Sunday, 16 December 2018


Good morning to you all.  Yesterday was a truly horrible day, weather wise.  Cold, windy, wet and not a flake of snow to brighten things up.  My much needed walk didn't come off; there was no way I was going to brave that sort of weather.  Maybe today . . .

Never mind, it's lovely and bright inside, warm and cosy and very festive.  We now have the new Christmas tree up (I'm at my parents') and it's made a nice, bright corner that Mum enjoys looking at.

Today's advent pictures!

One of my brothers sent some flowers and they also look gorgeous.  The snowman certainly seems happy with them!

Today is more of the same really but fingers crossed that I can get some fresh air this afternoon.  I'd really like to walk to Bickerdikes to get a few bits and bobs for a hamper gift and to take another look at their decorations but we will see.

Have a lovely day and stay warm and happy.

Saturday, 15 December 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It doesn't seem as cold today although that might just be because there's no frost as it is cloudy.  There's still plenty of ice on Dad's garage roof!

Yesterday was quite busy.  I took Dad to the barbers in the morning and Mum to the hairdressers in the afternoon.  There was plenty of washing, drying and ironing plus meals to cook, etc.  It all went well and it was a most satisfying day really.

Today, I expect, will be more of the same.  I'm planning a cottage pie for dinner so will get the mince cooked and ready this morning and I'm hoping to be able to get a good walk this afternoon as there wasn't really time for one yesterday.

Today's advent offering is sung by the best boy band in the world - the King's Singers!! Wonderful, wonderful vocal brilliance.  Enjoy!

Friday, 14 December 2018


Good morning, one and all.  It's very cold out there; there's solid ice on dad's garage roof and in the bird bath!  The winter coat I bought a month or so ago proved its worth yesterday - my head and hands were freezing (really I should have worn my hat, scarf and gloves) but my body remained nice and warm.

I didn't do an awful lot yesterday but the ironing basket at home is temporarily empty and there's very little in the washing basket, a satistying state of affairs that won't really last very long at all!

I think today will be more of the same.  Here, with Mum and Dad, it is sheet changing day so there will be washing and drying, etc.  I have the meals planned  - fortunately they are happy with my Slimming World friendly meals - and between chores, Mum is going to help me decorate their Christmas tree.
I gather that the knitted nativity set has attracted great interest from visitors which is gratifying.

Today's Advent offering is a well known poem, The Oxen, by Thomas Hardy.  It was published during WW1 but has none of the doom and gloom of much poetry of that time.  To me, it speaks of the persistence and comfort of old faith, despite the loss of specifics, and looks both backward and forward, most appropriate for the time of year.  Hardy is not really a cheerful writer but I detect cheer and positivity in this poem as well as a yearning for a timepast when things were hopeful and sure and unshadowed.

The Oxen
by Thomas Hardy

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel,

“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

Thursday, 13 December 2018


Good morning, everyone!  Brrr - it's very cold outside, there's a frost and I closed the front door again right speedily!  Inside, the heating is on and all is warm and cosy.  The only thing missing is the mandatory First Coffee so I'd better go and remedy that!

OK, now that's sorted, all's right with my world!

I had a great time with V yesterday.  It was no hassle as I had planned 'leftovers' (can they be called leftovers if they are planned?) from Tuesday's lunchtime feast so V and I ate well while chatting nineteen to the dozen about all sorts of stuff.  The food did just as well as a sit down meal as it did for a buffet.

Val went and students arrived, bearing gifts and cards which was really very kind indeed.  Then I dashed off to the Wednesday Slimming World group as I can't make tonight's and was most relieved to have maintained this week.  Phew.  I usually eat very light on weigh-day but, obviously, couldn't yesterday so maintaining was fine.  It was a pleasant group, quite small but very jolly, and I was mortified to be introduced as 'the famous Joy C.', a reference to the fact that I talk a lot on the group's Facebook group, much more than I do in Real Life.  It's awful when you can feel yourself going bright red and can do nothing about it, isn't it?  A good laugh settled things though and all was well.

On the way home I stopped off at Morrisons and treated myself to the classic Christmas two week edition of the Radio Times.  On glancing through, there seems to be quite a lot of good stuff on offer and now I have an up to date Virgin box and can program recordings with a couple of clicks, that's just what I will be doing.  It'll probably keep me going all through January and maybe into February too!

Today's Advent offering is a double gift of music.  My favourite Christmas song of all time, Pearsall's arrangement of In Dulci Jubilo.  When I was in the Chapel Choir at school, it was an annual staple and, as I was in the semi-chorus (they are supposed to be solos but Mr McCay made them semi-chorus sections), I sang alto through the whole thing and still do to this day, albeit not so musically nowadays!  If I can find it on Youtube, there's one clip that shows the score too - I love that.

Yes, found it!  Sung by the greatest choir of all time - Kings.

And in contrast, a much more dance based arrangement, the legendary version by Mike Oldfield.
Same tune, totally different styles.  I love them both!

Wednesday, 12 December 2018


Good morning.  It's ridiculously early and I can't sleep.  Unless I get back to sleep, it is going to be a long day!

Yesterday was a lovely day.  The morning was busy but once that was all done and the girls had arrived, we had a great time.  Lots of laughing and loads of chit chat and the food went down a treat with just enough left over for me and another friend who is coming for lunch today.  This week sure is busy but that saves me a bit of time!  It was worth getting the decorations up early - it all looked lovely and festive.

I remembered to take some photos of the buffet lunch.

After that, I went off to do a bit of tuition, made some more fudge (some for my friend coming today and the rest to take to Mum and Dad who are very fond of it) and then spent the rest of the evening finishing clearing up, knitting and watching telly.

Today I have an easy morning before V arrives as the house is fine apart from needing to sweep the floor and there's just a bit of ironing to mop up.  Lunch is more or less made and tuition is all planned and ready to be delivered.  It'll be nice to rest and relax.

I'm off to Mum and Dad's tomorrow, rather than Friday, this week which means that I miss my usual SW group meeting.  Fortunately, Jennifer, the leader, runs several groups in a nearby village and I can get to the one this evening instead.  Fingers crossed.

Here's today's Advent Offering.  A firm favourite - 'In the first light' sung by acapella group, Glad.  I do love acapella.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018


Good morning, everyone.  A lovely sunny morning today - hope it lasts!

It was, as expected, a very busy day yesterday but I got a lot done.  I finished the nativity set, took some photos (as you can see) and got it posted off.  The sheep took ages - they are so fiddly.
I cleared all the knitting stuff away so my corner in now neat and tidy.
Here's a few other photos to go with the new header and as today's Advent Offering.

I made a batch of fudge and cut it up.  It's now divided out and in bags for gifts for the girls when they come for lunch.  I was remarkably good.  One tatty bit to taste and a few crumbs might also have made their way into my mouth but it wasn't a catastrophe by any means.
I even managed to remember to take a photo . . .

It's very good.  A bit 'rustic' looking but so delicious.

I also made a spicy miced bean dip for lunch and got other things ready to put together soon.  I'ver gone a bit retro with Delia's vegetarian sausage rolls, pineapple, cheese and tomato on sticks and some spicy chicken as well as other bits and bobs.  I think it will be a tasty lunch.

Today this is late because I've been bustling around getting things ready.  It's almost done now and I'm having a breather before doing the last few thing on the list.  Yes, I have a list and it's been a life-saver! 
I've even remembered to get the wheelchair ramps out. 

Better go and do the last bits and bobs now, empty the dishwasher and finish getting the table ready.  Should be a lot of fun.

Have a good day.

Monday, 10 December 2018


Good morning, everyone.  I got my wish - some sunshine yesterday - and very cheering it was too.  It's turning colder though, I think, and there might be a bit of frost developing.  We will see.

Yesterday was sit and knit day.  I worked my way through mountains of saved programmes as I did so.  Not exactly brain challenging but it kept me going.  It's now almost finished which is great because this week seems to be turning out very busy one way or another.

Today I have loads to do in preparation for the Girls' Lunch here tomorrow.  I'm doing the savouries and, while I'm not providing loads, I want my offering to be deliciously Slimming World friendly so have dug out a number of recipes to make.  Should be good.
I need to make fudge too, and to go shopping, tidy and clean downstairs and plan for today's tuition - not that the last will take very long as I have loads of stuff in their folders.
I have two lambs to knit and a parcel to post.

It's all go around here.  Better go and get started - fudge firsh, I think.   :-)

Today's Advent offering.   Moving on to the annunciation - another favourite.  The Angel Gabriel.