Thursday, 21 December 2017

Little bit of a catch up

This blinking cold is a bad one. It is really getting me down.  I am so glad went to the Doctors.   Despite the antibiotics I have been a bit rough; but have still been trying to do a bit here and there despite not having much energy. 

It did not help this morning that when I went out to add more seed to the bird feeders I ended up slipping and fell flat on my back in the mud landing on a blackberry.  So my nice clean jeans ended up being covered in mud and kind of bruised the rest of me.  At the time I did not appreciate that I had a thorn in my hand but I found it later.I have the wreath for my mum and dad's grave all sorted as despite not having them with us physically they are still in the centre of our hearts.  A tradition in our family (and perhaps for so many others) is to raise a toast to the absent loved ones just for a few minutes as they always were and always will be at the centre of family celebrations.

I also have some mistletoe (three bunches) for decorating the lamp pendant in the dining room which is on a long chain.  I intend to wrap an ivy garland over the chain part (artificial) and then hang some of the mistletoe from the base of the pendant (a wrought iron effect one with candle bulbs).  Depending on how the ivy looks on the chain I  may leave it up or take it down.  However if it comes down I will make a fabric cover for the chain to tidy it up a little bit.  To be told it is a bit of a dust trap so I want to get that sorted as best as a I can.  At least with a fabric cover it can be easily washed.

I went to the veg shop for the Mistletoe and the wreath and have also ordered eggs and another sack of potatoes for Saturday.  I will get all my basic veg from there plus any extras that take my fancy.  I got dried dates today from there which are a tradition in my family.  I love dried dates and figs and nuts a sweetmeats plate if you like.  I also bought earlier on a tray of crystallised fruit, apricots, pineapple, kiwi fruit etc.  Next year I am going to make my own again.  I have a heavy Victorian pressed glass dish which looks like crystal (but is not) and it looks lovely presented in that.  That dish is in the store this year and I am not quite sure where it is but hope to find it in readiness for next Christmas as it really does look lovely against a pure white tablecloth and silver plated cutlery that I have together with all the white serving dishes etc I have acquired over the years.

This year despite lots of plans I have had to let an awful lot of stuff go - mostly because of the cold and lack of energy that OH kindly gave to me.  This week was meant to be my week for making stuff but with his highness in residence that just has not happened. He is worse than a child at times and needless to say I have been a little short once or twice with him as I have been trying to sort other stuff out and he keeps interrupting. I am not best chuffed but in reality there is not much I can do about it.  So have to make the best of the kilt  and time you have.  However I will be starting to do stuff for Christmas 2018 from January on all fronts.  My itinerary has been tweaked as well from which to work.  I will probably put that up for any of you interested in doing something similar.  I will probably not post about what I am making to start with but may do later on.

I needed to nip into town as I needed to get some presents.  I still have not finished but will have to go into tomorrow and Saturday and maybe early Sunday to get finished which is not something I normally do. but needs must.  I ended up in HMV for a little while and got collared three times by the alarms on the door.  It turned out not to be something from there store but a video I had bought elsewhere which still had its security tag on.  HMV very kindly sorted it out for me.  I think I was up town for about three hours all told which was more than enough.  I got some of the presents I was after but am still not done yet.  OH does not know what he is getting for Christmas - I just hope he likes it.  He said it was something he quite liked earlier on in the year.  Will just have to wait and see.  All I will say is it is not new.

To tell you the truth I have not been very impressed with the pressies available in town or the Christmas decorations this year.  Not quite up to standards of other years.  M & S usually have lovely stuff but I just was not impressed this year. The Stag candleholders and some of their household stuff absolutely superb.   Odd things okay but generally not.  I think they have gone for glitz this year rather than character.  The lack of different and unusual Christmas decorations is one of the reasons I am so looking forward to getting into creating stuff with my embroidery machine.  My USB flash sticks arrived today so hopefully it will be all systems go over Christmas.  I am so excited.

I got a little light headed whilst out so I went and treated myself to a hot chocolate and a brownie and sat for about 20 minutes which helped and then set too again.  

This time on the food shopping.  

I already have a beautiful piece of Gammon which we bought the other day from the Butchers.  That is going to be boiled and then cooked in a brown sugar and ginger crust.  Yum and then served with a variety of pickles and chutneys and picallilli.  The pigs in blankets  are prepared, have sausagemeat for stuffing which is yet to be made and for sausage rolls. Turkey is to be collected on Saturday morning together with any additional bits and bobs.  The Stilton is bought and a variety of different cheeses ready in the Cheesebox.  There is a pork pie (sadly not home made one of the casualties), Christmas cake, fruit bread.  I also have a small gammon piece which I have studded with cloves (that's for me OH does not like cloves) but this is really delicious.  Well I think so anyway.

So I nipped into M & S.  I chose carefully what I wanted some of it based on price, but I have treated us to a pudding - expensive but different -chocolate fir cones which look quite splendid I hope they live up to their promise.  I weighed up prices and use by dates and if I did not think would get to use it in time have left it on the shelf.  I was quite disappointed with M & S as they had taken all the offers off the sweets and other various bits and bobs so you were in effect paying full price.  There is normally an offer on buy three pots of veggies and only pay for two.  Today the swede and potato crush was £2.50 a tub which for three tubs would have been £7.50.  I don't think so. That decided me I will make  my own I am not going to pay through the nose. Swede from the veg shop and a bag of carrots and just a little time and effort should not cost any more than £1.50. I did however get a very nice Porchetta joint a large one for a very reasonable price.  I like this hot and cold.  Some sage in pots, and mixed herbs, some more garlic bulbs (they are really flavoursome from M & S - the individual ones).  I also got my fresh cranberries for my home made cranberry sauce and some Cornish Cruncher Cheddar and some Blacksticks Blue.  So things are coming along very nicely.  The gravy for the Turkey has also been started; not bought but home made.

Once I had finished I telephoned OH to come and collect me.  Whilst I was waiting for him outside, there were a group of people who gathered together to sing carols and raise some money for a local charity.  From all accounts they had never done this before.  However in the dark of the night outside St John's Church their voices rang out clear and pure.  It caused me to have a tear in my eye as for me Carols are a big part of Christmas and it is the first time I have heard Carollers this year.  It was lovely sat there listening to them whilst I waited for OH and for me it made me feel like "Christmas" if that makes sense.  A cold night with clear voices ringing out (although they could have done with a microphone because of the acoustics of the square they were signing in.  Carol singing has covered many generations and was always something for everyone to join in with whether rich or poor and it transcends time and centuries.  With the Cathedral behind the Guildhall and Peterborough Market Square it is quite atmospheric and good on the Carollers for giving so freely of their time.

OH then picked me up and took me to the Post Office to collect a couple of parcels.  I had been a little anxious as I had ordered a Stinking Bishop cheese and it had not turned up.  So I was glad to find it at the Post Office.  The Post Office had enclosed it in a bag as it was a little pungent!  It is now in its own little box so it does not stink the fridge out.  It is however a superb cheese, expensive but if you get a chance to try it do.

I have also had to bath the dog - she was not best pleased but it needed to be done.  I think buying her new pyjamas is pushing it a bit far for Christmas Eve, however we have bought her a new duck squeaky toy which is a tug of war version this time.  Well she is one of our fur babies.

I have also received some more gold coloured glasses for my collection.  Six little star and gold band glasses in between a large tumbler and a small tumbler.

Right I still have things to do and accomplish before flopping in bed.  Tomorrow is time to make the Trifle.

Hope all your preparations are well in hand.

Right must get a wriggle on.

Catch you soon.



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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)