Saturday, 26 December 2009

What a wonderful couple of days

Ahhh, it has been great. No stress, no arguments, just a wonderful Christmas Day with DH's parents, my two sons who are still at home and middle son and his partner and darling daughter yesterday, and a day of blissful vegging out, watching films, cuddling dogs and nibbling on leftovers and lovely little tidbits today.

Christmas Eve was a little tiring, because as usual, I had left most of the clearing up til the last minute. The hall did finally get tidied up, and looked very Victorian Christmassy with the colourful tree, quilts and candles -

My granmother knitted this Santa, oh, probably 45 years ago or thereabouts. I treasure it -

All the prezzies were finally wrapped in the evening and put by the fireplace in the drawing room

Christmas morning I started early getting the dining room ready for the Christmas meal in the afternoon. The fireplace was decorated, the table was laid, and the table centre was put together. This year I put the candelabra into a lovely old pressed glass bowl, and filled it with vintage baubles.

I love the way the candles drip down, and see the gorgeous old Santa ornaments in the bowl, aren't they just so cute? Oh, and you can probably see this here David Bailey in the baubles as well, tehehehee.

I love the muted colours of winter potpourri, and this one scented our little dining room beautifully

Our guests arrived at lunchtime, and once everybody was happily installed, we opened our presents. It was hilarious, there were many fun presents which had us all in stitches. More about the prezzies another time though. Here are just a few piccies -

Our darling Grace opening her presents
and thoroughly enjoying playing with Mummy and Daddy's stocking presents, lol, I think they have lost them to her

DH's dad was of course wearing his precious Christmas socks again. I really don't know how they have survived this long, we bought them as a silly little tree present for him about 25 years ago, and they are still going strong.

Things did a get a little silly

before we all settled down to our Christmas meal -

It was yummy. We started with a clear chicken soup, just the way my mum and my grandmother used to make it in Germany. Instead of a huge turkey, we had roast chicken and a most delicious honey and mustard coated ham with roast potatoes, roasted squash, carrots and onions. Of course there were brussels ( which we all love ), creamed parsnips, honey glazed carrots, a white onion and parsley sauce for the ham and gravy for the chicken. We did manage a bit of Christmas pud for dessert, but left the cheese and biscuits for much much later.

We really had a most relaxing day and the hours just flew by. Nanny and Popeye left about 9pm, and we realised then how pooped we were. Didn't stay up much later than that, lol, we all went to bed quite early. Such lightweights, lol.

And today, well today was a day for just vegging, nibbling, watching a few films and just spending some happy time together. I love Christmas. And I sincerely hope that all of you had as good a time as we had. I am still full of Christmas joy, lol, and could smile at and hug everybody, so watch out!!! xxxxx

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
(You need Flash to open the card )

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Handmade Christmas Swap update

Lots of you have taken part in the Handmade Swap organised by Kim from HEART IN THE COUNTRY , so you know all about it. And some of you have already received the swap packages. I am sooooooo happy to announce that my swap package from the lovely Kim herself has arrived as well! Kim, you have put together such a gorgeous selection of gifts which are just perfect for me, I can't thank you enough.

I tried really really hard not to tear the big envelope open immediately. I was going to be so restrained, mainly because I was in the middle of doing something. Really, I had the best intentions of carrying on with my work for a couple of hours, then making a cup of tea and closeting myself away in the drawing room. I lasted all of 5 minutes. Couldn't help myself. BUT, at least I didn't rip it open in a frenzy. Possibly the calm and peaceful atmosphere in the drawing room helped with that. I carefully opened the big padded envelope and started to gently remove beautifully wrapped little prezzies.

Look at how prettily they are wrapped, and how nice the stamped tags are -

I was really really good and opened the Christmas card first. I wish I could make things like that, look at that little knitted stocking, and the dinky little tree sticking out of it!

Ahhh, the first gift, beautifully wrapped in gold paper, soft and squishy ( one has to squeeze, rattle, shake, sniff before unwrapping, to try and guess )-

And I guessed right, it was the prettiest hanging heart!

Oooh, but there was another little prezzie which felt just like that one, and yes! it was another little heart-

Next was this beautifully presented necklace -
perfect colour for me.

The next little package contained something soft as well, could it be? Of course it was, because all good things come in threes, right? The softest rich dark red velvet heart -

And look, look, earrings to match the necklace! I am going to look so elegant tonight when we are having our fondue-

The hearts are already settling down in their new homes-

You would have thought that was more than enough to spoil me, but no, that wasn't the end of it, just check out this fabulous creation made with the most velvety and soft yarn I have ever snuggled into-
It is fabulous, so unusual and incredibly snuggly.

And last but definitely not least, these beautifully knitted flower brooches, how I wish I could knit like that -

Am I a lucky girl or what? I am so glad I joined this swap, thank you for organising it, Kim, and once again a huge thank you for my beautiful gifts!


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

MARMITE - and nothing to do with Christmas

Yesterday I promised all you Marmite lovers/haters out there to show you a funny little marmity thing I was given.

Firstly, let me explain that we all love Marmite in this family. But with my DH, things go a little further. He collected Marmite stuff, just for a laugh ( or so he says ), to display in his office to entertain his colleagues. He had the whole range of sizes, from the dinkiest little one to the largest one he could get, all the special edition ones, teeny round marmite cheeses, marmite crisps etc etc, you get the picture. As he is retiring at the end of this week, he has started clearing out his office, and he brought home a little booklet about Marmite which a good friend of his had given him a while ago.

Ah, this booklet, it had me in stitches a couple of times, and feeling seriously queasy at other times.

Let me show you what it is -

100 ways of using Marmite? Errrmm, ok, I can think of two, on my buttered toast and on twiglets. Well, the front cover looks pretty, so does the back
I would looooooooooove to have a Marmite cube tin like that, sigh.

Perhaps I can find some really yummy recipes inside. We'll see a little later on. Let me first show you the first page, which really cracked me up -

I hope you can read it alright. Yep, it actually says - the sketches in this book represent an ordinary 8-course (!!!!!) dinner - 8 COURSE dinners are ordinary???

The introduction also surprised me a little, when they pointed out Marmite's unique health properties.

So then I had a look at the index, to see what kind of dishes represented an ordinary 8 course dinner -

Okayyyyy, most of them sounded quite palatable in the index, so lets have a quick look at some of the recipes -


Savoury dishes-

Egg and cheese dishes-

Ah, and then I came to Invalid Dishes, and the " special medicinal properties " of marmite.

Thats when I started feeling a bit queasy. I mean, mulled milk? Milk bouillon? Errrmmm, definitely not for me, but perhaps you'd like it?

Vegetarians weren't forgotten either -

And they very thoughtfully supplied information regarding the weird measurements as well, lol. Makes it so much easier for you just in case you want to try the recipes, ahem, as surely you do want to -

So, do I see you rushing off to the larder to get the Marmite out so that you can try these culinary delights? Perhaps I will stick to my Marmite on toast and twiglets, lol.


Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The annual clear up........

is under way, and I actually managed to get the drawing room sorted. Sort of. Well, the Christmas decorations are up in that room. I really do look forward to decorating the drawing room, because my youngest DS is always ready and willing to help and I love working with him. Sort of. We have the usual arguments, loss of temper at the top of the ladder, Christmassy music, and tinsel flung in disgust ( by DS - " I can't do it, you do it, mum! ). But this decorating day is precious to me, because when they are all grown up, its not always easy to do things together. Once the room is decorated ( quite restrained really ), we stand back, have a hug, and admire our handiwork. Its lovely to reminisce about Christmasses past for a few mins, and my darling DS is always full of compliments about the decorations ( even though they haven't really changed in god knows how many years ). This year I did add some new ones though, the beautiful crocheted spirals you can see on the tree.

I suppose I had better show you the room then, hadn't I? Here goes -

During the day

At night

The fireplace

The Christmas tree

The chandelier, which makes everything sparkle so

My darling Poppygirl, stealing my tea when my back was turned ( thats not quite what I called her when I heard her slurping my tea )

Advent candles on the table

sharing the table with this winter potpourri

Golden potpourri on a little side table

I'll show you some pictures of some of the ornaments, most of which we have had for many years. The only new ones are these pretty crocheted spiral ornaments my mum made for me this year

One of a set of felt ornaments I made many years ago

Birds, I love the birds snuggling down in the tree

large glass drops

and some big sparkly ornaments

I have had a set of these capiz shell ornaments for, oh, at last 20+ years. Precious little things.

And last but not least the tree ornaments which started the whole white/silver decoration thing at least 20 years ago, the lace stars I made

I made sets for my mum and for my mother-in-law as well, and they put them up each and every year, bless.

There you go, thats the drawing room done, sort of, only got the rest of the house to go now, lololol. Tomorrow I'll have a fun post for all of you out there who love ( or hate ) Marmite. It really did tickle me, errrrmmm, the thing I want to show you. About Marmite. Which you either love or hate. We all love the stuff, even the granddaughters. Mind you, it took me ages to get used to it, my German palate just wasn't used to such a weird taste.

Cheerio, and don't stress, its only Christmas! xx