Tuesday, 24 December 2013


Following the dreadful weather last night of Gail force winds and lashing rain causing much disruption on the roads and railways this was the sky tonight. 

Isn't it just magnificent. I love coming out into the garden as the sun is setting to see such wonderful colour.

It has been a hectic few days with family arriving and last minute shopping to be done.  But that's it all shops are closed so what you don't have it's not worth worrying about.  By now I hope you have all started your Christmas celebrations.

Tonight we kicked things off with a family meal that included a favourite of Steak & Ale Pie enjoyed by all.

With finishing on Friday for the holidays I have already started enjoying a bit of R & R so much so that I have managed to finish my latest book 'Christmas at the Ragdoll Orphanage' by Suzanne Lambert and you can as always find out what I thought about it here.

So here we are with less than 30 minutes till midnight, the meat has been collected from the butchers and the fresh veg from the farm shop. D has bought enough food to feed the village and the traditional triffle has been constructed by yours truly and Christmas Day will soon be upon us.

Therefore it just leaves me to say a big thank you to everyone who has visited my blog and for making feel so welcome over the last six months, I am certainly looking forward to making even more friends in blogland over the next 12 months.  

Merry Christmas to you all however and wherever you will be celebrating the holiday season this year.


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A Christmas Gift to ourselves.....

Just take a look at these two handsome boys....   A while ago and before Buster joined our family we commissioned an artist AJ Turner of Cavacast to paint a portrait of Romeo and Monty. Ms Tuner is a very accomplished artist but also is an owner of Cavaliers herself and therefore knows the breed very well.
 We are so very pleased with the result.  
This photo doesn't really do it justice in reality it is much sharper and she has really caught the personalities of both the dogs.  
I was so pleased with it that my immediate thought was that I would have to share it with you all in blogland. 

This is our little Christmas present to ourselves.

Now we have Buster too we are thinking of commissioning her again to make a sculpture of the three boys next year unless of course three has increased to four if D gets his way and finds a little Ruby Cavi that needs a home..... to complete the set. 
I'm just glad it was Cavaliers we went for and not Cockers as there a lot more variations in colour and I'm not sure my little cottage would be big enough to accommodate them all.

At The Willows we are on count down now with just two more days before children start arriving home for the holidays.  D has been to the supermarket this morning and I think he thinks we are feeding the entire village again this year by the amount he has bought and that is before we collect the meat from the butchers and the veg from the farm shop. 

Let the madness begin!!!!!


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Countdown to Christmas

The Christmas countdown has arrived at The Willows.  With family starting to arrive next Friday the BIG clean has taken place this weekend and all beds have been made up in readiness.  I have been so far behind in my preparations this year.  The only thing I have managed to do ahead of time was to get Number 2's parcels sent off the week before the deadline.  Up until today not one card had been written or one present wrapped. This is so out of character for me, being such a control freak when the children were younger come the 1st December all cards were written ready for posting and the Christmas tree was bought and decorated.  Therefore I can only blame my children for growing up and leaving home for tardiness.  With just over a week to go I have now got all my cards written and sat on the table ready to go to the post office tomorrow.  All work colleagues cards are now written and presents wrapped and will be going off to work with me tomorrow.  This will just leave me D's Number 2 and Number 3 sons and my daughter's to wrap.  But come Christmas Eve all will be good.  The BIG shop is yet to take place but D has taken over this role this year.  We are very blessed with an excellent local butchers and two local farm shops that have the best produce.  

I have also been up against it to get this jacket finished in time for Christmas 


I finally completed it and added the toggles on Friday night.

Thanks should also go to my fellow crafter Karen for modelling so that I could take some photo's. She was full of a cold and really wasn't very well.

Product DetailsProduct DetailsOn the reading front I have now completed these two and you can see what I thought of them here

Continuing on the Christmas theme of books I am now reading Christmas at the Ragdoll Orphanage.  

This is the first novel of Suzanne Lambert and although I am only part way through already I would say it is well worth a read.

Well we have an XFactor winner but I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't seen it yet but a deserved winner is all I will say. 

On that note time for a cuppa.

Enjoy your week whatever you may be doing.  


Sunday, 8 December 2013

Christmas has arrived at The Willows

Christmas has arrived at The Willows.  Number 3 has been desperate to put the tree up all week but then he has been poorly with a nasty chest infection and has been too ill to think about it.  But now he's feeling much better and the first thing he wanted to do was... you guessed it wanted to put the tree up.  We finally dragged the tree out from  the garage this morning and sorted out all the ornaments and lights.  Why is it no matter how careful you are at putting the lights away each year come the next one they are always tangled.

Thank you to everyone who left comments in helping me decide what design to make with my squares for the Coming Home from Afghanistan Afghan.  It would appear that the majority of you like design B which is good because this was the first design I had come up with way back when I started this little venture.  We are now up to day 55 today which means he is 55 days closer to coming home. 

Up until putting up the tree it hadn't really dawned on me just how close to Christmas we are The next couple of weekends are going to fly by in a blur.   Number one son is coming over for the weekend before Christmas and daughter will be home for the holidays so it will be nice to spend the weekend together and have a mini Christmas celebration before he returns to Manchester on Christmas Eve, I am hoping that Number 2 will be able to get to a telephone over that period as it would be great for us all to be able to say hi.  

Midwife on Call

This week I have completed two more books and you can find out what I thought about them here.

As I an now getting into the Christmas spirit I have started two more books with a Christmas theme.

Product DetailsProduct Details

A Christmas Wish is another Kindle Edition book by Amanda Prowse and see's the continuing story of Poppy Day. This time Poppy is another 10 years older and has two children Peggy and Max and Mart will be on tour in Afghanistan at Christmas.  Will young Peg get her wish and have her Daddy home for Christmas.

A Dog for Christmas tells the story of Joshua Michaels who finds himself looking after a neighbours dog only to find that the dog in question is pregnant and about to deliver a litter of puppies.  Having never owned a dog before this sends poor Josh into a state of panic but on hand to help is Kerri who works at the local rescue centre. 

Will let you know in due course what I thought of these two festive reads.

Have a good week one and all whatever you may be getting up to.

M x

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Kindle App

Now I may well be teaching you all to suck eggs here but I recently discovered something about Kindle and therefore thought I would share this little bit of info with you all.

I bought a Kindle HD back in August and have been enjoying it's rewards ever since. What I hadn't realised is that you don't have to have a Kindle in order to read Kindle Books.  It was whilst on amazon looking for a book for my son that I then saw in a little box how you can download the Kindle App to your ipad, tablet or even your phone.  This was really useful as I currently have a son serving out in Afghanistan and he is obviously limited to what he could take with him and what he would be able to bring back if we sent him anything.  He has downloaded the Kindle App and has been able to buy and download books to read in his down time and it has proved to be invaluable.  Since then my daughter and my other son have also downloaded the app and even D has now downloaded it to his ipad and is currently working his way through all the Jeffery Archers.  If you normally buy amazon vouchers as Christmas gifts you still can as when you purchase any books for your Kindle you still have the opportunity to use any vouchers you may have to purchase. 

If you would like to know more information then simply click here.

Happy reading one and all 

M x

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Decisions, Decisions

Over the past month and a half I have been duly making my one square a day for my 'Coming Home From Afghanistan' Afghan.  This coming week will see the 50th day of my sons tour and therefore 50 squares. I am now at the stage where I need to decide what combination of pattern to join my squares and I am having a little trouble deciding.  With this in mind I decided to turn to my fellow bloggers to help me to decide.

Below are 4 photographs marked A - D and I would be grateful to any of you out there who would kindly leave a comment with which design you prefer  even if it's only the letter of your choice or maybe even suggest one of your own, I am sure there will be a combination that I haven't thought of.





Once again I would like to thank everyone who has emailed or left comments since number 2 left to start his tour.  I have had some lovely emails especially from those from forces families or have a family member in the forces and have been in the same situation I find myself in, trying not to worry but as his mum unable to do much else.  Your words of advice and encouragement on how to get through the next few months have been much appreciated.

Meanwhile life at home continues and here we are on the 1st of December and out in the garden the plants seem to be on a bit of a rebellion.

Up to now we have had such mild weather with only one or two frosty mornings that  my poor little garden is in total confusion and quite a few of my plants especially the fuchsias think it's time to bud up and flower again.  I don't remember seeing this before in the garden at this time of year. I'm hoping this will prove to be a good omen and that we will be given a mild winter this year. 

Have a good week one and all whatever you may be doing.

M x