Sunday, 28 December 2014
Christmas Day was lovely and we had my Mother in Law and her partner come round for the main Christmas Dinner and then my Aunt and Uncle joined us in the evening for a light tea. My parents phoned in the evening and we all got to have a lovely Christmas chat. Our older son also phoned during the day and we got to chat with him as well, which was really special as it is the first Christmas without him here with us.
Christmas decorations and table on Christmas Day
For dinner we had:
Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, 'pigs in blankets' (little sausages with bacon wrapped round them), stuffing, roast potatoes, sweet potatoes and parsnips and yorkshire puddings, plus cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots.
I made a fresh fruit salad for desert and we also had an orange and cranberry Christmas pudding.
My Mother in Law and her partner.
We decided not to exchange presents this year, figuring we all had enough and didn't need anything.
However, my husband decided to surprise me with something.
The best gift he could have thought of! I am not a fan of fizzy drinks, but I have always loved Lemon and Paeroa and although perhaps not as good as it was in the early seventies...it is still very nice and I really miss it as it is not available here in England.
Included in the package were two L&P Slabs....I had seen these when last in New Zealand, but didn't buy them as I thought they were like Peanut Slabs which I don't like and not being a chocolate lover generally didn't give them much thought....BUT I loved these! They really do taste like L&P!
Boxing Day was spent relaxing, doing a spot of knitting and reading.
Today I messed around with the various built in filters on my camera...
Percy is looking extraordinarily hairy at the moment!
Sylvester and Rocky are now friends.
Sylvester has settled in well.
We have a boarder staying with us for a few days.
Nutmeg was one of the American Crested cavies I bred and she has been coming to stay for the holidays for the last six and a half years. She is a real sweet heart and it is lovely to see her again.
Tuesday, 23 December 2014
Well the month seems to have flown by, and Christmas is almost upon us.
So what has been happening.
Some sad news....
Mason otherwise known as Max died late November, leaving Oscar and Rocky on their own.
On 9th December after chatting to a friend during the day at how well Oscar was doing I was shocked to find he had died sometime during that day after I had seen him alive and well.
This meant poor Rocky was now on his own....I don't like them being left on their own and when a friend she said she had a baby boar from a recent litter available and would I like him as a cage mate for Rocky I said yes!
Little Sylvester arrived today. They are still getting acquainted from opposite sides of the hutch! Hopefully before long they will be the best of friends.
We had the 'Mysterious Case of the Fish out of Water...
I discovered one of our fish beside the pond....no marks on him so no idea how he ended up there! Did he jump and fall out by mistake? They are not so active at this time of year, so not sure. Cat's can't get to the pond as it is raised, the only other explanation would be a heron or something...but would they then have left the fish?
Some more miniature painting has been done.
Heron in Flight
Sunset on the Sea
I haven't been taking a lot of photos lately, not sure why...partly because I haven't been doing the walks that I did last year....for much of the past few months it just seems to have been too wet.
I did capture this robin in the garden the other week though.
I haven't felt much like preparing for Christmas this year and it has taken some getting into the mode of it. We have decided no presents this year....everyone has too much and don't really need anything, so we thought we would make it more about family instead. We will be having my Mother in Law and her Partner come round for the main Christmas Dinner and then my Aunt and Uncle will also join us later in the afternoon for a light tea. We will get some games down and play some games and hopefully enjoy each other's company!
My older son is away this year - he is working at sea and will be spending Christmas on board his ship.
I have done a little Christmas decorating....lights and the small tree are up.
The nativity scene was made and painted by our eldest son when he was five years old and is rather special! The stable we got last year. My wood carving that I bought on the Reservation in Arizona this year carved by a Navajo, takes pride of place.
A collection of snowmen with the Polar Bear.
The yearly visit of the Rotary Christmas Sleigh went by.
We visited some of the Christmas displays at the local garden centres, but I forgot my camera most times!
My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary,...or rather I spent the day singing in the Church Choir in the morning, during the afternoon for a rehearsal and at the Concert on Sunday night!
I've enjoyed singing in both the Community Choir and in a Church Choir and we have had a busy couple of weeks with concerts.
Thursday, 4 December 2014
The days are passing, I am I suppose busy, although sometimes I wonder what I actually achieve - as many of my things on my list go uncompleted, often not even attempted. I don't do winter very well! I still don't quite seem to have managed to have caught up with sorting things since the carpet was laid over a month ago now. How and why is that I wonder?
I sing three times a week in the Community Choir and now also with a Church Choir, which is quite a different experience for me. We are busy with various concerts at this time of the year.
I haven't been taking a lot of photos lately, not really sure why, but lack of light is one of them, not going for walks due to the continually bad wet damp weather is another.
The rhythm of my days....knitting, practising my cello, sewing, sleeping - I seem to want to do a lot of that!
Some of my latest attempts at painting....
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
An old settler's hut.
In the harbour
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Remembering all those who have lost their lives during the many wars. Remembering my great grandfather Private Christopher William Chatterton who died of wounds in France during the First World War on 26th March 1915. He was in the 1st Batallion of the Gloucestershire Regiment. He is buried at Caberet-Rouge Cemetery in France and in the mid nineties we went to see where he was buried. To say it was a sobering experience is an understatement! Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in Souchez is one of the largest in the region and contains 7,655 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, more than half of them unidentified.
His wife, my great grandmother died the year before on 19th November 1914, and so they left four young children who I believe were put into various homes and foster places.My grandmother was only one year old, having been born only the year before on 11th November 1913. To think she would have been 101 years old today!
Yesterday we ventured into London to view all the poppies which represent all the lives lost during WW1. To think there are 888,246 which represent each life lost during this war. It is devastating, all those lives lost. I wonder what they would think of the United Kingdom today?
The sheer number is staggering, and really puts it into perspective...and this is just one side!
One of those poppies represents my Great Grandfather.
On Sunday I sang with the St Ethelreda's Church Choir for both services at the church and also down at the memorial.
We sang 'In Flanders Fields'. The music was composed by Jill Knight and set to the words of the poem by Major John MaCrae,
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
You can here a recording we did on the Wednesday before here.
Also remembering my grandfather who fought in the Second World War. During his last few years, we were to witness the long term effects on his mind that the war had. I miss you so much Pop.