Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Happy New Year!

It`s really quiet today so I thought I`d post a late entry. It`s been bitterly cold here as I know it`s been for most of Britain AND its forecast to get even colder. After the last two mild and wet winters I don`t think we expected this but I`m sure we`ll survive...lol!

Talking of cold weather, Kerry and family flew to Russia early this morning to spend New Year with Slava`s family. They flew to Zurich first and then on to St.Petersburg and arrived there late this morning. Kerry rang Jim and he told me he could hear Roman playing happily in the background and making himself very much at home with his grandparents. It`s snowing heavily there and its very cold, much colder than here but that`s only to be expected as St.Petersburg is in the northerly part of the country, not that far from the Arctic Circle really, it doesn`t get more northerly than that!

Did all of you have a good Christmas? From reading journals I see that most of you did and ours was very much the same. It was a lovely family day but very, very tiring though it was worth it once I climbed into bed that evening and fell into a well-deserved sleep...lol! Roman had so many presents you couldn`t move for them all, he loved the bike we bought, I mean Santa bought him and he told Kerry yesterday that he was very lucky to have so many presents and couldn`t believe it when I told him that Christmas comes round every year...lol! I have tried to explain why we celebrate Christmas but he was a bit confused and asked if the baby Jesus had presents on his birthday. I`ll tell him again next year. Jim bought me TWO pairs of nice leather boots. There is a good reason why there are two pairs but it would take too long to explain it here. he also bought me two book, both autobiographies. One was Julie Walters and the other Sheila Hancock and I`m looking forward to reading them both. He also bought me
the new CD by Jonathan Ansell the young classical singer, he knew I wanted it and Kerry bought me the latest one by Bette Midler, one of my favourite female singers. Danny and Salina bought me a gorgeous designer watch. It`s really lovely but I know it cost a lot of money and I`m worried that I might lose it or damage it, I can be really clumsy at times.

It`s such a shame Christmas is over but we all have a new year to look forward to. Kerry`s baby is due in April and I have a feeling it`s going to be a big one. She is only six months but she is much bigger than she was with Roman, in fact she looks a good seven months and counting so it`ll be interesting to see what she weighs. All the babies on my side of the family are fairly large and in my mother`s and grandmother`s case and in mine, the second baby has always been about two pounds heavier at birth than the first. My uncle weighed almost 2lbs heavier than my mother. I weighed 8lbs 1oz, my brother was 9lbs. 13ozs. Kerry weighed 7lbs. 8 1/4ozs and Danny was 9lbs. 8ozs.....watch this space to see if Kerry follows the family tradition...lol!

New Years Eve is going to be a quiet affair here. We are not going out and on New Years Day we are having a nice meal with only Danny eating with us. I don`t mind either, as much as I love to see all the family it`s lovely to have a nice quiet house with just Jim and I doing our own thing and tripping over holdalls and toys etc. There was a time I thought I`d never come to terms with being an `empty nester` but I thrive on it now. The baby birds have long flown the nest and are living their own happy and fulfilling lives. Oh yes, life is good and I for one am happy.

Right then, all I have to do is to wish a very Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year to each and every one of you and thanks for reading my journal, I really appreciate it. Night Night. :o)

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Christmas Day photos

Santa`s been!
Erm, no Slava, you are NOT Santa...lol!

Roman in his new Sporticus outfit

It looks like Roman`s Scalextric is keeping both Dan and Slava engrossed Trying out his new bicycle
Practising in the back garden

The table laid for Christmas lunch

Jake looking for leftover turkey

The meal went well as you can see!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

A Christmas Ghost Story

A Ghost Story for Christmas

Bryony rushed from the house. She was running late, as usual. Tonight was Christmas Eve and she had arranged to meet her friends for Christmas Mass. The weather was appalling with thick freezing fog which reduced visibility to about ten metres.
Shivering in the bitter cold, Bryony opened her car door and gratefully climbed inside thankful to be out of the cold. Placing her keys in the ignition she was dismayed to find her car battery was completely dead. There was no point in calling out the rescue services as most places had closed for the holiday, but what should she do?
After a few minutes of planning, Bryony decided that her only option was to cut through thenearby wood, this would cut down her journey by a considerable time and would probably enable her to make Midnight Mass by the skin of her teeth.
Although not the bravest of people, Bryony set off into the woods, her teeth chattering in the cold.
Bryony had only walked a few hundred yards when she realised that in the thick fog, she had no idea whatsoever, which direction she was going in and was hopelessly lost. Nevertheless she stumbled on getting colder and colder and more disorientated as the time went on. When she realised that she had passed the same oak tree for the fifth time she sank down shivering on a nearby log and started to cry. She was very frightened and it occurred to her that she could actually freeze to death in the bitter cold.
Suddenly, a few yards ahead, Bryony could just make out a dim flickering light. She rose to her feet and started towards it. The light stayed tantalisingly too far ahead for her to see it’s source but she stumbled ahead anyway and hoped that she was not getting even deeper into the woods.
Suddenly, Bryony could make out the image of a small girl, in a pale blue dress. The girl had a small terrier type dog with her and both seemed oblivious to the cold, not only that but there appeared to be a phosphorescent glow surrounding both the little girl and the small dog. Bryony called to her but she ignored her and carried on skipping just ahead of Bryony but too far away for her to make out her features.
Just as Bryony was giving up hope of ever finding her way out of the woods and back to civilisation she caught the sound of distant traffic and saw the faint flicker of headlights through the trees. Calling to the little girl to wait so that she could thank her, she was surprised to find that both the girl and the dog had vanished.
Stumbling out of the trees she realised that she was actually in sight of the Church. Rushing inside she realised that she’d missed the service. Her friends clustered around her very concerned at both her dishevelled condition and her agitation. She wanted to immediately form a search party for the unsuitably dressed little girl and the small mongrel dog which never left her heels.
The vicar attracted by the fuss, wandered over to discover what the fuss was about. On hearing Bryony’s tale he sat them all down on the nearest pew and started to relate the strangest of stories.
It began two hundred years before when, on Christmas Eve, a small child, the daughter of the local landlord, wandered off into the woods, with her dog,in search of Father Christmas. It was a freezing cold night with very similar weather conditions as this particular night.
After an all night search by the villagers, the child was found, curled up under a snow laden oak tree frozen to death. Her trusty mongrel dog was huddled up close to her in an attempt to keep her warm. It was reputed that the dog refused to leave the spot where the child had died and several days later, it too, died.
The vicar’s tale continued as he told them of lost travellers and people such as Bryony who had taken a short cut and found themselves lost and who had told of being led to safety by a small girl in a pale blue dress, a small mongrel dog and a faint shimmering light which surrounded them both.
The vicar went on to say that although he was a man of God and therefore should be at the least sceptical of such stories, he found himself believing these strange stories as there were too many such tales over the years for them to be unfounded.
The following day, Christmas day, found Bryony and her friends entering the woods, to lay a small Christmas wreath at the base of the oak tree in thanks to the small girl and her dog that had led a very cold and frightened Bryony to safety on Christmas Eve.


From Wales Online.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Farewell Auntie

Well I`ve not long been home after attending my Auntie Win`s funeral and I feel a bit sad but not for the most obvious reasons. When my brother, nephew and I arrived at the crematorium I saw my cousin we were all feeling very apprehensive about meeting family that we hadn`t seen for a long time, we`d needn`t have worried because we got a warm welcome. There weren`t many people there and that made me feel sad. I know that Auntie Win was 94 and many of her friends are no longer with us but I thought that her younger friends would have been there. And some more family members. There was just her son Rod, daughter-in-law Jenny , two grandsons, me, my brother Cliff and nephew Adam. None of my other cousins were there and I`m so glad that I was, so was Cliff. Auntie Win was a formidable woman to the end and I`m so glad she was exactly the same right up to the end. I`m also sad that we won`t see the like of her again in this world but I`m sure she has her place in heaven and is making her presence felt as we we speak. After the service we all chatted for a while and then said our goodbyes. It was strange because we all knew it was unlikely that we`ll meet again, our lives are so different. It`s a shame because we all get on well but thats just how it is, we`ve never been a close family which is a little sad.

I`ve been really busy at work with lots of customers buying Christmas trees and decorations. In fact I wouldn`t be surprised if we sell right of Christmas lights in the next few days. I`ve been wearing my father Christmas earrings and flashing lights reindeer badge which most of the customers appreciate. This morning I served a really nice man who told me he was 82, I couldn`t believe it because he didn`t look a day over 65. Before he left he shook my hand and then kissed it....Oh I WAS flattered! There are some lovely people out there.

Danny has gone home after his bout of flu and is back at work. It was nice to act as nursemaid for a while but it`s nice to have the house back for just the two of us. I just hope I don`t catch it or I will not be happy I can tell you, being ill isn`t an option with Christmas on the doorstep, I have far too much to do....lol!
Yesterday some Heuchera plants arrived that I ordered months ago. They should have arrived back in November but they forgot to send them. Then they sent them and the courier lost them! For the third time I emailled the company and they miraculously they arrived the next day. The last thing I can do now is plant them outside as they are far too small to survive a heavy frost. What I`ve done is plant them in pots and put them in the greenhouse to overwinter.
I have a bad headache caused I think by the stress of the day, hopefully it will subside before I have to resort to medication. I prefer not to take anything but I have a feeling I won`t get away with it this time. I can`t remember a time when I haven`t had a headache after a funeral.

Jim is still waiting to find out what hours he will be working on Christmas Day. They usually put the schedules on the notice board but this year they seem to be taking there time. It would be nice for Jim to know so as I can plan the day around him, I don`t want him to miss out. Hopefully he won`t have to work a full shift and he won`t be gone too long. Luckily he will be home on Boxing Day for the whole day and he already knows that he`s not working next Christmas. I`ll say goodbye for now and go and take something for my headache, see, I`ve given in already...lol! Take care. :o)

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Weekend Catch Up

It`s a damp and miserable day and I really don`t like it. Last week it was bitterly cold but frosty and brighter, give me that any day instead of this.

Yesterday Jim and I went to the garden centre Christmas dinner. We had a nice time but the food could have been a little better and the portions a bit bigger. Never mind we had a good night out and that was the most important thing.

At the moment I`m acting as nursemaid to my son and heir Danny who has a bad case of man-flu. I don`t want him to go back to his flat as the heating isn`t very good and I don`t want him to get really ill. To be fair he does have a very bad cough and a fever and its not like him not to eat but as we all know men are pretty helpless when viruses strike...lol! Oh dear, I shouldn`t laugh, I`ll probably get it next. :o( We had a bit of a falling out the other evening and I`m pleased to say it`s resolved for now but I think it`s going to happen again before long as the issue isn`t going to go away....sigh

I`ve been getting lots of Christmas cards from my JLand friends and many of them from overseas so thank you all. As I said before I`ve wrapped everything and am as ready for Christmas as I can be, not bad with still two weeks to go. Knowing me I`ve forgotten something really important...lol! The only present I have still to buy is Danny`s. I can`t buy clothes like I`ve said before or they will go back to the shop after Christmas and I have no idea what else I can get him. If I ask him he said he doesn`t know what he wants ( so helpful!) and I know he wants something to open so I can`t give him money....Oh dear, I need some inspiration.
I`ve just had a call from my brother about our Aunties funeral. He`s attending the service with me and bringing my nephew too. I must admit I`m glad to have some moral support because I haven`t seen my cousin for over 35 yrs and another of my cousins since I was 13, though I`m certain I won`t have any trouble recognising them. Tomorrow I will organise the flowers.
Tomorrow I have a dentist appointment for a filling and I`m really not looking forward to it. I would happily cancel but the nagging pain at the back of my mouth prevents me. The dentist says it just a small hole but they always say that, he probably just trying to make me feel better! Best get it over and done with before Christmas so I can eat what I like without fear of pain. Anyway my friends, I hope you`ve all had a lovely weekend. take care and I be visiting your journals soon. :o)

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Catching up and some Sad News

Oh dear, I`ve left it almost a week without posting an entry again. So much has happened over the last week that I wanted to tell you about and now my mind has gone blank, it must be my age...lol!

On Saturday Jim and I went to Reading shopping for the last few presents and to just generally have a look around the shops. Luckily for me I have a husband who enjoys shopping as much as I do, even though it wasn`t always the case. I think I gradually worked on him until he realised the delights of retail therapy. Now I doubt he can remember the time when he would stand sulkily outside shops looking at his watch...lol! But I digress. We decided to catch a train instead of the stress of trying to find a parking space. We didn`t have to wait long for the train either going or coming home, it made such a difference to the day. It was a cold, frosty morning and the sun was shining which boded well for the day ahead. As it turned out we had a really enjoyable day and even though there were a lot of people out there was no sign of frayed tempers anywhere. We had lunch in a restaurant called Tootsies, they make the very best burgers of many different varieties and of course we had the most delicious meal. We shopped until we almost dropped and headed for home about 4pm, tired but happy.

I decorated the tree yesterday after much fussing around. The tree was really wide and would never have fitted in the corner if hadn`t of lopped of a lot of branches at the back and sides. I really hoped I`d not overdone it because it would have looked ridiculous if it showed. Luckily for me I`d lopped it in the right place and it fits nicely. The photo doesn`t really do it justice but I like it and so does my biggest critic, Roman and thats what matters the most.

Over the last week I`ve written and posted all my Christmas cards, wrapped ALL the presents, shopped for non-perishable foodstuffs, ie. chocolates, biscuits and cakes, pickles, sauces tec. I even cleared out a complte cupboard to put it in though I still didn`t have enough room for it all. I feel quite smug at how organised I am this year. I always have good intentions to finish early but last year I left so much to the last minute that I was worried I wouldn`t finish in time. I still have to buy for Daniel but then he is always very difficult to buy for. Anything I buy will have to have gift receipts because I`m sure they will have to go back to whichever store I buy from...sigh.

I`ve just come off the telephone and it was my cousin to tell me that my Auntie Win died on Monday morning, its very sad but she was 94 and had suffered renal failure. I hadn`t been in touch with her for a few years because I fell out of favour with her, no particular reason but that was how she was. Auntie was my late Dad`s eldest sister and the last of five siblings. She was made of very stern stuff and I remember as a child being more than a little scared of her. She could be really kind at times even though she could be difficult. She was really good to me after my mother left home and helped me through some very difficult times. She told me once that 1914 was a very good year and I have to say she was right. It was the end of an era and she will be missed by many.

On that sad note I`ll end this post. I will update again in a few days. Bye Bye for now and take care.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Photos and Moods

My new outfit

I hope you all had a great weekend. I must admit that even though the birthday party was really good I just wasn`t feeling in the right frame of mind for a good night out and I feel I let everyone down. I just couldn`t be as sociable as I would like to have been have been and spent most of the time sitting with Kerry instead of chatting with family and friends. My nephew whose birthday it was had pulled out all the stops and had chosen a really nice venue. The food was good and so was the music...it was just me. I DID enjoy myself, just not enough...sigh. My mood carried through to Sunday though I did try to be nice to everyone...well no, I WAS nice to everyone...again, I just didn`t feel right. My little family

Right, on a happier note my Christmas plans are working out well, I even bought the tree this afternoon though its staying in the back garden for the next fortnight. I decided to buy it early so I had my pick of the best ones that the garden centre had to offer. As you know they come in all shapes and sizes and the less than perfect ones will be the last ones sold. Mine is just perfect though I will have to trim some of the branches so it will fit nicely into the corner of the room. The presents that I ordered online have all arrived though I wish the same could be said for the plants I ordered and were supposed to be here in November....sigh.

Thumbs up from my gorgeous boy
Tomorrow afternoon I will be either writing out cards or wrapping presents, I haven`t decided yet. I don`t like either task so I can`t say it will be a pleasure. Writing cards isn`t easy because of arthritis and it makes my handwriting look like that of the average six year old. I have no excuse for wrapping pressies, I`m just rubbish at it...lol!

The mum-to-be eating for two. She`ll probably kill me for posting this but I`ll take the risk...lol!

Kerry is doing really well. She`s putting on weight and looking really radiant. The baby is kicking well and Roman is fascinated that he can feel his baby sister move in Mummy`s tummy. He`s very excited about Christmas and keeps saying that he`s going to buy lots of chocolate for everyone, himself included....lol! Yesterday Jim and I took him to Krispy Kreme donuts for a treat. Jim usually takes him there when they stay with us but I don`t usually go myself. Roman loves to watch the donuts on the conveyor belt as they go past. He just stands there with his mouth open in wonder, bless him. He had his favourite iced donut with hundreds and thousands on top. Although it didn`t take him long to devour it the evidence of it remained on his chin for much longer...lol!

My BIL is much better now although it will be a while until he is completely well again. It was nice to see him at the party even though he wasn`t allowed to have a drink he was eating well again, always a good sign in my opinion. Anyway, I`ll say goodbye now. Hopefully I`ll catch up with your entries over the next couple of days. Take care. :o)