Saturday, 4 January 2014

December 2013

There was so much going on, that I just did not get round to downloading photographs or felt like writing up about some of my activities in December.  It seems that nowadays Christmas starts some time towards the end of November, then stops on Boxing Day.  The twelve days of Christmas which started on 25th December seem to be a thing of the past. 

An early Christmas Activity was making a fairy for our WI Decorated Christmas Tree for the St Nicholas Tree Competition. 

As usual Kaye our crafter, sewer, and gold work embroiderer extraordinaire came up with something even the least handy person could attempt.  With everything ready we all met for laughter and conversation, and with Kaye's patience really tested, we ended with a nice collection.  I even spun a tale when Mr S and I went to view the trees on the evening of the High Street Christmas Light Switch on, when every one was in a very good mood, to some people who were stood by our tree puzzled by the decorations.  This had everyone laughing and getting the message.  I explained that as our WI group had had a few people ill with the big C recently, we had decided to have angles with the little pink crossed ribbon symbol, most had lost their hair, hence the little black bow, and one even had a wing amputated, and they were all wearing their pink hospital gowns!

Their numbers were completed the following week by some of us, so that each of our members had a fairy to hang on the tree.  What is nice is that each member was given back their fairy at our December meeting.

This year the season has been a little sad for me too.  I have been thinking of a friend who is facing this Christmas with a big hole in her family, and another one whose husband was sinking fast...I received the news on Boxing Day that he passed away on Christmas Day.

The weather has been wet and dreary, and shopping is not quite the thing for us this year.  We have thought of going a little further afield to a gallery or museum, but the weather is too bad, and we venture forth for local walks between the showers.  

I did have a fancy for a new cooker, for one with a double oven, with windows and  lights, with timers: all bells and whistles and got quite excited about this.   After Christmas I went into a well known store, and after comparing all the wonderful gas cookers available, came away perfectly content with mine! 

Just before Christmas, a spring went in our settee...we pondered this, too late to do anything about this until the shops reopened.  We went to look at suites, sat in them, compared them with what we have, considered what they would look like in our sitting room.  We even got out the receipt for the current furniture, was amazed by how long we had had it. We considered having it reupholstered , tracked down the original manufactures and outlets, it had just been discontinued!  We love the cheerful yellow, it fits us both, we are comfortable on it, we like our furniture so much that if we could have replaced like with like, we would have had no hesitation.  In the end a good clean, and a new spring...I did the cleaning, and Mr S found out how to do the repair, ordered the spring, and today fitted it, and now contentment reigns again in the household.  We know Izzi will still want to climb and look out of the window, so a new precious settee would limit this.

On the other hand, we had our little Izzi to bring us cheer.  She came to stay on her own for 4 days, 3 nights the weekend before Christmas...and Mr S and I spent Christmas day down with which our loved ones which of course includes Izzi...

One of the big themes of this stay was a visit to the local Panto: Humpty Dumpty at the Talisman Theatre.

Izzi had on her pretty party dress and pink cardigan knitted by Grandma, she joined in with  much shouting and singing and there was not stopping her when volunteers were called for to come and sing a song onstage.

There were other activities that weekend: covering our cake with Royal Icing:

Making tangerines studded with cloves to fill rooms with Christmas smells...whether or not they last to add to drawers, I am not sure, since the fruit were very juicy and they were speared rather deeply.

Decorating the tree with Grampy

And thanks to a bagful of felt and templates from Kaye, a joint effort with glue and a little sewing from Grandma when the sticky stuff did not work, a little collection of Christmas decorations:

And lots of splashing in camera battery needed recharging at this point...

With one day to go to Christmas, and one of our bought mince pies tasted, it only took me a second to decided that what we needed is some home baked ones with some of my pear mincemeat I had already made a couple of months ago...Veronica and Izzi also had some great tasting almond pastry mince pies for Christmas day some tiny ones with a tiny star on top...and hey I now have a tiny star from one of Izzi's cookie cutting sets, so next year there will two sizes to choose from.

And finally I posted this picture which I had made up onto Facebook to send friends and family Christmas Greeting, started during my calligraphy lessons, using gold leaf, gouache, and gothic script.

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