Monday 21 December 2015


When I see pictures of 'the journey to Bethlehem' I always wince.  I can't imagine riding a donkey when you are around eight to nine months pregnant could have been much fun!  Nor could walking, as the donkey would have been the mobile suitcase!  Poor old Mary!

Good morning.  No, I haven't started a 'thought for the day' to go with the pictures but it's always been something that makes me alternatively wince or chuckle. 
It's still pretty mild here, a no-slippers-or dressing-gown morning, and yesterday we had lashings of rain early evening.  I noticed weeds are still growing between the paving stones in the back garden which is not fair.  A month ago people (well, certain sensationalist 'news'papers anyway) were going on about 'shock, horror, the coldest, snowiest winter ever'.  Hmmm - got that a bit wrong, didn't they?

Yesterday was great.  In the morning I set to and concocted some gluten free stuffing.  When I made the GF loaves the day before, as soon as they were cold I sliced them, wrapped them in interleaving and froze them.  I kept back the ends and a couple of wonky slices and yesterday zizzed them into breadcrumbs.  I used them with various other merry festive bits and bobs to make something that turned out so delicious that I had to cool and freeze it quickly - as it was, some (I made patties) never saw the inside of the freezer, poor things.  Life cut short!  ON The Day, I shall reheat them in Handy Andy (my halogen oven) - dead easy!
I shall write up the recipe and blog it.

Early afternoon Beth and Alex came over and we set to work.  In came the tree and decorations, out went various bits and bobs that I don't want hanging around over the next week or so, up went the tree, the lights and the baubles, out came the lovely old wooden nativity set made of different kinds of British woods and that cost an arm and a leg when the children were small.  Out came all the candles, candle holders and festive things to go round them.

I can't say it actually looks right yet because it doesn't, there's far too many bits and bobs hanging around, but the bare bones are now in place and by tomorrow afternoon it will all looks great.

Then we had a nice tea/evening meal.  I did mini jacket spuds with butter and grated cheese, salad and coleslaw with some tray bakey savoury things that were reduced mightily in Morrisons and some crispy nibbles, followed by a most delicious carrot cake that Beth made.  She's brilliant at cake things, is our Beth.
I was really pleased because I got it just right.  After some serious munching and a few visits for seconds and thirds by certain people, it was all gone apart from the cake (good, I can have more today).  That's great because another thing I did yesterday was organise the fridge so there's room for the turkey and I really don't want lots of leftovers right now!

Today, when B and A wake up, we will have breakfast and then we will get in the Gopak tables and set out the table runner and mats we have made for a 'client'.  There's a couple of reasons for this.  One is that we want photos and it's best to have photos in the right context, if possible.  The other is that it's a good chance to work out the layout for my guests on Christmas Day.  When you have ten and a smallish table, it takes some working out.
In the afternoon I want to get the guest rooms ready so that's off my mind.  That means more sheets, etc, to wash so I'll get that done and then the ironing can be done in the evening.  I also want to go over the Christmas table linen (yes, I know it's sad but . . .) and then I can tick that off the list too.

So that's my day.  I expect there will plenty of stuff on the telly to keep me entertained and if not there's always iPlayer or a DVD

But now I must wash, get dressed and then take a quick trip to Morrisons for some coloured icing so that Beth can finish the Christmas cake.  See you tomorrow!

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