Friday, December 29, 2006

This is my last posting for 2006, I am in the middle of changing over to the new blogger system, so will spend the next few days experimenting, I could do with a new background and fresh layout for the new year, so I am hoping to achieve this and want to come up with something special.

I am just rounding off 2006 by publishing some Christmas photos, that I have just had emailed to me tonight by my daughter, Sweetpea, who took them, they mainly seem to concern food and the Xmas meal! She can be a greedy little girl when the mood takes her.

First, to the right is our Christmas tree with the presents under it, all waiting to be opened on Christmas morning.

The children have returned to London and their own lives now, leaving a house, that for a day or two will seem exceptionally quiet. I did a little bit of tidying after they had gone, but have decided to be very very lazy from today, Saturday, until the day after New Year. The artroom needs a really good sort, as a lot of the Christmas present wrapping took place in there and I stored items in there over Christmas. I shall probably take the decorations down after New Year's day, I don't very often leave them until Twelfth Night, once we hit January, I like to feel New Year Fresh, with new calender, diary, journal, and no Christmas fripperies left hanging.

This was the dining room table almost set for Christmas dinner. We started with the actual Christmas main course this year, as I have noticed when we have starters, no one wants the Christmas Pudding.

I carve the turkey in the kitchen and plate it with the stuffing and place all the vegetables etc, on the table, finally bringing the gravy boat to the table when we sit down.

For some reason, Sweetpea, decided she should have this photographic reminder of what her Christmas dinner looked like! For such a slight, slim girl she does have an exceptionally hearty appetite at times!

This was Sweetpea, wearing what I think must have been her favourite present, a tweed baker boy cap, that are just so in fashion over here at the moment. I don't think she has had it off her head since Christmas Day, except, I presume to sleep.

I must post this photograph of the beautiful tote bag I received off Robyn,it is so beautifully made, and I will really treasure it, I love the hare that is leaping across it, and the green reminds me that spring won't be too long in appearing. Thank you Robyn.

I found these three photographs that I had never posted of my new artroom that I moved into in November. I photographed three sides of it, one side of it has a lot of boxes that I need to sort through before bringing in some bookshelves. That's my drawing and crafting desk, because it is right next to the window.

That's my sewing desk, with its boxes of material underneath. It is piled hight with bits of Christmas wrapping paper and empty boxes at the moment. The bags that hang on hooks on the wall are useful for storing bits and pieces in.

That's the long wall of the room, the other side is the upstairs corridor. The wall hanging is enormous and is from Africa, and is all block printed.

Also thank you to Beth, for the cute snowman and snowman Christmas card etc that arrived in the post today, I haven't had time to take a photo of it yet.

I think that just about tidies up the year, both the good parts and the bad, and now I want to chill out so that in January, I can start up and organise lots of projects I have in mind.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Just a short posting, this will be my final pre Christmas post, I'll be back in a few days, as I am taking some time off to enjoy the festivities and making the most of the short time my complete family unit will be together.

I returned from my foray for fresh fruit and veg on Friday, in my nearest town, thoroughly frazzled, the town was a nightmare, not a lot of Christmas spirit in evidence, people pushing and shoving and getting cross with each other. I was glad to enter the sanctuary of my home, where my husband handed me the mail. I realised that the fairy birds had been flying over the ocean to bring me a lovely small package from a secret fairy friend. See photograph to the right, amongst the goodies was a sachet of Trader Joe's sipping chocolate, which I immediately made up, sat down, put my feet up and drank. Believe me, it is pure heaven in a mug, and perked me up. I am also so thrilled to have had something from the legendary Trader Joe's which I have read about in various blogs etc. There was also an interesting grilling rub of chocolate and spices for meat, which I am looking forward to trying, two speciality bars of chocolate, some cute santa soap, stickers and two lovely tub bath sachets of herbs from the fairy's garden. You can even see the empty sachet of sipping chocolate in the photo! Thank my American Secret Fairy.

This photograph above is the hand made ornament that I received from my SOSF pal, it came all the way from Australia, in time for Christmas, and it is now hanging on my treasure tree branch. Thank you SF pal.

Today, by the last post before Christmas, just in the nick of time, I received my Glitter Sister ornament and card, also from Australia, which I was pleased about as today we had to reveal who our secret santa was and show our ornaments. Just made it! Photograph above.

I would like to thank everyone else who has been so kind as to send me a card or package this Christmas season, I think I have acknowledged you all either by email or comments, at least I do hope so. These small pleasures do make days more radiant. Thank you also all my lovely regular commenters, you know who you all are, and I look forward to much more commenting back and forth in the new year.

Here is the card that I tried to send to as many GPS as possible, on the second attempt, many were able to open it, for those who could not and for everyone else, here it is.





Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Here is the link to the Daisy Lupin Christmas Story and Memory Posting Circle:-

There is still time to add a contribution, see the site for details.

Now we are going on a tour of my Christmas decorations around my cottage. I don't like overdecorating and most of the decorations centre around the trees, pretty lights, greenery of different kinds [swags, rondels, wreaths], quirky hanging ornaments and chains of golden balls. I'll explain as I go along.

Also some of the photographs are not of great quality, as I was in such a rush to photograph the rooms, get the film developed and the results posted on my site before Christmas.

So here we go we are going to start as though we are entering the cottage, and tour the ground floor, no I have not done upstairs decorations, although I always have fairy lights all year round in the bedroom.

There's the front door with the wreath on it and the front living room window with burgandy and gold chains of little balls criss-crossing the window. The branches in the window are twisted with tiny white lights [they don't show up too well in daylight against the light of the window]. If you click to enlarge the photo you may be able to see the chain of gold balls surrounding the door. I don't know if you can see my row of clear crystals dangling from the top of the inside window frame.

That's looking from the front door into the morning room with the tree standing in the corner. Unfortunately, I don't think the lights on it show up too well in the flash of the camera. This was taken a few days ago and I put strings of Christmas cards on the door and strips of ribbons holding cards on the wall above the black leather chair. I just keep adding strips of ribbon around the room as the cards roll in from the post.

That's my screen with the swag above it and the fairy I bought and the elf [that Sheila sent me] hanging from it. The vases of branches that stand either side have baubles decorating them for Christmas. Note the Green Man [enlarged below].

This is the Green Man rondel above the fireplace, I thought he looked pretty much as he should do surrounded by a mistletoe wreath, a lovely icon to yuletide. He is protector of my house, I have another rondel in my garden. I love to see him surrounded by greenery like this at this time of year

This is the other side of the fireplace, with another wreath hanging above the mirror, and the rather strange Father Christmas perched on the book cabinet who is wearing a strange concoction of arabian nights satin clothes, sort of harem pants, a bolero and pixie boots!. I forgot to take a photo of his partner the Nutcracker Soldier who lives on top of the stereo unit on the other side of the fire place.

My treasure tree branch. All my most dear treasures and tokens displayed for Christmas. See if you recognise anything on it! Unfortunately, it was too difficult keeping everything facing the camera, and some items are swinging sideways and some have turned there backs. There are tokens from friends around the world, percious, family reminders and other little things that secretly represent something special to me.

You have now walked into the morning room, so called as the morning sun spills into this room. We have a small tree in here, based on the colours blue, lavender turquoise and pearl, there are a lot of little white wooden ornaments on it. Again against the inside window frame I have a set of hanging crystals.

These are the stairs that are in the morning room. The banister is wound around with a swag of greenery to which I add gold sprayed pinecones, and white lights that are encased in clear balls. I also hang a kissing ball at the bottom of the stairs.

This is the large victorain bookcase, which was my great grandmother's, I think you can just see the swag of greenery and large pinecones draped roundthe top of it. Gold balls on a chain around the entrance into the kitchen [you can see my herbs hanging up] and some of the felt stars I made this year, above the lintel. Also two of the children's old stockings hanging up. Two things you might spy, the framed photo on the bookcase is of my son, and in the extreme botton left corner, some spiky freshly towelled dry hair - yes the top of my husband's head!

You have now gone down the step into the kitchen and turned right into the dining room. The twigs on the console have pearl coloured leaves on twine twisted among them and I have a chain of balls and circles and some hanging stars at the dining room window.

This is the small dining room tree, which is decorated in gold and pale and dark blue, to fit in with the bright yellow walls, I also have a string of amber lights up against the bamboo blind. There is a counter dividing the kitchen and dining room but I hang a bamboo blind from the dining room side it lets the light through and also makes it two rooms, you can see the kitchen through the blind.

These are two photographs of my dining room dresser which I love to decorate with hanging bits and pieces and ornaments. I also put another swag of greenery similar to the one on top of the victorian bookcase in the morning room on top of the dressers. There are gold chains of balls and gold bells hanging across the hooks, minature christmas stockings hanging off the hooks as well as little snowmen and two tiny balls of very tiny pinecones. Also some of my twinkling felt stars and perky birds and a cute fairy with stripey red stockings, who has turned her back on the camera. Two chubby snowmen sit on the shelves. Can you spot my kitchen icon ornament on one of the shelves? Yes, it's little grey rabbit, if anyone ever read her books when they were children. I loved them, and she is my heroine as far as knowledgeable country ladies go. Little grey rabbit's fund of countrylore and tradition was awe inspiring and the stories always incorporated country traditions from around the year, such as maypole dancing, easter egg hunts and kissing balls at Christmas. You can also see my coffee mug I drew for the coffee mug challenge hanging off one of the hooks. I love finding bits of china for my dresser and keep trying to cram more and more on.

The final photograph is taken from the top of the stairs looking down towards the tiny deep casement stair window, look at the thickness of the walls in this part of the house. There is a tiny Christmas tress beside the plant and my lovely chain of small silver stars surround window reflecting the larger wicker star hanging above. Sorry about the dim light quality and shadows on this photo.

Well, there you go, a tour of the ground floor of my cottage decorated for Christmas. It is quite simply decorated, I could probably have much more, but it is just the way I like it, though each year, another little piece of inspiration hits me and I add something, this year it was the treasure tree branch [ Thanks to Lisa Oceandreamer]. I already have an idea of what it is I want to add next year. I don't really decorate upstairs, just a large star and an arch of chains at the top of the stairs, though I may put a little something in my artroom next year, but one part of the artroom still needs to be sorted. I have some photos of it to show you in a couple of postings. If I get time I may try to photograph the trees and rooms in the evening by candlelight. I hope you have enjoyed yourself, of course we stopped for a chat and something to drink, wine, tea or coffee and a piece of Christmas cake, after we looked at the decorations.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Here we go the site is up and running ready for your Christmas contributions, here's the link to it:-

Here is my Christmas Story, I will be transferring it shortly to the Christmas Site, but for now you can read it here. Warning it is quite long, you may need coffee or tea whilst you read it.







Once upon a time in Fairytale Land there lived a beautiful princess and a handsome soldier who was in charge of the palace guards. Everyday when he was inspecting his guards he would watch the princess taking her daily walk in the gardens. He thought he had never seen anyone as beautiful, she was always smiling and her clear tinkling laugh would be carried by the breeze over to the parade ground where the soldier was drilling his men. He began to make sure he was inspecting the two guards outside the palace door when it was time for her to return after her morning stroll in the gardens. And so it came to be that in time, she also noticed the handsome soldier, and thought to herself, what fine young man he was and her heart began to beat faster when she saw him. As the days passed they became braver, he would salute her, and she would nod towards him and give him a wonderful inviting smile, whilst her eyes twinkled. One day she emerged with a beautiful bunch of yellow and cream roses in a basket and she offered one to him to pin on his uniform. That day marked the beginning of their true romance.

Now even in fairy tale land there are rules and regulations to be obeyed, and it was not thought a wise thing for a beautiful princess to be enamoured of the Captain of the Guard, however handsome he may have been. There were far too many unmarried princes in the land looking for princesses, and as everyone knows in that land it is princes and princesses that marry each other, but sometimes the prince or princess was a long lost one living as an ordinary citizen. Alas the Captain of the Guard was not a long lost prince in this story.

Consequently, it was not proper for them to meet each other except at a palace ball where they would be allowed a dance with each other. This princess, Mimosa, was quite a wilful and spirited young lady, and if she decided she wanted something, she would make sure she got it. Mimosa, kept beautiful white doves, who were very tame and she began to use them to send messages to the Captain of the Guard. At first he was fainted hearted, and ignored the messages, but day after day as she passed him on her return to the palace she smiled a beguiling smile at him, a smile her mother would have said was overbold, and after a time, he returned the dove with a message from himself attached to its foot.

They began meeting, early in the morning, she would get out of bed and sneak down the long forgotten passages and staircases of the palace to meet her dashing captain, in one of the enclosed gardens as the hot summer days began, or after supper, in warm summer twilight she would again escape to hidden, secluded parts of the grounds to pursue her love affair with him. As the summer progressed they continued their meetings, and became bolder about them and spent longer together, until as the summer reached it height and descended towards autumn, the palace staff had begun whispering of Mimosa’s love for the Captain.

Then one late summer day a wicked fairy who had travelled to the area, looking for lives she could meddle in, happened to be lurking around the palace, where she heard talk of this affair. She spent those last summer days hiding in various palace gardens hoping to catch the two lovers. So it happened that upon one early morning with a hint of autumn in the air, she was lucky and caught the two embracing under a pergola. In a flurry of dust and wind she materialised beside them, pointed her finger at them, screeching ‘I accuse you of breaking the rules of fairytale land.’ Her voice carried on the wind towards the palace and bells began to ring. Shortly the palace guard without their leader, turned up at the garden and escorted the bewildered twosome back to the palace.

The Queen wept and sighed and flung herself at the feet of the King, pleading with him not to report his beautiful daughter. To no avail, he told his wife that if a Wicked Fairy had discovered this, it could not be hidden and the proper procedure must take place.

The Captain of the Guard and the Princess were taken individually to the capital of fairytale land where the Emperor, had his court and reigned over the whole land. On the appointed day the pair were brought in front of him to hear what their punishment would be. The Emperor sat on his high throne and the Wicked Fairy stood at the bottom step looking sternly at the two, a joyful glint in her eyes, as she loved to spoil people’s happiness. After a fanfare of trumpets and a prolonged drum roll the Emperor said this to the weeping princess and her lover.

‘There are rules in Fairytale Land that must be upheld, as if they are ignored the Constitution declares that Fairytale Land is at risk of disappearing into the ether. I hereby declare that you two have broken these rules by your love affair, which has been thoroughly investigated. I am afraid there is no way it can be allowed, for this is just a Captain of the Guard, and not as one or two of the Council thought a long lost Prince. Thereby you have broken the rules and must expect punishment as expressed in the Book of Rules that starts ‘Once upon a time.’ This book states that the punishment shall be chosen by the person that found the prisoner committing the crime, thereby, this punishment shall be chosen by the fairy Shadowgrowl.’

The Emperor looked down at the wicked fairy, who jumped to attention with glee showing in her face and announced.

‘For this flouting of the rules I can see no alternative, but to make you both disperse into the ether in a cloud of dust.’

The Princess openly wept, and the Captain of the Guards, top lip gave a quiver. Suddenly a cloud of sparkling dust appeared at the foot of the throne beside the wicked fairy, and a musical voice emerged from it followed by a dazzling beautifully fairy dressed in silver, with a magic wand, who said.

‘I am the Fairy Godmother of Princess Mimosa, and although I know that punishment must be given to these two as the Constitution of Fairytale Land dictates, but I would ask, as befits my post of Fairy Godmother, that the punishment, although still to be based on a banishment, be transmuted unto banishment to a different land in a different form.’

The Emperor considered, and decided that as the basis of banishment was still intact the slight tinkering with the where and how was admissible. He stood up and drew himself up to his full height and pointed his sceptre at the young couple, who had turned to look into each other’s eyes, a bolt of lightning emerged the sceptre and struck the pair, blue smoke engulfed them and when it dispersed the place they were standing was empty.



Claudette, gently unwrapped the tissue paper to display the object inside it. She sighed with satisfaction, it was just as beautiful as it had looked in the antique shop. The perfect figure for the top of the tree for their first Christmas as husband and wife. So beautifully made every detail perfect, the rich ivory satin embroidered with gold thread for the dress, her perfect porcelain face with blushing cheeks and sweet pink lips, surrounded by a mass of cloud like blonde hair. The delicate long porcelain fingers and high arched feet, and best of all the fine gossamer wings attached to the back, indeed, just the perfect fairy for the Christmas tree. Claudette placed her gently on top of the tree and hugged herself in delight.

She showed it to Edward when he came home that evening, and talked about the beautiful Christmas tree fairy throughout dinner, remarking how beautiful but lonely she looked. Edward smiled at her indulgently, they had only been married three months. The next evening, he came in shouting for Claudette, and waving a red tissue package around, she took it off him and discovered a fine nutcracker soldier inside. She covered Edward in kisses, saying what a clever husband she had to find such a handsome painted companion for the tree fairy and placed the nutcracker soldier on the bureau top across the room from the tree. She was full of praise for her husband and complimented his romantic ideas, all evening until laughingly they retired for the night.

As the clock ticked towards one in the morning, there was a rustle at the top of the tree, and the Tree Fairy stretched her delicate arms and pointed her exquisite feet. Her mind was a whirl, how had she arrived here, where had she been between being banished and being placed on this tree. Slowly and delicately, as be fit’s a princess she climbed down the tree and made her way over to the handsome Nutcracker Soldier. He was still a lump of wood, so she placed her rosy pink lips against his and kissed him until she felt the wood turn into living flesh and blood begin to circulate. He looked confused and croaked ’Mimosa?’ She gave a gay laugh, ’Yes, my dear Hugo, we are together again at last.’ How they enjoyed the night, until as dawn crept upon them and they could feel themselves reverting into their doll forms.

Every night of that Christmas season Mimosa and Hugo met celebrated their love, danced, talked and had a wonderful time. Until Twelfth Night, when Claudette and Edward carefully dismantled the Christmas tree and wrapped all the delicate decorations in tissue to be stored until the next year.

For many years the Princess and the Captain of the Guard met in this way, Claudette and Edward, had children, they moved to a large house in the country and every year the Fairy topped the tree and the Nutcracker Soldier stood on a piece of furniture on the opposite side of the room. They were the happy years and the children grew up and left home for lives of their own.

As Claudette and Edward grew into old age, it became apparent that the large old rambling house was too much for them to cope with, they had lost one son in the war, one daughter had married and moved to America which left them with one son that visited them. Staff were becoming more difficult to get, as many never returned after the war to their previous jobs, and had gone looking for better pay in newer industries. Slowly but surely standards dropped in the old house which became shabby slightly musty and damp and uncared for. During these years, the large tree was never put up but the Nutcracker Soldier and the Christmas Tree Fairy, were oblivious to this is their deep year round slumbers.

Then one morning Edward went out for a walk and never returned, he had fallen in the woods and suffered a fatal injury. Claudette, knew it was time to give up her home to her eldest son, George and his wife Isabella. George, who had made a fortune in the war, decided that he and Isabella would live in the house, once it had been brought up to date and been made inhabitable. This pleased, Isabella who was a modern thinking lady who loved all the new trends in d├ęcor and had no time for the old. Claudette was moved to the lodge at the end of the drive with a lady to care for her, she had never really recovered from the Edward’s death. The year flew by and the house looked magnificent, Isabella was determined on a grand Christmas House Party to show the place off.

One day near to Christmas, the Christmas tree was in place and George was rummaging around and found the old box of Christmas decorations. He brought the Christmas Tree Fairy out with a flourish and explained to Isabella how it had always adorned the top of the tree. Isabella replied:

‘We certainly, can’t have that old thing on the tree, look at the state of it, the dress is shabby and frayed, and it looks like something has been nibbling it. Even her wings are disintegrating with age, look I have pulled them off in my hand, throw her in that box that is going to the Village Church Christmas Sale.’

Having spoken she took the fairy out his hand and tossed it carelessly in to the box full of old ornaments etc. Edward next showed her the Nutcracker Soldier, asking if that should go to the Church Sale as well, but Isabella thought it was hilarious, and said that at least it had a job to do of opening nuts. Then she picked up the box and took it out to leave at the kitchen back door to be picked up.

Night fell, the Nutcracker Soldier awoke and looked at the Christmas Tree, a large multi coloured glittering star was at the top of it. He shook with consternation, where was his love, his Mimosa? He got down from the table and circled the bottom of the tree talking all the time about his Mimosa, to no avail.

After a while he realised he could hear a small squeaky voice, clearing it’s throat and saying:

‘Excuse me Captain, have you lost your beautiful lady?’

He turned and saw a small brown house mouse standing by a crack in the skirting board ready to flee at the slightest unexpected movement.

‘Yes, my beautiful Princess Mimosa’

‘She is to be taken to the Village Church Fair and is in a box outside the kitchen door ready for collection tomorrow’

‘I must get to her and save her, please show me the way’

‘You will never be able to open the heavy doors on the way to the kitchen you must follow me through my highways and byways to reach her. Come with me.’

And saying that the brown house mouse turned and led the Nutcracker soldier a devious route to the kitchen, through furniture, walls skirting board, until finally a very dirty and dishevelled soldier emerged through the kitchen grating into the cold winter’s night, there was the box in front of the step.

From the box came the sad sound of weeping, and the Nutcracker Soldier made haste and clambered into the box. The crying stopped as Mimosa saw her love had reached her, they embraced each other tightly, then Mimosa began weeping again and asking what was to become of them. The Captain said he thought they had only two courses of action, he could hide further down the box and go to be put in the Church Sale with her, but there was no guarantee that they would be sold together. Although he would search the village for her, or they could set out now and try to find a way to be together in this wild and cruelly cold world. They would only be able to move at night time, and he had no idea what would happen after Christmas time, when they were usually returned to their boxes. Would they go to sleep till next year wherever they found themselves or if they weren’t put away, would they be alive each night all year round. Grave thought must be given to these two paths they could follow.

The Church bell in the village struck three in the morning, and the Captain realised that a decision had to be made. Mimosa, snuffled and sniffed interspersed with soft weeping at his side, she hiccupped that she would do as he thought best. The Captain came to a decision, at least they were guaranteed to be together if they just left the box and went off, whilst being for sale at the Christmas Sale gave them no security of being together. So they would take their chances in the night and start on a search to find someone who could rescind their punishment or at least let them live a life together all year round in some land somewhere.

He told Mimosa, and she looked at him adoringly and agreed, not a thought in her pretty head of how hard this was going to be. The Captain, rummaged around in the box and came up with a small piece of fur that had adorned a pocket trim on a dress, he gave it to Mimosa, saying this can be a wrap to keep you warm as you just have that thin dress on He also found cut out leather leaves that had decorated a coat’s lapel. He bound these round her small delicate feet.

‘Well we are as ready as we will ever be. Let’s begin our journey’

And he pulled Mimosa out to the top of the box, got out himself and caught her in his arms when she jumped down to him.

If anyone had been looking on that cold moonlit night they would have seen the strangest of strange sights, a small one foot tall soldier and a ten inch lady with rather odd coverings on her feet, a ball gown and a fur wrap, hand in hand, running along the side of the drive, making for the front gates and their freedom. They made the gates, turned right and disappeared alongside the hedgerow where they could not be seen. Together again, at last, what adventures would befall them before them before they made their dreams come true.

To be continued ………………………Next Christmas

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's always around about this time in the days before Christmas, that I have had enough of preparations, and now just want to wind down and enjoy the holiday season. I can't stand to be in a panic very near Christmas with a long list of 'to dos', although there have been many years when I have been. I have done really well this year, despite, being extra busy, and all the presents are bought, but not wrapped, that is a joy for me to do and I will do it next week. The cards are written and sent and the major cookery and baking is over. The decorations are just about up, except for a little tweaking here and there, and my home is just about ready for the children's return.

I am not giving myself pat on the back because, I have just been lucky this year in fitting it all in, although where once I would have been in a panic, I think as I get older, I am now much more philosophical and think 'well, if it's not done, it's not done and it won't spoil Christmas for me'. I have seen a younger version of myself, run raggeded before Christmas and not be able to relax when Christmas came. Too much organisation kills Christmas. I want to start relaxing now.

Next week I will be making my mince pies and sweets, both a joy to do, I'll bake up a storm with Christmas music playing, dancing round the kitchen, and then one evening I will take over the dining room table, place a bottle of wine and a glass there, bring the presents out and once again wrap to the sound of Christmas melodies whilst singing along. The sweet recipes are from Pea's site [Thank you for sharing them Pea] and choc and raspberry bars are from Vicci's [Thank you for that scrumptious looking bar Vicci]. The only thing to work out.I can work out American cup measurements, but can any one tell me - What is a stick of butter in weight in the USA?

All the shopping left to do is fresh fruit and veg at the end of next week, which I will go to the nearest small market town for. After this week I will not be going anywhere near the nearest town I always go, to much rushing around of last minute shoppers, overactive children and drunken office workers. Not that I'm against all that, I just will leave it for them to enjoy. I want to start chilling. I'm just saying to you all if it isn't done, leave it just start enjoying Yuletide, worrying spoils Christmas.

I have just been on my last supermarket trip before Christmas, with the weather being so wet and windy, we can very occasionally lose power, at peak times, so it was mainly things like, plain candles, lightbulbs, batteries, matches and one or two little odds and ends, that I happened to see like a good special offer on chestnuts and some rather nice looking bottled fruits.

My local supermarket is an out of town Tesco, and you would have thought Christmas was this week the crowds that jostling round it. I just needed a small trolley which was just as well, all the giant ones were in use. People were staggering out with groaning heaving trollies of food and drink, I made a mental note to make sure that next year I organise my shopping as well as this year. Though I have to admit I don't ever do giant supermarket shops. I have Tesco deliver all my staples once a month, so my shopping every week is not horrendous, it's a system I have used for two years.

I have been gathering treats around the front, main living room, a rush basket with some magazines in I am looking forward to reading, a pile of new books to read on the long chest, and in the stereo cupboard, the Christmas, classical and late night smoky jazz cds, I want to chill to.
The Wizard of Oz on top of the dvd player, and a boxed set of Audrey Hepburn films I got at a bargain price a couple of months ago that I have been saving. Everytime I look at them I think of the pleasures I have in store. Small pleasures make life joyful. The only glitch on the horizon, is that the river has risen to the top of the banks and we are on floodwatch, we just have to get through the next day and hope the rain will stop. Also this terrible wet and windy weather has meant there has been no time to get out and cut some holly branches on a walk.

The Christmas site is open on Sunday, 17th so I hope you have all had time in your busy schedules to think of something to post. I have nearly finished my story but it is slightly long, but never mind, the site is open for reading until the end of January, so no doubt people will have more time after the festivities.

I am now going to try and get round as many sites as possible, before people think I have disappeared off the face of the earth, but we are all just so busy at the moment.
Open this Sunday, 17th
Daisy Lupin’s Christmas Story or Memory Posting
Post a Christmas memory, story, even a ghost story
Or poem you would like to share,
More than one if you wish
Last postings 24th December
Just let me know it is your contribution
I will transfer them to a temporary site
There they will remain for everyone to enjoy
Until the end of January.

Come on lets have a Giant Christmas Story Circle

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Before I start on this posting I would like to take a moment to remember Lisa Oceandreamer's recent sad loss of her Mother and to let her know my thoughts are with her at this sad time. I would also in the midst of this sadness, like to take time to wish her gentle birthday greetings for the coming week, to show that even at this sad time, I have not forgotten, what would have been a noticed day in her life.


I have had a busy end to the week, a Local History Group on Thursday evening, which I had not had time to prepare thoroughly for, as I usually do. For once I decided I would have to after the preliminaries, 'wing it' and inspiration, thank goodness, struck as we were all sat round the large table in the Centre. I decided to go round the table making a story circle, and you know how much I love doing them. I asked each person to tell me, in turn, a memory or if they were not born in the village, the first event that they remembered in the village. At first there was stunned silence, they are so used to me giving a short talk or asking them questions, then it just took off and everyone found something to say. Do you know, it was wonderful, it was one of the best meetings I have had, there were one or two old memories, of a part of the village, now demolished, that were absolute gems. Stories of close communites, where children were many and money was sparse, but childhood still seems to have been enjoyed. A tale of moving into the first of the new houses built in in the village in the hard winter of 1963. I was so pleased and told the group that there were, in those stories, the foundations of the booklet we want to publish, and I am making arrangements to have a long chat from the lady that was born in the old cottages. From what could have been a disaster, it turned to an excellent night, and how happy I was that people had turned up despite, the howling wind and battering rain.

Yesterday, I finally managed to dress the main tree in the living room and to put up another tree, in the back living room, which we call the morning room. I sat for what seemed like hours on the floor surrounded by tangles of lights with a will of their own, not to mention rolls of golden balls which were also determined to do their own thing. If anyone wants to torture me, the way to do it is to put me in a room with a tangle of tree lights. Nothing works me up more and makes me irrate and at screaming pitch. These tangles were really bad, strange because they had been put away perfectly. In the end husband to the rescue, after hearing all the odd noises and mutterings coming from the room. Perhaps, I should have got the decorations down myself and left the light tangles to him, as he is very good at disentangling them.

I also asked him to go into the common land behind our cottage, to get me some branches of rowan to make my treasure branch with. Yay! for husbands being capable and manly! I forgive him the decoration fiasco. As soon as he brought them back, I sprayed them gold and left them in the sun [yes, we actually saw some sun yesterday] to dry.

I spent yesterday evening finishing off the front living room, by placing a few final decorations. I am particularly pleased with me Green Man rondel, that lives above the fireplace, above the screen, I have managed to place a mistletoe wreath around him, so he is surrounded, and I think it makes a great Solistice, Yuletide, decoration, as he is protecting the house. The final piece of decorating was actually filling my treasure branch, what fun that was. It is filled with tokens from friends around the world, from friends nearby, and with items, of value to me that the children have either bought or made. It looks truly wonderful, and each piece has a tale to tell.

I love the way that day after day the decorations, spill through the rooms, and each room becomes a magical shrine to the season. The undecorated rooms look messy, as I always push the rest of the decorations in their boxes into those rooms until I am ready for them, but at the end all the rooms are ready for the season, and I celebrate with a glass or red wine, whilst all the different sets of lights are switched on.

Although, there is a reminder at the end of the post, I just want to say, don't forget my Christmas Story and Memory Posting Circle, you can post anytime between the 17th and 24th, and of course, I will be transferring them onto a temporary website, where they will remain until the end of January. I am going to post a Christmas Memory and also I am in the middle of writing a short story, to put on the site called A Tale of True Love, which is best described as a story in the style of an old fashioned fairytale. The idea came to me when I was decorating the tree, but wait and see.

Another lovely present arrived for me yesterday, this time a beautiful purple felt heart from Janet at just bee...etc. She had embroidered a daisy and beaded a lupin, so it said Daisy Lupin. Thank you, Janet. I was just so touched by this, and it is now hanging on my treasure branch. I will be photographing this nearer to Christmas.

Today I am having a day off from cleaning and I think I will sit down this evening, with some Christmas music playing, a glass of wine at my side and write all my local Christmas cards. It is important to take some time out and relax, to just step back even if only for an hour or two from this mad Christmas Roundabout we are on. In the meanwhile, I am now about to help my husband put the Christmas greenery swags up on top of our bookcase and our dresser, then I will tackle the stair banister. Happy decorating.

I have decided that every posting I do before Christmas and over the Christmas season, I am going to put in an illustration from an old fairytale book of a story that is a fairytale or a pantomine. I have so far, in the last posting, done The Snow Queen, and in my Sunday Scribblings, Cinderella, today it is Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Don’t forget to join in Daisy Lupin's
Christmas Story or Memory Posting

Post a Christmas memory, story, even a ghost story
Or poem you would like to share,
More than one if you wish ,
Anytime between 17th and 24th December
Just let me know it is your contribution
I will transfer them to a temporary site
There they will remain for everyone to enjoy
Until the end of January.
Come on lets have a Giant Christmas Story Circle