Saturday, 31 December 2011

Christmas/ New Year 2011/2012

Hello Friends,
I know from reading all your lovely blogs that most  of you have had lovely Christmas celebrations and I am  sure you realised that I was not looking forward to Christmas  with my usual passion, however we had a very pleasant weekend.  Beth and Max came over Christmas Eve and we all went out for supper which was lovely.   Christmas day started for me around 5.30am !!  could not sleep so decided that I was as well up and getting on with preparing the turkey that our local butcher had kindly delivered at lunch time on SSaturday. As I stood there rubbing the  garlic butter under it's skin etc. I had a sudden thought that it was actually the first time....ever....that I had done a turkey !!  well Mum had always done it, and for the last 35 years at least Sarah and John had done all the Christmas dinner preps !!  anyway I soon had it basted to perfection....I hoped !!........Mary came over at her usual time and we were soon on our way up to the early morning Christmas service, It is always such a lovely service to be able to greet our friends etc on such a special morning. It is a short service as our minister Rachel has to go to one of her other churches shortly after being out at Box.. Nice we were back home Peter came along and we allowed ourselves to open a few presents which is always exciting....the bulk of them we left till after dinner..........this was a real change for me as it must have been the first Christmas ever that I had not opened our presents around midnight..ever since I was a child Mum and Dad had got me up and allowed me to open gifts and go back to bed with a fav.  probably knowing that then I would sleep long into the morning !!!     Anyway lunch turned out to be very good and enjoyed by the three of us.  We had Melon to start then the Turkey with roast potato and roast parsnips (that Peter had done) sprouts, carrots, and swede and beetroot, then we had the usual Christmas Pud. with double cream/single cream and brandy butter....mmmmmmmm 
Once things had been cleared away we got down to the serious business of opening all the exciting parcels..Mary and I are so very lucky and have such kind loving friends. Our gifts are to numerous to mention but I have to say that my gift from Mary has been a real was a lovely  "kindle! reading "book" I just love it already,  Thankfully Peter is good at getting all our "teccy" things working for us and before long I was able to start having books downloaded....he also got Mary's new mobile from me all set up for her.                   The days between Christmas and New Year I always think of as funny days it is difficult to settle at anything.    I have been over a few times to see Margaret my sister who has been quite poorly over this period....and now we have only a few hours left of 2011.  Mary is sitting knitting and the TV is on in the corner we are watching the surfers and life guards on Bondi Beach in Australia.  I will not be staying up this year as has been done most times,....I expect we will have a few wee drinks before Mary goes over home though....  And so dear friends I just have to say a very BIG thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support that you have given me during what has been a very difficult year. What better words can I leave you with than the words said by our late King George V1's

I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.' And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way.'"

God Bless you all and remember to take every opportunity to LOVE EVERYBODY each and every day throughout 2012

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Hello Friends,

Thank you so much for all the lovely letters e.mails and phone calls regarding the death of my poor wee Dee.  I have to admit that the last couple of weeks have not been easy but life goes on and with Christmas fast approaching I have just got to let go and get over his death....Indeed today I was perhaps able to help by writing a few words to a near neighbour who has just had to have her little dog put to sleep.

On Friday 9th Dec. We had a Christmas Celebration Evening at church.This took the form of singing carols, which were intercepted by readings, poem etc.  Pam my friend and I were both involved I did a reading of a poem about Christmas Eve and the reindeer's...It was well attended and we had a closing collection and managed to raise over £250 for the homeless charity in Bath.  That set me to thinking about poems and ones that we liked best etc... for me the John Betjmen poem "Christmas" has always been a fav. a friend of mine actually added an extra verse...we hope Mr Benjemen would not object.    As this will be my last blog before Christmas I think I will leave you with the poem including Bronwyn's last verse...
May you all have a very Blessed Christmas, and may each day bring Joy your way in the year to follow..

Christmas by John Betjeman

The bells of waiting Advent ring,

The Tortoise stove is lit again

And lamp-oil light across the night

Has caught the streaks of winter rain

In many a stained-glass window sheen

From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green.

The holly in the windy hedge

And round the Manor House the yew

Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,

The altar, font and arch and pew,

So that the villagers can say

'The church looks nice' on Christmas Day.

Provincial Public Houses blaze,

Corporation tramcars clang,

On lighted tenements I gaze,

Where paper decorations hang,

And bunting in the red Town Hall

Says 'Merry Christmas to you all'.

And London shops on Christmas Eve

Are strung with silver bells and flowers

As hurrying clerks the City leave

To pigeon-haunted classic towers,

And marbled clouds go scudding by

The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,

And oafish louts remember Mum,

And sleepless children's hearts are glad.

And Christmas-morning bells say 'Come!'

Even to shining ones who dwell

Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true,

This most tremendous tale of all,

Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,

A Baby in an ox's stall ?

The Maker of the stars and sea

Become a Child on earth for me ?

And is it true ? For if it is,

No loving fingers tying strings

Around those tissued fripperies,

The sweet and silly Christmas things,

Bath salts and inexpensive scent

And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,

No carolling in frosty air,

Nor all the steeple-shaking bells

Can with this single Truth compare -

That God was man in Palestine

And lives today in Bread and Wine.

But is it all? No, there is more

In compassion and love for us, God came himself

To earth; forsaking heaven’s glory

For suffering, injustice and death itself.

That same God still reigns supreme

And lives today in you and me.


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Hello Friends,
This will just be a brief posting as I know one or two of my readers are wondering what has been happening in my neck of the woods.
I think it is with Christmas fast approaching that I am feeling a bit "blue"  This will be the first Christmas in over 30+ years that we have not all been celebrating together at my sister Sarah's....Oh what fun over the years we have many fabulous dinners etc etc. including one very memorable one when there was I think 23 of us crammed into the dining room including friends from New Zealand. I have never seen so much food eaten in all my life !!...and laughs...what wonderful remembrances.. This year I have said to Beth my niece that I think we should try to start our own new traditions...and to that end I will stay here at home with just Mary and of course Peter our neighbour who although he has a Father down south he prefers to to stay will certainly be different....To cap all last week my wee dog Dee started to take fits during the night of last Sunday.  I took him to the vet Mon. and again for blood tests wed. the upshot was that he was diagnosed with a serious liver problem that really could not be treated as well as the fits..and so I decided as I loved him so much that it would be kind to have him put to sleep...It was even harder that I had imagined as he deteriorated so fast I had to call the out of hours vet and take him to be put to sleep after midnight on Thurs/Frid.  I even had to call  Peter out of bed to come with me....Those who have lost a loved pet will understand just how empty I am feeling and so not really up to doing a longer post.
I promise I will be in before Christmas..
Till then remember to  LOVE ONE ANOTHER.