Thursday, 31 December 2015

Hope is smiling

Isn't it odd how the change of that one special digit at the end of the date makes us reflect?  I enjoy the reflection.  It's been a good year.  I've enjoyed it.  There have been ups and downs, darkness and light, but my overwhelming emotion has been contentment.  Maybe that's the upside of the gift of years.

I haven't managed to lose as much weight in 2015 as I did in 2014 (ten pounds as opposed to fourteen) but I weigh twenty four pounds less than I did on 31st December 2013 and I feel quietly proud of that.  My pattern of Sabbaths continues and I have maintained both my blogs.  These three habits I established in 2014 are now part of my lifestyle.

I decided to end the year with less messy places than I started with and I have achieved that modest aim.  I still haven't got a tidy house, most people would be horrified by the state of my bungalow but it's my bungalow and I live in it with great joy.  I shall carry on with this programme of gradual simplification and doubtless it will only be complete when I am myself packed into a box.

I am blessed with kind people all around me, my nephew and his wife who have invited me to go to Belgium to visit in 2016, my lovely cousins who help me as do my friends and neighbours, and Jack who comes and sorts me out every so often (see my other blog to read about Jack).

I searched for a quote for New Year and found this one from my fellow yellow belly, Alfred, Lord Tennyson "Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, 'It will be happier'"

The problem is I can't imagine how I could be any happier.

May you have a happy and blessed 2016.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

A premature birth and a very good party

The final door has been opened in my Advent calendar today and out popped a baby.  I think a lot of mothers would think that is a good way for children to arrive in this world.  This baby is a little premature as his birthday is scheduled tomorrow but this was the last door in my set

 I also checked on those travellers who are still camped out by the sherry.  They appear to be having a good party as one camel and one traveller have fallen over.  Hope they've left enough sherry for Santa.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015


As predicted Joe has now brought his missus to the stable and they have set up camp in the far corner.  The animals aren't too bothered.

As a small aside when I was driving to see a cousin today I passed a bovine which had gone awol from the field and was enjoying some succulent grass by the wayside.  It was no more interested in passing cars than the creatures above are interested in the interlopers in their stable.  There is no way anything momentous could happen there.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Checking out the premises

Someone has appeared on the other side of the stable.  Could it be Joseph, looking for somewhere for his wife to sleep?  Nobody seems very interested.  Even the angels are just carrying on with rehearsals.

Meanwhile it would appear that the magi and camels have decided that, having lost the campfire, they'll resort to sherry to keep warm.

Monday, 21 December 2015

The laziest shepherds in Bethlehem

That fire is so inviting that a third shepherd has come to enjoy it and the animals too are gathering around.  You'd think that angel with a loud trumpet would be enough to ruin anyone's rest but they seem content to sit around the fire.  Three shepherds seem excessive for four sheep, one goat, one donkey and one cow.  

Sunday, 20 December 2015

The donkey gets warm.

The focus of the action (if it can be called action) has moved back to the stable and a second shepherd has now appeared.  They've got a camp fire of vast proportions and are more interested in keeping warm than in keeping sheep.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

On the move at last

I think that third man may have been the wisest of the three because he's made the camels move.  They must have left in a rush as they have left some evidence as to how they were persuaded.  

A sneaky look across at the stable shows that there is, at last, a shepherd to keep an eye on those sheep and other animals.  He's got a nice fire to keep him warm.   In fact maybe he's a bit sleepy as he doesn't seem to have noticed the angels on the roof.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Incentives for shifting

The camels have still not moved.  A third "wise man" has appeared and it would appear that he means business.  He's got rid of that nice fire that they were sitting around so maybe by tomorrow they'll have started on that journey.  

Thursday, 17 December 2015


A second wise man has arrived to back up the first but they still don't seem to be able to get the animals to shift!  

I've often heard it said that if it had been three wise women they would have asked directions,  arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought practical gifts.

I wonder if it would have occurred to them to fetch a few carrots from the fridge to spur those pesky camels into action

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Meanwhile, away from the stable

I was wrong about it being a shepherd next!

Away from the main scene of the action four camels and a donkey have been warming themselves by the fire.  A wise man with a parcel has just arrived to tell them to get their acts together and prepare to move.  Very little enthusiasm is being shown.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

An expanding company

A second angel has taken up residence over the stable. I think we could do with a shepherd for those sheep but I am resisting peeping in the next cupboard to see what's going to happen next.  

Monday, 14 December 2015

The company of angels

Today an angel has arrived at my stable and taken up residence on the roof.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Back at last

Well, December didn't go to plan blog-wise.  I'd hoped to do (almost) daily posts but the pooter decided to play up and had to go the pooter doctor.  It's been back a few days but I lost the rhythm and it's time I got it back.  My Advent stable has been revealing its secrets day by day so here's an update.  

Four sheep, one goats, two cows are now around the stable.  And en route there are three camels and a donkey warming themselves near the fire.

And there's one sign that something unusual may be about to happen in that stable.  A star has appeared and attached itself to the front.

Sunday, 6 December 2015


My apologies for the lack of posts.  I had a post written for "Trundling through life" which I have managed to publish but my usual pooter has quite a nasty problem so I am using a rather unsatisfactory old machine and won't be writing new posts until I get my usual laptop back.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Oooh! Lovely!

Sometimes December can feel like a time when if I stop pedalling the world will stop turning!  That was especially true in my younger days but even now I'm not sure what will happen if I get off that bike.

Flowers from Amy
And sometimes one gets a joyful reminder that other people are pedaling, others are also thinking and planning.  Such a reminder happened today so today's Christmas decoration is a gift from someone else.

A dear friend who lives a long way away sent these gorgeous flowers with the label, "An early Christmas present to enjoy before the Christmas rush."  She knows that having a bunch of flowers in my house is almost an essential for me and that these will give me great joy until the tree and all the other stuff decorate the house..

Today I shall arrange my lovely flowers and remember this wonderful friend

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Enter Rudolph

Today's decoration is again hand made but this time I have made it for me!

I have always been loath to have purchased decorations on my Christmas tree.  Years ago I couldn't afford to buy them anyway but as time went on I found that I preferred the originality of my tree.  I've had origami decorations, walnuts sprayed gold, fans made from scrap fabric and scrounged edgings, wired fir cones - you name it, I've had it.  These days most of my decorations are still home made but I keep more of them from years to year.

A somewhat surprised looking Rudolph!

So here's one I made earlier!  Earlier today - but I may make some more tomorrow.  I'll bet no-one else has tree ornaments like mine - but maybe they wouldn't want them!

A very calm cow
The Advent stable continues to reveal its secrets.  This time a recumbent cow.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015


Today's Christmas decoration is something that I make a lot of - but I make them to give to other people.  Christmas stockings.  I love collecting all sorts of bits and pieces and making a stocking for various friends.  I have to admit though that what I don't like doing is wrapping everything.  However, people seem to like the stockings without worrying too much about the contents. 

I've decided that I will show you each figure as it appears in my advent calendar and maybe show you the whole stable occasionally.   Yesterday it was a donkey, today a cow.  Tomorrow - who knows?
Placid cow
Recumbent donkey

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

And so to December

1st December is always such an exciting day!  I love it!

It's the day when I get my Advent stable out.  Advent started two days ago but Advent calendar and Advent stable makers can't cope with that!  You may remember it from last year,  I've had it for a long time and each year I take it out with renewed pleasure.  Today it is an unremarkable stable but things will happen.

During December I want to share some of my Christmas bits and pieces with you.  Some have been in use for years, like the stable.  Some don't exist yet because I shall make them as the month goes on.

But for today, there's just the solitary donkey.