Drinking Cup given to our eldest in 1981

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 9


Christmas Bauble

These Christmas baubles I inherited from my mum.  They are sort of vintage purchased in the very late 1970's, possibly very early 1980's.  The missing one somehow mysteriously broke in storage.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 8



Sleigh

Sleigh Ride
composed by Leroy Anderson in 1948

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 7




Bell(s)

The Carol of the Bells from Harry Potter film 
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Hark how the bells,
Sweet silver bells,
All seem to say,
Throw cares away

Christmas is here,
Bringing good cheer,
To young and old,
Meek and the bold.

Ding dong ding dong
That is their song
With joyful ring
All caroling.

One seems to hear
Words of good cheer
From everywhere
Filling the air.

Oh how they pound,
Raising the sound,
O'er hill and dale,
Telling their tale.

Gaily they ring
While people sing
Songs of good cheer,
Christmas is here.

Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas,
Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas.

On on they send,
On without end,
Their joyful tone
To every home.

Ding dong ding dong
Ding dong ding dong

Hark how the bells,
Sweet silver bells,
All seem to say,
Throw cares away
(We will throw cares away)

Christmas is here,
Bringing good cheer,
To young and old,

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 6








Robin
Meet Mr Humphrey Montague Redbreast-Robin
otherwise known as Monty

He lives at the bottom of my garden, and when we are gardening he joins us looking for worms and insects.  You can often hear me having a conversation with him.  It is a bit one sided but occasionally he joins in.   Sometimes he can be spotted in the very large Oak tree at the bottom of my garden his bright red chest beaming like a beacon


The north wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
and what will the poor robin do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn and keep himself warm,
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing.

My mum taught me this little rhyme when I was a child


A few years when we had a shed that was only held together by will power and the door only fitted where it touched.  There was a rather large hole at the top of the shed door, no one took much notice of the shed until one of our son's wanted something from the shed and went in the shed to get what he wanted, he left the shed empty-handed and called me and his dad to see what he should do next......  
You see in the shed was a nest, we didn't know what sort of nest just a nest with blueish eggs in it, we hadn't seen any comings and goings.  Anyway we carefully moved the nest, son got what he wanted and returned the nest slightly lower than before but it was still in the same place and we forgot about the nest and carried on with everyday life.  
A few weeks later the back door wide open and commotion of a bird and it was a robin making so much noise and flying back and forth getting rather over excited!  When I went to look there was a cat walking around and round waiting for someone to open the shed door to let it in the for the chicks.  No chance!  I chased the cat out of the garden and the robin flew in the shed through the hole in the door and I just went back to the kitchen to continue doing whatever it was, tea I think as it was late afternoon.  A few minutes later I heard chirping on the doorstep, went and looked and there was the robin chirruping away as if to say thank you for saving my family.



Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 5



Stained glass window

This is a window at 
St. Andrew's Church Minehead Somerset UK
depicting St. Ursula (left) and St, Nicholas (right)

St. Ursula (here) 

St. Nicolas (here)

Monday, 4 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 4


Christmas Book

One of the best known story at Christmas.  


A Christmas Carol - 1971


You may want to get a cup of tea/coffee and a biscuits to watch this as it is 25 minutes long

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 3



Favourite Christmas Recipe

Recipe can be found here



I make a few Christmas cakes to give as presents and also make an extra one for our son Robert who was 35yrs old on 26th November.  His birthday is exactly four weeks to Christmas Eve and he has always loved Christmas cake.  The cake is quite robust to send in the post too, as I used to send him one I made in a loaf tin when he was at university too.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 2


Something Handcrafted for Christmas
This angel decoration was made last year by my friend's daughter Saffy aged 11 with a little guidance from myself

How to make the Christmas Angels are here

Friday, 1 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Door 1


Letterbox
King George V letterbox


Thursday, 30 November 2017

November Scavenger Hunt 2017



Blue Plaque


Me 
I hate having my photo taken, but I can certify this is me


Beginning with a...... W
Waterwheel at Piles Mill nr Porlock Somerset UK


Rainbow


Arch


Toy
My old toys


Swirl
In the swirls of  branches printed on this toddlers book are little pictures


Brush


My Own
Carrots I purchased from a farm shop.  
These carrots were roasted and they were so sweet and very nice

Linked with Kate I Live, I love, I craft.

*****************************


The Christmas Advent Scavenger Hunt 2017 starts tomorrow.  Thank you for all the interest too.  
I have been asked many questions.  There are no rules as such, so please if you feel you think you won't manage to put  a picture every day, then play catch-up at the end of each week.   Mix up the pictures if you wish, but use the list but please keep the "Night Before Christmas" as the 24th picture.  
Just have FUN!  
Its just a scavenger hunt after all 
I will certainly have fun looking at everyone's pictures everyday, I will look everyday