Saturday, 24 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

24rd December, 2016              

This will be my last link to Julie's Advent Calendar (thanks Julie) and I just want to share a Christmas Card that I received in 1998 whilst we were still living in South Africa from a friend here in the UK.   Somehow it really amused me and instead of disposing it with the other cards I put it in my Christmas Decorations Box and it comes out every year! 

This time tomorrow night our whole family with be gathering here to have our main Christmas meal - traditional turkey, ham and all the trimmings for the meat eaters and vegi dinner (they share the trimmings) for Hawthorn and Eldest and a gluten free choice for our IBS sufferer.  Thankfully my daughter-in-law has been here this afternoon to help prepare all the vegetables and help make a spinach and feta pie for the vegi members.  So all that is left to do is to cook the turkey and ham and roast the potatoes  and vegetables tomorrow.   We plan to go as usual to the midnight service at Trawden Church, weather permitting, as storm Barbara is threatening to blow in with gale force winds and heavy rain. 

Then on Christmas Day we take plates of cold meat and the remains of the puddings to Hawthorns' home where she will have mulled wine, and a table full of finger food and her house will smell of cooking jacket potatoes.  There we will exchange presents and all be terribly spoilt if it is like past years.

So all that is left is for me to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful craft filled 2017.

Card from the Oxfam selection. 

Friday, 23 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

23rd December, 2016

I have included some of our old tree decorations in earlier posts but those pictures were taken a few years ago. Now we have put our tree up and I have taken two more pictures to show you two more special tree ornaments.

The first is of a group of decorations wired together.  The two white bells are from 1960 but the yellow bell is very much older.  It is of brittle plastic and is from 1949.  We had more and they were considered very modern, plastic, not glass!!   The three have a tiny bit of tinsel wrapped around, it has tarnished and shrivelled with age but still very special to me.

My second picture is a complete change, my snowman is only a couple of years old and I just love him.  He looks as though he is made of icing and should be edible. 

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016



22nd December, 2016

I am sure many of you will  have seen Father Ted on TV and will remember the late Frank Kelly who played Father Jack.  But have you heard his version of the 12  Days of Christmas, Irish style.   Do listen and have a laugh!!  12 Days of Christmas, Irish Style.  

Poor Santa....

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

21th December, 2016

Its only 4.05pm and already cars have their headlights on, thank goodness that as from tomorrow days will be getting longer again, even if only by a few minutes at least it feels it is heading in the right direction.

So here is a drink to the gradual (very gradual) approach of spring.  Cheers!! 

Christmas 2012 I decided that I  had to find some Babycham for the now more grownup grandchildren.  I was allowed it at their age.  What a job, but we eventually found some at Tesco Skipton.   Well, it was not as delicious as I remembered it to be, boys were not that impressed and we definitely should have watered it down for them.   They got very giggly.   

Maybe somethings should be left as happy memories, they are better that way as they don't always turn out as you remember them to be!! 

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

20th December, 2016

Was wandering around B&M in Skipton and saw this in the pets section - you know the part where you are supposed to buy toys and treats for your pets who most probably would rather have a juicy bone.  I could not resist taking a picture as our son's lab Jess looks very like the  dog in the picture.
The three 'granddogs' in our family just may wear the scarf for a short while but the beanie would be off in a trice!! 

Monday, 19 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

19th December, 2016

Just heard the weather forecast for the week ahead including the Christmas weekend and there seems to be only heavy winds, cooler temperatures and no snow.  So this little cartoon I pinched of Clipart that I was saving for a suitable downfall of snow might just as well make its appearance now.  

Been browsing through old snowy pictures and after thinking how pretty the view looked outside our window..............

I then saw this..............

and remembered all the digging out and the slush.............

So instead, here is my virtual snowball!! 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

18th December, 2016

Today we put up our tree.  It's not quite finished as this year we decided to move some furniture around first.  As usual that sort of thing took longer than I anticipated.  So although the lights and most of the baubles are on I still have quite a bit to do.  So I have put this picture on that I pinched off Clip art. We have not had snow yet and have not been promised a white Christmas so this snowman is just wistful thinking!

Actually, to tell the truth, I am just waffling on, the tree is not finished as everything stopped so I could watch Strictly Come Dancing** final on TV.
** It's known as  Dancing with the Stars outside the UK.  Will do better tomorrow. 

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

17th December, 2016

Some years ago a friend introduced Hawthorn and me to Jaquie Lawson's Advent Calendar.  Ever since then I have sent one to Hawthorn and my daughter-in-law and two special friends in South Africa.   Because of my problems with my computer I have not been able to access this year's calendar properly.  Today I have and so have 17 days of fun and games of catching up to do.

The first thing I have done is to decorate the tree in the street.  This year I have stuck to red but I am sure I will dress the other two trees and alternate them as I usually do. Unfortunately the lights don't twinkle in this picture. 

If you are interested to see more of the calendar this is the link. Jacquie Lawson cards.  They also have a wonderful selection of ecards that I use all year round for friends and family.  Thanks M  (Threads through my Life)  for introducing me to them. birthday cards

Friday, 16 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

16th December, 2016

Several years ago a one eyed squirrel moved into our garden.  For obvious reasons we named him Nelson.  Not long after he brought in his lady friend who we naturally named Emma after Lady Emma Hamilton, Nelson's lady friend!  He was sadly run over on the main road just below us, no doubt his blind eye made it difficult to see the traffic.  Emma became so tame, first coming for nuts, then asking for them, and eventually would take them from our hand and even sat on Brian's lap whilst eating them.  After a few years she left.  But her daughter Little Em was just as tame.  It is strange - it is always the same, the mother chases away the male youngsters each autumn and stays for a couple of years then leaves the area for her daughters.  When it was extra cold Emma would come back for food, asking at the window each time. But she would never stay long. 

The picture below is of Emma.  She was so tame that she would come in the outer door of the flats where we live, walk along the communal passage and come right into our flat if the door was left ajar for Jak, the cat.  He had no problems with her outside......but she was not allowed into his home and would chase her out!!   In this photograph she is right at our window, that white mark on her chest is actually a leaf stuck on the glass.

I have just discovered that my computer has decided that all comments are spam.  I hope I have been through them all and published them so if you think I was ignoring your kind comments, I was not being is my new security programme.  I must find out how to sort out that problem.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

15th December, 2016

Tomorrow we plan to put our tree.  It was Jak's best thing.  He would sit in the box and supervise.  Although he was never very destructive, I always put the non breakable baubles at the bottom.  He did climb up the centre once and had to be rescued but mostly it was grabbing the silver chains on the lowest branches or knocking off the lowest baubles and chasing them around the lounge.

Like all cats, Jak loved being warm and comfortable.  This picture typifies both perfectly. Icy weather outside and sleeping over the radiator inside.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

13th December, 2016

I don't know about you but my family don't all like the traditional Christmas Pudding so I always have to have an alternative.  Last year I made Mary Berry's Christmas Meringue Wreath.  I had seen her demonstrate on her TV programme and it looked fairly easy.  I did not have a large enough plate to put it on so used a silver tray.  I reduced the recipe from 6 egg whites to 4 and all the other ingredients proportionally and it was plenty for us with left overs for the next day.  I can't find my photograph of the actual meringue wreath I made but have this composite picture made by Hawthorn.  This is the link to the recipe. 

Mary Berry's Christmas Meringue Wreath

Go on, try it, it was so easy that when Eldest grandson asked for the same for his 18th birthday I again looked up Mary Berry's meringue tranche - which was the same but in two straight pieces joined together with the cream before assembling onto a plank of wood covered with silver foil. 

18th Birthday version. Mary Berry's Meringue Tranche

Monday, 12 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

12th December, 2016

As I mentioned yesterday I have been out all day wreath making at Hawthorn's home together with friends and family.  I didn't take my camera for two reasons, firstly I have fallen out of love with is too smart for me and secondly and more honestly .....I forgot!!! Then we were so busy making wreaths that I forgot I could have used the excellent camera on my phone!!! 

I know Hawthorn will have taken masses of pictures with her camera so if you want to see what a productive day it was, check back on her blog!!! 

I will be more organised tomorrow.  

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

11th December, 2016

Tomorrow we are meeting at Hawthorn's home to make Christmas wreaths.  We have been doing it for years, initially in the Parish Hall but now it is just a much smaller group of friends who bring greenery out of their gardens as well as a contribution towards lunch.  I am sure Hawthorn will take some beautiful photographs of our efforts to show on her blog.

Last year I decided on something different.  Instead of the usual wreath on the front door I decorated my hanging baskets on either side of the door.  I am not sure what I will do this year - possibly do the same again as I liked the way they survived better than the wreath has on previous years possibly because I left the soil in the baskets and pushed a block of Oasis into each which kept moist for weeks. 

Friday, 9 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

9th December, 2016

Here is another picture of an old bauble though we have only had it for about 10 years as we found it in a second hand shop.  Even though it is not as old as it looks with its Victorian style pictures, it is still one of my favourites. 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

7th December, 2016

Reading the paper this morning I found a lovely little snippet about Larry the Number 10 Cat. For those who do not know he is the cat who was brought in to keep down the mice in Downing Street, London, but he turned out to be a useless mouser!    

 I quote..."Larry (@Number10Cat) - a spoof Twitter account with an audience of 99,000 - tweets:

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me,
a partridge in a pear tree.   Ate it.'

It set me off looking for a picture of Larry to put on here and found so many, he seems to get into so many of official photographs or TV news interviews that I was spoilt for choice.

This one made me smile!!

That really amused me.  I also love the one of him on the red carpet sitting outside the famous black door .

But the one that put a big smile on my face was the one below.  

Typical cat!!! 

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

7th December, 2016

Again I have been raiding my collection of cartoons that I have collected over the years that I have saved from Clip Art or Facebook.  

I must apologise once more for not acknowledging comments but hope to have my MS Outlook sorted tomorrow.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

6th December, 2016

I just could not resist this little cartoon I found on Facebook a while ago. 

'Dachshund through the snow' 

Monday, 5 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

5th December, 2016

This is one of my favourite Christmas tree ornaments.  My parents bought it in 1959, the year we moved to what was Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe from Lusaka, Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and we were amazed to see such lovely things in the shops.  There were two, not sure what happened to the other.  In this picture his hat is a bit worse for wear but I have since blackened his hat.  He gets wrapped up very carefully and packed away each year.  I don't think they make such lovely decorations any more. 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

4th December, 2016

On this day quite a number of  years ago Hawthorn was exactly 6 months old and about to have her first Christmas.  I could not resist putting this picture here on Julie's Advent Calendar.  Nowadays she does not eat the crackers, at least not whilst I am looking!!

To those bloggers that have been kind enough to put comments on my posts, I must apologise as I am having problems with my gmail on my computer.  Your comments are coming through on both my phone and Tablet so I am reading them and I will put them on here as soon as the problem is sorted.  Problems are usually the fault of the operator, I am famous for pressing the wrong knobs!! 

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Julie's Advent Calendar for 2016

3rd December, 2016

My son and daughter-in-law spent Christmas with friends and family in Capetown some years ago and they bought  back this delicate little bead angel for me and I always think of her as my Zulu angel.  I love her and she has pride of place in the front of the tree alongside other special decorations.