Thursday 31 December 2009

Home for the year end

Our trip down to Yorkshire was good, apart from having to dig out our drive in both directions the weather and road conditions were manageable and we had a great time. Presents were delivered and received, family and friends visited and far too much food eaten.
Best of all 10 weeks after she was born we met our great niece Amelia and gorgeous she is too. A beautiful contended baby here she is in the arms of her great aunt Jen. Not only does she have a knitting great aunt but a gran who does patchwork and had made her a lovely Christmas stocking plus a great gran who does cross stitch and had made a sampler with her birth details included. I was able to finish this little cardigan which I added to Amelia's gifts, it's actually a nice pale coffee colour and not the off white that it looks in the picture.So the year is almost over, I hope the next one is everything you want it to be, have a very Happy New Year and I'm looking forward to spending time with you in 2010.

Saturday 26 December 2009

And so that was Christmas

And I have to say very nice it was too, albeit in a low key way and happily without power cuts. The snowy conditions put paid to any last minute retail panic but we had plenty of everyday provisions in the house and were quite prepared to make do with a piece of beef or a chicken from the freezer. As it turned out we did get to the nearest large shops briefly on Wednesday evening after the snow plough had been and between more showers. We picked up a duck for Christmas dinner plus some fresh veggies and bread, sorted. We had left it too late to cut down a fir tree from the garden or collect any greenery, everything was under 18" of snow but there was so much beauty outside we didn't need tinsel and glitter, a few candles and a roaring fire were enough.
Mr FF like most men had left what shopping he had to do, ie my £5 worth of gifts, till the last minute but I unwrapped on Christmas morning a book, a pretty celtic patterned mug, a Yorkie (chocolate) bar and a homemade voucher for lunch at Betty's tea room when we go down to Yorkshire. He seemed quite pleased that he was under budget but that may change when we get to Betty's. We didn't have many parcels to open as we haven't yet done the family gift exchange, but I really enjoyed our calm, peaceful day that involved quite a bit of snow shovelling. We have been looking after Peaches our friends' cat over the holiday but didn't go round the first day she was home alone as she has an automatic feeder. I woke during that night to realise that the poor creature was probably unable to get out of the house because the snow would be over her cat door.This was our road as we made our way up to the cottage armed with shovels. She was indeed snowed in but even when we cleared the way she wasn't interested in going out. We made her a pathway round the house and the next time we went up there were paw prints in the snow so she was back to normal. On Christmas morning we dug the drive out for her parents who return today, otherwise they wouldn't be able to get their car off the narrow lane and I imagine the last thing they would want to do after a long journey should be shift snow. It seemed a nice neighbourly thing to do and certainly gave us an appetite.Hopefully we are finally off to Yorkshire tomorrow to spend a few days with family, exchange presents and meet Amelia. I've been busy sorting out warm clothes and emergency supplies just in case there are any problems, keep your fingers crossed for us and enjoy the rest of the holidays.

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Happy Christmas

This is how we are today, I have a feeling the power might go off soon, the weight of snow on the lines often brings them down. If you don't hear from me that will be why.
Have a lovely Christmas, at the moment I can't imagine that ours will be anything but white.

Monday 21 December 2009

The Wedding

Yes we did make it to the wedding, quite a bit of snow but our journey into Edinburgh was fine and we were armed with extra warm clothes, wellies etc just in case we hit trouble. The snow started to fall heavily as we were walking up The Royal Mile to the service and by the time the bride arrived, slightly delayed by the weather, the landscape was beautifully coated in white. Lots of stilettos tottering on the ice as we walked to the reception up by the castle, not me of course, I had my boots on and party shoes in my bag.
And what about the bride. She was radiant, fabulous dress in pale gold with black lace and those long velvet gloves finished off her gorgeous outfit perfectly. The cake incidentally was made by another ex colleague and continuing friend Joanne, it was chocolate and delicious.We enjoyed good food, drink, some jazz and dancing, a chance for me to catch up with the working girls, Amanda completed the foursome, the old team was back together briefly. Our return journey was interesting, I had volunteered to drive and been on the orange juice so Mr FF could have a drink. The Edinburgh streets were icy and as I drove along the side of the Pentlands the road became covered in snow but fortunately there was little traffic at that time of night so a slide wouldn't have been quite so worrying. We struggled up the incline on the back lane to our house and eventually arrived home. It was well worth the effort, an absolute joy to see Amy and Tim married and both looking so happy. I'm not sure we would have made it today, the snow has been coming down continually, it's getting seriously deep, compare this picture with the previous post. Throughout the UK there is chaos, on the roads, at the airports and the channel tunnel, I'm grateful to be safe at home and sorry for all those who are wondering if they will complete their journeys.

Thursday 17 December 2009

The White Stuff

As forecast the snow is here, we woke to a white world this morning and it has continued to come down on and off all day. Its almost dark now, pretty views through the windows whilst we are warm, cosy and well stocked with provisions.
Mr FF decided not to venture into Edinburgh to attend an early evening committee meeting, I'm sure they will manage fine without him and it saves me worrying about his journey. When I was working I hated the winter road conditions, I could easily spend the day fretting about how and if I would get home.
I totally empathise with anyone who has to travel in bad weather but I am beginning to appreciate how a covering of snow can make the world a beautiful place and provide a legitimate reason for staying in. I'm not on the turn though, still a summer flip flop wearing girl at heart and hoping there won't be snow on Saturday as we need to be in Edinburgh for a winter wedding.

Friday 11 December 2009


The garden looked beautiful this morning, all frosted with the sun shining, gorgeous but very cold. The birds are busy at the feeders, I've given them an extra fat ball and some apples to peck, I enjoyed sitting in front of the stove watching them fill up before it gets dark.
All my Christmas mail has been posted, cards, calendars and some gifts, the rest to be delivered by hand are wrapped and ready so I feel a bit more relaxed though I have no idea when we will get down to Yorkshire as we are committed both weekends before Christmas. Just Mr FF to shop for now and as you know we limit ourselves to a £5 Christmas stocking of little gifts, which requires some hard work and a lot of imagination. There has been a call to increase the budget this year but I think since we are still officially in recession we should keep the figure the same.
Its a pity that food and drink are not allowed in our stockings, I could pack Mr FF's stocking with fruit scones, I just made a batch. Have a cosy weekend.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

My sparkling weekend

I had such a busy sociable weekend with a recurring theme over the three days, I count Friday evening as part of the weekend, sparkling wine. I don't drink a lot, one glass of wine is enough for me otherwise I get a headache but I'd be quite prepared to drink a glass of fizzy every day.
Friday evening I was at Trish's house watching The Private Lives of Pippa Lee on dvd with other girl friends from the village. We enjoyed some chat, some snacks, a glass of bubbly and an excellent film, a perfect start to the weekend.
Saturday evening Pam and Andrew came round for dinner and bubbly, after which we all snuggled up on the big red sofa and watched Strictly Come Dancing recorded whilst we ate. Did I tell you Mr FF has invested in a large plasma telly that fills the big room off the kitchen and finally gives it some purpose. The tv has all sorts of add ons that I don't understand, free sat and the like but it was brilliant to see the dancing in high definition despite the boys constantly interrupting our concentration on frocks and footwork with totally unnecessary questions. On Sunday we were at the opening of a new gallery not far away, the appropriately named Dancing Light Gallery that is housed in an eco friendly building attached to our local organic farm shop. Another glass of bubbles, white prosecco for me and red prosecco for Mr FF, both organic of course. I admired the art works, especially some beautiful fabric handbags and cushions whilst Mr FF admired the ground source heat pump and had guided tour of the building's heating system.
Three days of fizz and fun, dressing up and going out, a perfect weekend completely free of hangovers.

Thursday 3 December 2009

Into the fray

I knew I meant business yesterday when I went into Edinburgh Christmas shopping as the festive shopping bag came out. Its one from last year's Cath Kidston at Tesco selection, such a pity they aren't doing them again as they were inexpensive, in a good cause and so pretty. I didn't have that much left to buy but I needed a wander round looking for ideas and thinking I might go back for items if I didn't find anything better.
The shops were manageably busy but far too festive for my liking. Each year we hear the same old Christmas music that spins round my head and is still playing today, it must drive the shop assistants insane. Edinburgh looked very jolly with lots of lights, trees, the big wheel, ice rink and a rather seedy Christmas market that mainly seemed to be selling chips.
This is a little indulgence for Amelia, a sleep suit from Cath Kidston. Amelia's Dad is football crazy so he should approve and if Amelia thinks its a bit too manly for her she can soften the effect with some pretty accessories, her ballet top for example, be a good dressing up exercise for her and never too soon to start experimenting.
I did have a serious senior moment in town, I forgot the pin number for my credit card when making my very first purchase. My mind went a complete blank, the more I thought the less sure I was. I had to stop after two tries and resort to my debit card, otherwise if I'd got the number wrong again my card would have been stopped and useless for a couple of weeks till a new pin was issued, not the time of year for that to happen. I felt so stupid but maybe it was natures way of curbing my spending, it certainly worked and I luckily found the number written down when I got home. I had the right figures in my head just in the wrong order, I blame interference from those festive tunes.