Well, my blogging has been very scarce in recent weeks. A combination of not much to report and not much time to report it in. Just like everybody else in the run up to Christmas I had plenty of stuff to do which kept me away from the computer. As well as the usual shopping, cleaning, decking the halls with boughs of holly fa la la la la la la some fun things happened too.
Early in December I spent the afternoon with George in his classroom working on a craft project. The project being a collage based on the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s album cover. George’s class had recently been on a field trip to The Beatles’ Museum in Liverpool and had had a whale of a time. While we worked on the collage a large screen showed the photos from that outing and there was Beatles music playing in the background. It really was a fun afternoon.
At Christmas time I like a glass of sherry, Croft Original Pale Cream Sherry, to be exact. This was my first one of the season.
I collected Charlie from school a couple of times and took him home. Here he is outside his front door with his Stop Here Santa sign. Was there ever the slightest chance that Father Christmas would not stop here? I don’t think so!
All three of our little boys have been poorly on and off this month. The day this photo was taken George wasn’t well. But, like me, both my daughters are firm believers in the healing powers of fresh air. A gentle walk on a cold, crisp and dry day. What could be better to help rid George of his germs?
On the 14th I met my lovely cousin, Sylvia, in Manchester. Our intention was to browse the Continental Christmas Markets. Sadly the heavens opened early in the morning and never closed again that day so we briefly skimmed through the market stalls and made a beeline for cosier, cheerier, indoor establishments.
Of course we had a couple of pit stops along the way. This one was in Starbucks on St. Ann’s Square. We like it there because the markets with all the hustle and bustle are right outside and clearly visible through the windows. We have been boycotting Starbuck’s because of their UK tax issues but things seem to be getting sorted on that front so our consciences allowed us to give Starbucks our custom once again. Note how we shared our cakes. That’s our upbringing showing through. Sharing was very important in our childhoods. Our mothers insisted that we shared everything we had. Quite right too! My mother called it “wacking”. I haven’t a clue where that expression originates and I think my mother was the only person who ever used it. My mother would’ve been happy to know that we had “wacked” a sandwich earlier too.
On the weekend of the 15th Charlie slept over at our house when both his parents were working. Bright and early on the Sunday morning we took him to our favourite cafe in Hebden Bridge for breakfast. Ceaseless rain made it impossible to take him to the park or anywhere more suitable but he had a good time drawing in the cafe and we enjoyed it too.
Somewhere round about this time I had a Christmas lunch with my sweet friends and walking partners, Vanessa and Diane. I wish I’d got a pic of them. We had a great afternoon together, laughed and talked nonstop almost ‘til the cows came home. There was also an outing with my lovely friends and neighbours John and Lesley to a different Christmas Market. Another wet and windy freezing cold day and no pictures from that day either. What’s the matter with me? I had a camera with me on both of these occasions!
Now onto the 17th and another trip into Manchester. This time with my daughter Caroline…
… for Christmas Afternoon Tea at The Midland Hotel. This was my Christmas present from Caroline and Trev and couldn’t have been a more right-up-my-street present. There was champagne and mulled wine, finger sandwiches, fancy cakes, scones and clotted cream, endless cups of tea and a pianist playing away in the background. It was a little oasis of calm and tranquility. Perfect!
All good things come to an end and all too soon it was back out onto the wet streets. This month seems to have been full of nothing but rainy days.
Closer to Christmas now on the 22nd Caroline and I went to the theatre to see Irving Berlin's White Christmas. What a treat that was. The cast was excellent. The songs familiar. The tap dancing super duper. A real crowd pleaser.
On the 23rd George and Nicholas came round to make mince pies with me. I got crafty this year and prepared well for this event. I measured the ingredients out and shared (or should that be wacked?) them between two bowls and had two rolling pins lined up for the two boys. This worked out really well and I must remember to do it again next year. Charlie had been with me on the Friday and we had made fancy cakes together. All fun stuff and getting closer and closer to Christmas Day.
In the afternoon of the 23rd William and I went along to our local park for a carol service. It was cold, very cold in fact, but dry for once. The brass band played merrily and the small crowd sang heartily. We came away with Jingle Bells jingling in our heads.
This Christmas I have been able to “visit” my sister, Maureen, thousands of miles away in her home in Arkansas and see all her family too. Several times we’ve hooked up and spent time together. Shown each other our Christmas decorations and seen each other’s happy smiling faces. All this courtesy of iPhone’s FaceTime (video calling). Isn’t technology fantastic?!
And finally, I just had to take a picture of this pram in the park. It’s a proper pram! You don’t see many like this any more. All babies were pushed around in prams like this when my girls were babies. I would’ve loved to give this pram a little push but I didn’t know the owners and they might have thought I was bit nutty if I’d asked them if I could please push their baby around the park in that beautiful proper pram! It is lovely though isn’t it?
Of course I’m writing this a few days after Christmas so it’s too late to wish everyone a Merry Christmas but I do hope that everyone did have a Merry Christmas and that a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year is just around the corner for each and every one of us.