30 November 2023

It's Beginning.........

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.   Mmmmm!!  Hubby has made, and bottled, his annual batch of mulled wine.  The whole house smelled amazing.

It does come with a health warning and you should definitely not drive after drinking it.  

Four bottles of red wine - cheap stuff will do.
Star Anise
Cinnamon sticks
Bay leaves
Small amount of water

Basically - boil until it's ready!!  Add 2/3 bottle of brandy last off - again the cheapest.  You don't want the alcohol to evaporate. 

Serve hot in small amounts.

If you would like further details let me know and I'll get hubby to tell all.


27 November 2023

Me on a Monday

And here we are.  Another week closer to Christmas.  I can't believe how quickly the last four weeks of term have gone.  This week we start our first Christmas crafts session with the children and their parents!!  How can that be?

That's part of what I did last week.  I made an angel out of a paper plate and cut out 64 antlers to stick on our cardboard reindeer.  Photos to follow :0)

I bought some roses in the super market as they were on special offer.  Also for my mum, who's 80th birthday would have been next Sunday.  Beautiful yellow roses.

I've ordered some Christmas presents and also the wrappings to go with them.  I'm sure it gets harder each year to decide what to buy.

I've finished making one Christmas Gnome for one friend and have almost finished the second.  That one almost met a wet and soggy death when Innes took it out of my crochet bag and started nibbling the hat.  Luckily I caught him just as he stole it, so no harm done.  Innes did look very sheepish for a while, but we're friends now. 

I arranged a pre Christmas catch up with my Auntie.  Who knew it would be so difficult to find a date to go for coffee.  We both seem to be so busy at the moment.

I met my cousin in the super market and had a quick catch up.  We decided it was about time we got together, so we're planning on doing something over Christmas.

I seemed to spend all day Friday trying to get staff for this week, as we have people off sick and others out on courses.  Plus I had to check we had enough staff for the school trip to Chester Zoo next Friday. I think we have almost every child going so it will be an interesting day.

The weekend was spent papering the spare room before starting to paint.  The carpet comes on the 4th December and I'll be so glad when it's finished.

We also took the boys out for a play, on a field that is owned by a friend of ours.  They had a great time and I broke in my new wellies.

And that was it for the week.  Until next time.


20 November 2023

Me on a Monday - 20 November 2023

Last week started with a trip to hospital for my MRI.  Overall it was an interesting experience.  It was extremely loud, and if I kept my eyes shut I couldn't see how close to the top of the machine I was :0)  Results next week.  Hopefully.

Monday night continued with a trip the The Royal Philharmonic Theater, in Liverpool, for an evening with  Anton du Beke.  An evening of comedy, music and dance.  He is so funny and we didn't stop laughing for two hours.  It was a shame we got absolutely drenched getting there, and steamed for two hours whilst we dried out!!

On Thursday I had an optician appointment.  Another test due to my ailment, just to check that my eyes are OK.  All is well and there is no change from last year.

On Saturday we did the two hour drive to York to visit our son and grandson.  We had such a lovely day with them all and it was great to catch up.  We were going to go and see the Christmas markets but it was far to busy for the little fella so we gave it a miss.  I just wish that we lived closer.  Maybe one day.

Sunday was a day for emptying the spare room and de-cluttering the wardrobe etc.  Another trip to the tip and now we're nearly done.  Now we just need to paper and paint and it will be time for the carpet.

All too soon it was Monday.

15 November 2023

Currently in November 2023

Listening to - A Paris Affair by Anton du Beke - 

In the darkest days of war, a stranger will change everything.

Paris, 1926. A young dancer Ray Cohen arrives from London to compete at the Exhibition Paris. He is led astray by Hugo, a charismatic dancer born of the streets, who introduces him to the city's nightlife and a dazzling stranger called Hannah Lindt.
London, 1941. With the heroic Raymond de Guise away fighting in North Africa, his beloved wife Nancy must balance her new position - as Head of Housekeeping at the Buckingham Hotel - with life as a new mother to their child. As the war rages on, a charismatic stranger from Raymond's past arrives at Nancy's doorstep, asking for work at the Buckingham Hotel.

As dark secrets rise to the surface, the very heart of the Buckingham Hotel is under threat. Will tragedy strike?

Reading - Requiem for a Wren by Neville Shute.  I found this in a box of mum's things in the loft.  It was printed in 1956.  I don't think we read it as children but I thought I'd give it a go now.

Alan Duncan returns to Australia after the war and several years of study in England. But his homecoming is marred by the mysterious suicide of his parents’ quiet and reliable parlour-maid. A search through her belongings in search of clues leads to heartbreaking revelations about the woman’s identity, the death of Alan’s brother Bill, and, above all, the disappearance of his brother’s fiancée.

Watching - We have finished The Long Shadow on ITV, all about Peter Sutcliffe.  The Yorkshire ripper.  Hubby was shocked when he realised it was so close to home for him, as he worked in Sheffield at the time.  I watched The Reckoning on BBC (hubby didn't want to watch it).  All about Jimmy Saville, who we thought was brilliant when we were kids but didn't realise how deranged he was.  Just disgusting, and he didn't see he was doing anything wrong!!

Wondering - How our fur boys have any fur left, when most of it is on the kitchen floor!!

Wearing - Jumper and jeans when not at work and jumpers and trousers/skirts when at work!!  Pretty standard for me, this time of year.

Booking - The Great Yorkshire show is all booked.  Airbnb and time off work.  I just need to update our membership.

Making - I am continuing with my Sophie's Universe blanket.  She's going to be a weighty one when she's finished.  I've only done the middle section and she already weighs a ton.

Back next month.


13 November 2023

Me on a Monday - 13 November 2023

It was a pretty quiet week work wise.  Some weeks are like that and some are totally hectic.  I spent a little while sorting out the items for the children's Christmas Crafts session at the end of November and beginning of December. They are doing five items each and they all need to be put in individual bags!!

I had a blood test during the week and had to also see the dentist.  It's all part of the ongoing investigations for my ailment!!

We had a few sunny days but it was mainly wet and dreich.  Probably the best kind of weather to be stripping wallpaper in the spare room.

Saturday morning, after the Slimming World weigh in, I popped down to Starbucks for my first Gingerbread Latte of the season.  A lot of people won't like this, but I'm glad that Pumpkin Spice lattes are no longer on the menu.

On Friday night Hubby and I went to Carr Farm garden center for their first Christmas evening.  There were lots of trees and decorations, but they were all a little overpriced.  I ended up with an owl decoration (like the one in the center of the photo) and a bottle of Christmas Spice oil to put in my oil burner.  I saw a tree I liked and took a photo of it.  I checked it out on-line and managed to get it £140 cheaper!!

And that was another week over and done with.  Only five more Me On Monday's to go before Christmas Day :0)


9 November 2023

Me on Monday - 6 November 2023

Bit of a delay this week, with one thing and another.  Here's a quick run down of last week.

1.  It was Halloween and we had to have the yearly pumpkin.  I toasted the seeds and put them out for the squirrels, who absolutely loved them.

2.  I went for my three yearly Mammogram.  Such fun!!

3.  I was off work for 2 days due to headaches and facial pain.  After a chat to the Dr and an increase in my medication I seem to be OK.  I'm still a little tired and dizzy sometimes but I think that's a side effect of the tablets.  Catch 22.

4.  I've booked another Christmas outing for when my friend comes to stay in December.

5.  I did a little more of my Sophie's Universe crochet.  She is lovely and warm in the evening when the heating goes off.

6.  Storm Ciaran didn't cause to many problems, although when something crashed in next door's garden, Blue wasn't very happy.

7.  Hubby and I took a walk around the River of Light in Liverpool.  More on that later.

8.  We emptied the spare room and took up the nasty old carpet ready for the new one at the end of the month.  Just a lick of paint and a new radiator and we're all done.

9.  Bonfire night wasn't too bad for the boys.  Blue wasn't bothered a bit, but Innes barked every time a loud bang went off out at the back of the house.  Luckily with it being on a Sunday the fireworks seemed to stop by 10pm.

And that's it, in a nutshell.  Hope you all had a good week.


3 November 2023

What I listened to/Read in October

 Not a lot of books this month.

I listened to Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools by Victoria Twead but I didn't like the narrator so gave it up.  I think I'll have to read the actual book and see if that helps.

If Joe and Vicky had known what relocating to a tiny mountain village in Andalucía would REALLY be like, they might have hesitated...
They have no idea of the culture shock in store. No idea they'll become reluctant chicken farmers and own the most dangerous cockerel in Spain. No idea they'll help capture a vulture or be rescued by a mule.

Will they stay, or return to the relative sanity of England?

I re-read The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.  My mum gave me this book way back in about 2009 and I have read and re-read it over the years.  I came across it again when I was doing the loft clear out.

"I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers." January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb...

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society's members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.