Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas Day 2011....

How was yours? I hope you had a really good day!! This was ours....

We went to bed late on Christmas Eve after waiting for the boys to go to sleep so we could drag W's present in from the garage - it was h-e-a-v-y:

W's present in the back - a full size 1980's arcade machine!!
H's to the side - his very own PC.

This was the first year that I had nothing to do with the boys presents as they were well and truly "Boy Stuff" and so Mr G sorted them.

Mr G bought all the bits to go with the arcade machine so it will run 5000 retro arcade games (W *loves* you have to put money in it - he has the key to the money drawer and uses the same 50p but has plans to charge all his friends!!) A lot of the games Mr G used to love in his youth and so it's lovely that W is so keen to play them too).

Mr G and H built the PC together today while I was playing with my present:

It's a Silver Viscount 9000e....

So far I am loving it!! It has 265 stitches including some really lovely decorative ones and 3 different alphabets. It's very easy to use too, I was a bit concerned that after my mechanical 21 stitch first machine it would be too much but so far it's very easy and intuitive to use and I've hardly had to look at the manual.

After a leisurely morning it was time to leave for the pub. My Sis and BIL had persuaded us all to eat out this year and despite misgivings we agreed:

Not very inspiring from the front....

But this is the view opposite....

Naturally we all had to pose on the wall:

Lots of pics were taken at the table:

W and E, my gorgeous little niece (who I am thrilled is just like Auntie Sarah in many ways!!)

Mr G and my lovely Mum (she's recently started following my blog after "not getting it" so I'm chuffed!!)

Mr G's Dad and Mum with a bit of my Stepdad in the foreground - didn't get a better pic I'm afraid....

Me in my sparkly frock and my brother-in-law - he and Sis have been together since they were 16 so I view him as a proper brother....

Gorgeous, glamorous (totally opposite to me!!) Sis and Mr G....

More comedy moustaches for Mr G (incidentally, my late beloved Granddad (whom H is named after) would wear one of these for the duration of Christmas dinner!!)

W, with my cheeky nephew A and H the other side....

Enjoying their own enormous cheeseboard!!

Despite not really fancying eating out for Christmas lunch it was rather enjoyable, the food was good (although the service was s-l-o-w, not enough staff we thought) and it was lovely to get up and walk away from all the mess after the meal!!

After lunch we adjourned to Sis's house just up the road for present opening:

Sis's house is the antithesis of ours, neutral and quiet minimal - nice and classy but far too plain for me!!

Isn't my Sis gorgeous? We're like chalk and cheese!!

BIL and A modelling the Christmas jumpers Nannie knit ( she says A's Fairisle was the worst thing she's ever knitted!!)

Sis modelling her lovely Nordic hat, scarf and mitts - bought this time, not handknitted.

I got some lovely presents, Sis got me some Cath Kidston flowery"Converse" type plimsolls among other things; Mum got me a Mason Pearson hairbrush which I am DELIGHTED about - I have wanted one for a-g-e-s but they are so expensive. It's FABULOUS, goes through my waist length hair sooooo easily!!

She was also very naughty and got me some CK gift vouchers, Kirstie Allsopp's "Craft" book and some other bits, as usual she spent too much!!
Mr G's parents got me some of my favourite Badedas bubble bath (last years Christmas bottle lasted until September and that's used daily!!) and some Chanel Coco Mademoiselle perfume.

After we all did well with our gifts (I really enjoyed watching my handmade things be opened, I must try and get pics of them so I can show you) we returned home in plenty of time for Eastenders and Downton Abbey (I love, love, love Downton!!)

Altogether it was a very successful day!! It's now my most detested part of the year - Boxing Day to the start of Spring - I struggle not get very down this time of year, I've always loathed it, middle of winter and such a anti-climax after Christmas. 

I will keep my chin up though and be thankful for all the things I am blessed with, especially my wonderful family....

I hope you all enjoyed yours as much, am looking forward to reading all about them....


S x

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Friday, 23 December 2011

Just Two More Sleeps....

I love, love, love Christmas, but every year without fail I start to feel wee bit depressed on Christmas Eve because it's nearly over and in anticipation of the time of year that I dislike the most - Boxing Day until about March!!

This year I started feeling festive very soon, right back in November and I suppose it was inevitable that I ran out of steam before the day itself, I'm feeling all a bit hummpffff today - you know so much to do, so little time and it's all going to be over in a flash.

I tried to make a last minute extra gift for my little niece and it was so fiddly it's never going to be done unless I work at it all day tomorrow, I'm fretting I've not bought my sister enough and have only finished one of the pair of mittens I'm doing her and am fretting that H & W who only have one very expensive present each will be disappointed because they don't have a huge pile. 

Anyway, enough of that - I thought I'd bore you show you a couple of photos I've taken in the last week or so.

On Monday I went to my friend Ashley's from Country Rose for lunch so I can now show you this gift I made for little Rose, Ashley's gorgeous baby girl:

Photo by Ashley as it's much better than my pic!!

The pattern was from the new Tone Finnanger book Tilda's Studio  and was really quick and easy to make up, one of those items that's a real pleasure to make (unlike the blooming topsy turvy doll I spent all afternoon trying to make today!!)

Ashley made me a notebook with a lovely patchwork cover which is pretty and practical, I shall keep it in my handbag for Very Important Notes.

The weather was vile so we had a nice afternoon sewing in ends on a lovely crochet blanket Ashley had made, nattering and eating chocolate brownies. A very pleasant way to pass a few hours.

On Tuesday we went Winchester and the town looked very pretty:

Arrrrgh, why does Blogger do that??!!

Mr G has had a cold so he stayed in feeling a but sorry for himself on Wednesday and I went to Asda with W to make a start on the Christmas food shopping and on Thursday we finished it off - we have lots of lovely treats (strictly to be opened Only On Christmas Eve). 

When we were kids we always had boxes of chocolates and other treats Mum had gathered over the weeks before Christmas and we weren't allowed to open them until Dad got home on Christmas Eve, he would finish at lunchtime and I remember we would wait eagerly for him to come home!!

Today we went with the boys and Grandma and Granddad to our local garden centre to look around the Christmas world and I got a lovely pic of the boys:

B***** Blogger!!

Even Milo has been feeling festive:

Don't forget to track Father Christmas with NORAD tomorrow!!


S x

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Our 15th Wedding Anniversary....

Today's post is another trip down memory lane, so I hope you'll indulge me once more!!

On 20th December 1996 Mr G and I were married:

Gosh we look like babies....

The day started early because I just couldn't sleep, my sister had stayed over and we awoke to a grey, rainy day.

Soon, my Mum, Auntie and Cousin arrived and it was time to begin to get ready:

 My Mum creating a huge bouffant!!....

My cousin pinning my floral headdress in place....

Just about to go into the church:

Just married:

This photo is my favourite....

Christmas is my favourite time of year and we had a few festive touches including the red velvet bridesmaids dresses, holly, ivy & mistletoe in the flowers and photos in front of the Christmas tree:

Mr G's Dad; his brother; Mr G; our best man (he and Mr G have known each other since they were 8); our usher and my Dad :0(

My cousin; Me!!; My sister; J - who I babysat from when she was 2.

After a wonderful intimate wedding (just forty guests) we spent a couple of nights in the hotel. I didn't want to take my gorgeous dress off:

But somehow I was persuaded ;0):

We spent Christmas at home and then in the new year we honeymooned in Goa.

Back then I believe the average cost of a wedding was £11,000 but being thrifty folks we managed ours for £4500 including honeymoon, we did this by having a Friday, midwinter wedding and shopping in the sales. We had all the trimmings - Rolls Royces, sit down meal and evening disco but careful shopping made it a bargain!!

Today we went to the Christmas market in Winchester and a curry this evening, Mr G has man flu which has put a slight damper on things - we're hoping he's better for Christmas and no-one else gets it!!


S x

Monday, 19 December 2011

On This Day 2008 - Lapland....

On the 19th December 2008 we were treated, by Grandma (Mr G's Mum), to a day trip to Lapland.

We had to rise very early to be at Bournemouth airport for 5.00am and after a four hour flight descended over Lapland:

Having never even been skiing I filled up at the sight of the wonderful snowy scenery - tears were set to be a theme of the day for me (in a good way!!)

After getting changed into snowsuits, gloves and sturdy boots it was time to snuggle into reindeer skins in the sleighs:

The sleighs were pulled by snowmobiles and soon we whizzing over frozen lakes and admiring the most magical scenery:

At this time of year there is just four hours of half light in Lapland.

The "resort" we were to spend the day at was a very small, intimate one and there were not many people around which was perfect (I had been a tad concerned it would be terribly "commercial") - the only building was a log cabin that housed the shop and cafe:

Grandma with W (then 8yrs) and H (then 10yrs)

The whole day was really a-m-a-z-i-n-g and at times I was overcome with emotion. I must confess that I kept welling up because I am a h-u-g-e softy and I was rather overwhelmed to be doing something so magical with my little boys, Mr G and my lovely Mother-In-Law.

Each family had an appointment with Father Christmas and until it was out turn there was plenty to do:

Of course as well as all that there was lots of posing for photos:

                                       The snowsuits we were provided with were not the most flattering attire....

As everyone had the same suit it was a good thing I wore my furry earmuffs, which made me instantly recognisable!!

There were lots of these candles which as it got dark lit the way....

One of the first activities we tried was to ride on the dog sleds:

It wasn't long before it began to get dark:

Reindeer sleigh rides were next on the agenda:

Although the reindeer are very cute, they were really rather shifty and we were warned not to try and stroke them as they can be rather temperamental!!

After lunch it was our turn to take a sleigh ride across the frozen lake, following a path lit by lanterns to Father Christmas's cabin:

And at last we got to meet the Big Man:

As I watched my boys meet Father Christmas I really started to blub, it was just so magical and I couldn't contain my feelings!!:

Outside cabin on the way back to our awaiting sleigh I was crying so much I was doing the hiccuping thing that small children do and whispering "I loved it!!"

The rest of the afternoon was spent sledging, snowmobiling and making snow angels. Of course, there was hot chocolate too:

And we took time to sit in front of the outdoor fires to keep warm while the boys sledged:

At one point Mr G and I lay down on the snow to gaze into the clear skies in the hopes we might see the aurora Borealis - but unfortunately we we not quite that lucky.

Around 6.00pm coaches arrived to take us the short distance back to the airport for our flight home, it was the most amazing day - I would even go as far as to say that it was up there with our wedding day and the birth's of the boys.

I hope all your Christmas preparations are coming together, thanks loads for taking the time to read my very picture heavy post today!!


S x