Tuesday, 29 December 2015

My selection of Christmas moments

Here they are folks, my selection of Christmas moments from 2015.
I hope you all had a magical time under the Christmas tree, swapping presents, wearing Christmas jumpers, and all the other traditions this time of the year brings.
As usual I've eaten too many chocolate snowmen, played Christmas songs far too loud, and adored spending time with my family.
And watching Tommy's excited face has made my heart want to burst with joy.

Let me start at the beginning.

Every December the Christmas pudding bowls are extracted from the cupboards.

The tree is brought down from the loft. Still a mini one until we move to a bigger house.

Each year I like to buy a new decoration. This year my dear godmother bought me a set of French baubles to hang on our tree. We all spent a lovely day together, browsing in antique shops and eating a Sunday roast. I like the fact the decorations will always remind me of this day in 2015.

The snowman keeps track of the date for us.

Can you spot the Father Christmas in a jar? Another memory from 2015, a weekend spent in the Cotswolds.

Xmas Eve, Tommy eating a chocolate Father Christmas and watching a Christmas film.

The night before Christmas. Knitted stocking full of small toys. The hessian sack stuffed with presents. The Elf door near the wooden advent train. Father Christmas and his elf helper have been very busy!

He's been! His face says it all.

Fire engines. He can't get enough of them!

A brand new tradition - Bucks Fizz for breakfast. With giant crumpets.

Patiently waiting to open presents at nanny and grandpa's house.

For the second year, I made the Christmas crackers and collected the inside gifts, Silent Night in a match box and Mulled Wine in a match box to name just a couple.

Boxing Day is a sit down meal at our house. Love setting the table.

And decorating the dessert.

Hope you all had a fabulous time. With old and new traditions. See you in 2016!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

When Tommy met Father Christmas

There are many reasons why I type away into the blogosphere and peer into other people's lives.
If you are as passionate about blogging as I am, you will understand and applaud the love of words and photography. As well as the interest in other people's lives and what makes them tick. It's also fascinating learning traditions and cultures from countries I might never be lucky enough to visit.
Plus the very important matter of recording all small, but incredibly meaningful, details. Such as the day Tommy met Father Christmas, for the very first time.
How wonderful that I could capture those priceless moments and store them forever, maybe even one day for him to look at himself, when I tell him how overcome with awe he was when he saw the man in red and white.

Father Christmas visited our local garden centre one fine Sunday. Here's Tommy patiently waiting for his turn, whilst admiring the deer.

And the snowman.

It was our turn to walk to his grotto.

When Tommy first met Father Christmas.

He was sitting in a very comfortable chair, by the fire.

He very kindly posed for the camera.

Tommy opened his doggy teddy and then we all went to local pub for a roast dinner. Love this picture of Tommy with his grandpa and grandad.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Candy sticks and chocolate coins

When I spied my friend's advertisement, for Christmas themed afternoon tea, I knew the exact occasion and candidates.
My mother's birthday, myself, my parents, and Tommy.
I booked the day off work, and together we visited my friend's tearoom to indulge in such marvels as, mini chocolate Christmas puddings and individual trifle portions.
They were sampled among the roaring fire and twinkling lights. The pink and white candy sticks and paper lanterns. It's officially the festive period, and personally, I couldn't be happier.
They were displayed on dainty china plates, accompanied with antique silver. Mis-matched crockery and lace tablecloths. Every where you turned, vintage beauty sparkled.
Tommy was mighty impressed with the toy box and the pot of chocolate coins.
All in all, we were one content family.

A thing of pleasure.

My little trifle.

Tommy and the yellow car.

The proud Christmas tree.

Hanging lanterns and garland.

This way to the gallery. Just follow the lampshades and giant spoon.

It was then back to my parent's house where the rest of the gang visited. Love my family.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

No, that's Robert Wagner

My mum, for many years, has had a bucket list. It's not a long list and it goes something like this:
1. Crawl in a real pyramid.
2. Visit Elvis Presley's home, Graceland.
3. Meet Robert Wagner.
What was that? "Who's Robert Wagner?" did I hear you say?
Yes you may well wonder who this person is. Let me clarify that he was the man in Hart to Hart. A popular American drama way back in the 1980's and my mother had an almighty crush on him.
Therefore, he featured in my mum's bucket list. A list which I'm guessing a few of you may have composed yourselves? Perhaps you have always wanted to jump out of an aeroplane eating a jam sandwich? Or climb a mountain dressed as a canary? Or maybe you have a crush of your own and would love to gaze into the eyes of your obsession?
My mum has often said, it would probably be easier to hop on an aeroplane and visit Egypt and America, than it would be to hunt down Robert Wagner and expect him to notice her. She used to sigh and imagine it would be a mere fantasy.
Well, as you know dear readers, this thing called 'life' can move in mysterious ways.
My mum met Rob a good few years back, he was the first item she ticked off her bucket list.
One day she was reading a local newspaper and discovered he was starring in a play, at local theatre.
She could hardly contain her excitement. Immediately she telephoned her sister, who mimicked her crush, and together they happily arranged to see play, booked front row seats, and decided to hunt him down after play.
And they did, hunt him down I mean.
That night, I clearly remember I was at my cousin's house, and we patiently waited for our mums to return home. Finally they appeared, like love struck teenagers, grinning like loonies. They were clutching his signed photograph, and my mum kept repeating, in a dreamlike fashion, "He said to me, "Is that Anne with an e?" as I gazed into his ears!"
She also took his photograph, which is still proudly perched on her kitchen dresser. Over the years, friends have commented, "Is that your dad? Or, "Is that your dad when he was younger?" I have always replied, "No, that's Robert Wagner." Which has always been followed by a puzzled look.
A few years later my mum booked a trip to Egypt with her sister and best friend, where she bravely and triumphantly crawled in a pyramid.
Next stop, Graceland, USA. Except now my mum has no desire to ever board an areoplane again. Funnily enough, the most likely item from her bucket list became the least likely.
Until my cousin booked tickets to Graceland for her birthday treat. And myself, my cousin and aunt joined her.
Graceland at the O2, London. His exhibition came to London and we were there.

The exhibition centre.

His story began.

Elvis Presley grew up in this house.

His actual school crayons he actually wrote his name on several times.

His first record, it's all right. Recorded for his mum.

His army shirt.

His shoes. I can confirm he had massive feet.

He drove this.

And rode this.

His Las Vegas suits.

Here it is folks, Graceland.

Welcome to his world.

He must have watched telly in this room.

Ate in this room.

Maybe cooked a microwave meal in this room.

Definitely slept in this room.

And used this telephone by his bed.

The exhibition was crammed with memorabilia and facts and songs. It was fascinating.
And at the end of the tour we went into a room and watched snippets from his concerts, I think we all fell a little bit in love with him. What a guy, what a talent.

Oh and I think my mum needs a new bucket list.