Hello chums and a rather late "Happy New Year" to all...and "Happy Christmas" too now I come to think about it. It has been over three weeks since my last post after all! Thank you somuch to everyone who sent me such lovely cards - they were all very much appreciated.
I've been having a "switch off the computer, turn off the mobile phone and shut the rest of the world out" kind of time. I really need to retreat from work, and all things related, at this time of the year and always take a break over Christmas and right up until the decorations come down on the sixth. As I haven't had a real holiday (ie going away somewhere for a week - or even a few days) for over twenty five years I don't feel guilty about it!
I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas however you spent it. Mine was pretty quiet and all the better for it.
On the 18th Heather and I met in Blackpool for some shopping, dinner and then the Christmas concert by Poulton band at the lovely Grand theatre. This has become a regular event for us and it really makes us feel that the festivities have started.
On the Sunday before Christmas I was in Church almost the entire day being on duty at the 8am service and then staying on for the communion service that I normally attend. Then it was coffees and home before going back for our candlelit Carol service which almost left me with no voice we sang so much! Some of us then went to the Vicarage for drinks and nibbles and ended the night by singing yet more Carols around the piano - it was lovely and made me feel I had wandered into a Dickens novel.
Christmas Eve saw Heather and I visiting our mum and doing my Christmas food shop.Yes, I always leave my food shopping until the last moment but I went into the village very early to beat the queues and it certainly paid off - whilst most people were collecting their pre ordered chickens and turkeys etc, and paying a whopping price for them, I picked up a chicken for £2.25! It was still well in date, quite large and turned out to be very tasty - guess the store just bought too many!
I spent the rest of the day writing the last of my Christmas cards and then it was off to Church at 10.45pm ready to be on duty for the Midnight Eucharist service - always an interesting one as so many people come along who don't normally come to Church...as well as the "revellers" of course! So, I didn't get home until nearly 2am and then it was straight to bed!
Christmas morning was bright and sunny and I was in Church for the 10.30am family service which was delightful as always with each of the chidren bringing in one of their gifts to show to the congregation. It always elicits some comical moments and I think it's a lovely way for those without family to enjoy the children's excitement.
Once I got home it was time to start the "Christmas dinner for one" (!) which included my favourite home made bread sauce. Meanwhile, I opened my gifts which were all lovely, especially this wonderful wall art that my sister created for me...
...she chose the word "sanctuary" very carefully and it really is a perfect word to sum up how I feel about where I live now. I'm just waiting until the decorations come down now before I give this pride of place on the chimney breast.
When I looked up from opening gifts I saw that a certain someone had noticed that I'd started laying the table and she thought she'd get herself seated in readiness!
I'm pleased to say that the roast dinner was delicious and was very much enjoyed by Thomas and Tara as well as me! I think Tara wonders why she has to eat "rotten cat food" most of the time when there is tasty fresh chicken to be enjoyed so why can't she have it every day?
Boxing day was when we all got together at my sister's house - "all" being Heather, my nephew and his girlfriend plus me! We had another roast chicken dinner and then played games all evening - great fun.
Since then it has been a very quiet time, watching seasonal films, listening to music and just doing nothing very much at all really, though I did tackle the spare room yesterday...it's my dumping ground for just about everything and had really become overwhelmingly messy and cluttered. It's still bad but not quite so overwhelming!
We've had some gorgeous weather here including some very frosty mornings.Very cold, but I do love to look out onto this in the mornings...
...the bins don't look very attractive! Thomas is just on the other side of the fence in the field...looking for mice I'm afraid! These lovely views have been threatened by a proposed housing development but I'm happy to say that a combined effort by residents, councillors and the local MP have led to it being refused - fingers are crossed that no appeal is lodged.
I brought the New Year in in my, now, usual way - snuggled into David's big coat and raising a glass to him whilst standing in the lane that you can see in the photo. We always used to stand there to watch the fireworks going off on Blackpool sea front (if I down the lane to the right of the photo I can see them really clearly) though they were much less spectacular this time. The sound of a field full of geese angrily being woken from their sleep was much more dramatic! I don't really enjoy new year as it always seems a sad time to me...saying goodbye to things and bidding farewell to the special spirit that surrounds everything over Christmas.
Tomorrow I'll be helping to lead the service at Church as the puppets (Mitten Ministry) are on the menu again! Lynne and I will be Clyde and Camille the camels again and we'll also be in charge of the prayers and readings - as ourselves for these!
This evening is marked down as another one settled on the sofa and, as Tara keeps pinching my spot every time I leave the room, I guess we'll be snuggled up together again....
....she is such a grumpy looking thing sometimes! By the way - those are one of the two new pairs of lovely socks that Heather knitted for me...snazzy eh?!
Right, that same little madam is driving me mad now, demanding her dinner and threatening to jump into the Christmas tree to get my attention, so I had better go! All the best for 2015 everyone and let's hope that it's a much more peaceable one than the last was.