Monday, 30 December 2013

It’s Not That I Don’t Like Christmas..

..I do, but, I’m always glad when it’s over.  I can’t be only the one who feels that way, can I?  Anyway, this post is about the days before Christmas.


In the run up Caroline and I had a day shopping at The Trafford Centre and I tasted my first piece of Christmas cake of the season in John Lewis restaurant.


Nicholas had a sleepover and naturally pancakes were on the menu for breakfast.


He was showing me here how real chefs walk about while they’re making things on the telly.


A big moment!  I believe this was the first time I let him have control of the pan over the flame!  Needless to say I was hovering very close.


George came round later in the day.  They’re playing on the iPad in this shot. 


Looks like some serious stuff going on here.  I love their freckles and the dimples in their chins.


On the 14th the tree was decorated.  Grandad always gets the tree down from the loft, erects it and puts the lights on it, then makes himself scarce.  Then the boys come round to help do the decorating.  The boxes of ornaments etc. get unwrapped at breakneck speed and before I can blink the house looks like a bombsite!  It’s always fun though!  When they’ve all gone home I usually spend the next couple of days tweaking things and it all ends up looking the way it should in the end.


On the last day of school Charlie took part in a Fancy Dress Parade.  Caroline, a fulltime working mum, got creative and came up with this great little snowman outfit.  Charlie was more than pleased with the way he looked in it.  I took him to school that day and he went in with a spring in his step.  Bless his little cotton socks!ChasMincePies2013b.jpgb

The weekend before Christmas my older daughter, Victoria, and her family were away in Cornwall and the Scilly Isles.  Thereby lies a whole other story and I won’t go into it here but I will say it’s been an emotional few weeks where hopes were raised and dashed, tears flowed and dried and once again life now goes on pretty much as before.   So, while they were away Caroline brought Charlie round to bake mince pies with me.   Things started off with a great big oops! moment then progressed without further mishap.  I love baking with these little boys mainly because they love it so much.


A snap from an early evening walk round the neighbourhood.  Poor little old Muffin doesn’t always want to go for a walk these days but he does need some exercise and a walk around the neighbourhood is just enough.

More Christmas posts to come but they’re for another day… 


..I’ve got some socks on the needles and I’m itching to get to them.

Until next time,


Friday, 20 December 2013

Anglesey and Rhos on Sea

Friday night the 6th of this month William and I drove down to north Wales to spend the weekend with his sister and brother in law, Brenda and Arthur.  We only get to see them a few times a year so when we get together it’s not stop chatter.  There’s always a lot to catch up on.


Saturday morning’s weather was overcast, quite chilly but dry and so our trip to Anglesey went ahead as planned.  Top of my list was a visit to  beautiful Benllech Bay, a gorgeous sandy bay ever popular with summertime holidaymakers but now, in December, it was deserted. 


After admiring the view we made haste to the bottom end of the bay and took refuge in the cafe housed in the white building adjoining the grey stone house.  Making haste and hoping that the cafe was open.  Luckily for us it was.


Inside the cafe is pleasant and homely…


..with great views over the bay.  Much too cold to sit outside today although had the weather been better that’s what I would’ve preferred


Hotfooting it back to the car.


One for the album.


This was a beautiful sight.  The sun going down behind the clouds and casting a silver glow over the water.  Very, very pretty.


Now we’re in Beau Maris.  We had eaten lunch not too long ago but Billy sometimes can’t walk past a chippy without nipping in for a bag of chips to eat in the fresh air.  I agree with him it is the best way to eat them.


Yep, it was cold but not that cold.  they just wanted to get back to the car for a mince pie. 


Brenda had brought a flask of coffee and some mince pies with us.  You wouldn’t believe how much laughter and fun we had eating those mince pies.  I won’t go into it, you had to be there to believe it!


In the late afternoon on the way home we hit Rhos on Sea.  I really like Rhos on Sea.  It retains the quaint atmosphere of a bygone era but at the same time feels modern with its trendy cafes and individual shops.  Brenda needed to pop in a shop.  A handbag shop and I had no objection to that!  Arthur and William weren’t as happy to browse craft and handbag shops so it was only a quick visit to Rhos on Sea but maybe next time we’ll go earlier and stay longer.


An antique shop we would’ve liked to pop in but time was running out.


The night was drawing in and it was time for home.


After a leisurely breakfast on Sunday morning Jackson’s Garden Centre at Dysserth seemed the right place to be.   Stocked to the hilt with all manner of lovely stuff I came away with a rather nice scarf which went perfectly with the woollen jacket I was wearing.


Brenda sneaks a sit down in Santa’s sleigh.  He wasn’t around so it was okay.  How nice would it be to have a snow ride in this one horse open sleigh?

So, that’s it.  We had a lovely weekend, as always.  A welcome break before winter proper sets in.  Looking forward to spring now when we’ll hopefully go down for another visit.


Thursday, 19 December 2013

What’s Been Going On?

Well, I know I've been away from the blog for a bit longer than usual but with all the preparations for Christmas and other distractions I just haven’t had the time or inclination to sit down in front of the laptop.  However I’m here  now and so without further ado I will attempt to fill in the last couple of weeks with photos and a few words.


One Sunday a couple of weekends ago William, Caroline, Charlie and I took a trip over to Bents Garden Centre.  Charlie loved the play area – look at his happy little face!  Their Christmas department was overflowing with goodies of all descriptions.  We spent a happy couple of hours browsing and buying too as it happens…


Our dogs got comfy new beds.  Lucky little canines don’t you think?


Caroline and I seem to be finding time on a regular basis for Starbucks Moments.  On a recent visit we were asked to take part in a coffee tasting.  Free coffee and chocolate?  Yes, please!  A very pleasant experience with two very sweet members of staff serving us.


I’ve been to the cinema again, the old fashioned Picture House in Hebden Bridge.  This time with my sweet friend, Lesley, to see Philomena.  Philomena is based on the true story of an Irish woman’s search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption in Ireland in the 1950s.  A heartbreaking story to say the least.  You can read her story by following this link.  After the cinema Lesley and I found our way to a little cafe for a bite to eat.  We had a lovely time didn’t we, Lesley?


One of the major distractions I’ve had, in a good way, has been my mission to finish the Christmas table topper I started.  My first ever patchwork project.  I was going great guns with it and was sure I’d finish it in time for Christmas but this week I discovered I’d bought the wrong thickness/type of wadding for it and, frustrated I’ve given up on it until the festivities are over when I’ll have more time to spend on it. :-(

SnowmenStarbucksornamentsOf course, Christmas decorations have been distributed about the house.  Here are a couple of my favourite ho ho ho things of the moment.  The boys always come round to help me decorate the house and the tree but those pics are still in the camera.  I’ll post them next time. 


George striking a pose in front of the tree for me.  He slept over on Saturday night.  His brother, Nicholas, slept over the night before and Charlie has had a couple of nights here this week.  All good fun and all in a day’s work for this lucky nan.


“Dashing away with the smoothing iron he stole my heart away!”  This little fellow did that 10 years ago.  Saturday afternoon George tried out a new skill.  He’s learning how to do the ironing.  It’s a life skill and boy or girl it’s necessary.


Christmas shopping at the Trafford Centre one day last week was fun with Caroline.  Poor Victoria misses out on a lot of these trips because she works Monday to Friday whereas Caroline gets days off midweek with her job and weekends are family time not dragging the boys round the busy shops time.   The Trafford Centre was buzzing, full of Christmas shoppers but not too hectic that it was unpleasant.  Like I said in the first place it was fun.  That’s Selfridges above.  I loved their honeycomb decorations.  Selfridges always looks good though.


Little Nicky Noo plays for his local football team.  Victoria brought him round after practise one night so that he could show us how professional he looks in his kit.  The football coach has done well for his team and they have sponsorship from both Redrow Homes and McDonalds which means they have a match kit and a training kit.  Lucky lads.


George’s class had a craft morning at school on Wednesday this week and he asked both his mum and I to go in and support him.  Cross stitching a bookmark was the object of the exercise.  George was making his for grandad.  George is a Man City fan and granddad a lifelong Man Utd fan.  The bookmark says MAN C.  The kid has got a sense of humour!


An afternoon a couple of weeks ago was spent with my sweet friend, Vanessa, in the pub overlooking the lake.  oh, drinking only coffee I might add.  The company was great and the scenery was glorious!


And finally, the donkeys.  They continue to delight me every time I walk past their field.  Adorable creatures!

I’ll be back before too long with pics from a recent weekend in Wales.