Wednesday, 7 December 2016

December Daily, 5th | Redder Than Red Cranberry Sauce

One of my simplest Christmas traditions.
I knock out a big batch of cranberry sauce (I use Nigella's recipe),
decant it into sterilised old jam and Branston jars, add ribbon 
and a circle of Christmas-themed scrapbook paper.
I keep the biggest jar and we give the rest away as gifts. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

December Daily, 4th | Hello, Santa

I never get tired of taking The Boy Child to see Santa.
Except when I have a slight hangover {ahem}.
It's the one Christmas tradition that has a finite lifespan.
At some point in the future, he's going to say
that he doesn't want to go and see Santa.
In the meantime, we're a household that believes in the full magic of Christmas.
You may have noticed that the image isn't that great of The Boy Child.
he's sitting awkwardly and he forgot to take his coat off.
For day 4 in my December Daily album, I merely scanned the photo
and then printed it off in 4x4.  As I was using a divided page protector
(where the squares are just 2x2), I stuck the photo on top of four of the squares*,
filled in 6 more squares and left 2 blank.
Once in the album, you'll be able to glimpse The Boy Child's Santa letter.

* I saw the idea here.

Monday, 5 December 2016

December Daily, 3rd | The Annual Non-Christmas Christmas Drinks Party

It was only after we'd settled on the first Saturday in December for our annual Non-Christmas Christmas Drinks Party, I realised it was the 3rd.
Saturday would have been Mum's 73rd birthday.
So, we talked about it and talked about it some more.
We decided to go ahead, as Mum would have been the first to say that not doing something nice
on the anniversary of something painful was just plain silly.  
We call it the Non-Christmas Christmas Drinks Party because,
as our friends are a mix of different cultures and faith, it makes sense.
There was plenty of alcohol, plenty of tea and coffee, plenty of soft drinks.
We had finger food.
And dessert.  Plenty of dessert.
Of which, only the alcoholic empties were photographed.
Before the majority of our friends arrived,
the three of us took a moment to toast Mum.
And that was enough. 

Friday, 2 December 2016

December Daily, 2nd | Home Decor

Every year, I put up a tree.
I add small clusters of decorations around the lounge.
I have never put anything festive into my craft room.
Until this year.
That small space in front of an old photo of my nephew 
seemed to be crying out for a spot of Christmasyfying.
{No, that's not a real word, is it?}
It's hard to tell if Santa agrees. 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

December Daily, 1st |Dear Santa

I plan to record December Daily slightly differently 
to how I've done it in previous years.
I'm still producing a scrapbook,
but for here, on the blog,
I'll be sharing a short story coupled with a photo or two.
Thursday, 1st: Elvis the Elf rocked up overnight, 
bringing The Boy Child's letter to Santa with him.
He was delighted to see that he was on the Nice List.
The letter had been written about two weeks ago and was short and sweet.
So short, there were just 3 things on it and they were all books.
{The most astonishing thing about this letter is that it was written just 10 minutes
after a meltdown over English homework.  He wrote it without any help.}  
December Daily: my favourite project of the year.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Snap #39 | Grand Central Station

Helena has a new photographic theme for 2016:
Snap, a visually linked group of 2 to 4 images.
Grand Central Station doesn't look much from the outside,
but the inside?
It's pure architectural loveliness.

If you hop over to Journal of Curious Things, you can read about
Kirsty's tour of the station ... and note that we took near identical photos.  
You can see more Snap images here.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Is It Really Just Me?

Living in London can mean that a person becomes immured 
to everyday rudeness and unpleasantness.
Most of us at some point will encounter Mr. or Ms. Rude when travelling on the Tube.
It's pretty much a given.
Last week, however, I encountered Ms. Rude on the school run.
I won't bore you with the details of what exactly transpired between us,
but suffice to say, within 20 seconds I had been called a cow 
and a rude middle-aged woman.
{Let me tell you, I was more offended by being called middle-aged ...}  
She, by the way, was probably in her early twenties 
and had no compulsion in insulting me in front of The Boy Child,
who was left wide-eyed and clinging to my hand.
She failed to see the irony of me pointing out that she was the one using unpleasant language. 
When he'd recovered, The Boy Child gallantly offered to call the police
and have her arrested.
  If only.

The reason for telling you this story is because I'm left wondering 
what's happened to every day good manners and politeness?
I can be direct, but I never deliberately set out to be rude.
I hold doors open for people.
I give up my seat to anyone who looks more in need.  
I say please and thank you.
People tell me that I'm old-fashioned.
Like that's a bad thing.
But it can't just be me, can it?

Further reading: Jaime from Angloyankophile has two excellent posts worthy of a read:

Monday, 28 November 2016

A Visit to Roald Dahl Country

To the countryside and specifically the village of Great Missenden.
It was the home for 36 years of Roald Dahl
and it is also home to the Roald Dahl Musuem and Story Centre.
 The village isn't that big and you can see most of it in half an hour.
 But it is very pretty.
 We spent around 90 minutes in the Museum.

We also climbed the hill to the cemetery
for Roald Dahl's grave   
and glorious views of the Chilterns.
Which I didn't photograph.

Friday, 25 November 2016

What Caught My Eye #5

"To forget one's ancestors is to be
a brook without a source, a tree
without a root."
~ Chinese proverb             

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Finding the Words

The Boy Child's teacher died at the weekend.
I wanted to tell you about her, but I can't quite find the right words to her justice.
Instead, I'm sharing the contents of the note we sent to her husband*
{which with hindsight, doesn't read as fluently as it might}
~ taken in June 2016 ~
Dear Mr S.,
We were deeply saddened to learn of Mrs. S.'s death.  It was our great privilege to know her, albeit for far too short a time.  She was a lady who showed love, compassion, grace, humour and generosity to all who had the good fortune to cross paths with her.  Mrs S. gave hope to hundreds, probably thousands, of children with additional needs, and their parents, that a fully-inclusive education was possible.  That hope is her legacy.
The three of us will remember Mrs S. often and with great fondness.  Please know that you, your sons and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
With our love, Ruth, The Brainy One and The Boy Child xx     

There's a lot of truth in the saying, "no-one forgets a good teacher."

{*Mr S just so happened to be the Headmaster of The Boy Child's previous school}