Monday, 28 December 2009


..I thought maybe you'd think I died under a pile of nut cutlets or empty port bottles, so thought I should keep you posted. Really fantastic to keep on getting scrappers posting on our team site.. really getting into the swing of it now.

Christmas has been really great,lots of eating, drinking, family time.. not always very rested but certainly rejuvenated, and the lie-ins certainly come high on the list of best bits!!

Scrapping wise my boys surpassed themselves, they got me a Cuttlebug! (embossing and cutting machine) Didn't think for a minute they'd organise themselves that well, I was joking about it all the time as I was dead sure it wasn't going to happen.. even teased Zac I might buy one on Christmas Eve with Pops' money pressie! (lucky the shop was shut or I may have given him something to really worry about!)  Apologies to Linda though, but I'm sure someone somewhere needs to home a surplus Bug??

Amazing but I haven't taken a single picture this holiday as U Bill is here and kind of adopts official photographer status, cheap to keep really for having him on tap 24 hours a day.  His lady and her daughter arrived yesterday and we had a long lazy meal and have plans for the Mount, Mousehole and St Ives I think before Thursday. 
I bought them a few little gifts and shared with them the thought that Jordan and I had found it quite hard not to buy gifts for ladies this year., all the shops seem to have things like notebooks, diaries, scarves, little boxes, all things which we would have bought mine and Cols mum's in past years.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Bah humbug!

.. despite the feeling of loving it all in my heart I've been bah humbug all day... no-one seems very festive around here!  We went to have lunch where Ross was working.. but way too busy.. like why didn't someone book us a table.. who? me? Ross? Bah, that's what you get when everyone relies on you having sorted it!  (Just wasn't the same when we ended up having pizza somewhere else...and it was too late then to venture down an icy Sennen Hill for hot chocs and fruit cake at the Beach.)

But the highlights of my day were seeing Noami my Polish pal, who has invited us for mince pies and mulled wine.. (and we're actually going to go.. dear heart my Col must have started reading my mood at last.. hahah!..she always makes me laugh and we have a bottle of port to damage that's been waiting two years she says) ... and also our mate Chris who has a garden and decorations to die for.. helps when you run a gardening business I guess.

Oh and reading tweets, blog entries and comments from scrapping friends.. it was lovely to hear from everyone... have yourselves a merry little Christmas.. oo, I feel a song coming on!

Happy Birthday Michele..

..working that they are 5 hours behind us Michele should be having her very special night out in Baltimore right now.. a spectacular restaurant by all accounts.  And travel south for the holiday on Christmas Eve!

Just a little reminder of the cold weekend we shared last year, the decoration she gave us .. now has pride of place in my kitchen amongst the holly above my fridge!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009


... in our yard all day yesterday and today.. the winter sun lies so low that it didn't get to the icey hails which covered the yard before we got up yesterday.. I hate it...all that almost slipping, makes you appreciate walking normally!  Bet it's much nicer to crunch through inches of snow like our friends in Maryland and Munich!

Uncle Bill arrived safely, he was delayed States side as they chased Washington's worst blizzard in recent history ., but he got an extra night there but got to see his grand-daughter enjoy the snow.. as they say Flip-It and see the best in a situation!

We cut the holly yesterday (for we read Zac, who is now my lights master as well as tree cutter)  and it has pride of place in my kitchen..but it is a smaller version than last year and it is surely groaning under the weight of every decoration we own... from the 60 year old bells to the 2006 gingerbread men .. in fact it looks a little like one of those shrines you see covered in pieces of material offered up by religious followers (ahh, a little like me and Christmas tree I suppose!.. this blogging is sooo revealing) 
...that's the trouble with having 5 children, when you buy new decorations it is times 5... but gradually I guess they will dwindle as I pack them up for them to use in their own houses one day... if they are even remotely nostagic for their past that is..I could turn them into modern minimalist adults the way I am going.

U Bill was recording all the events, more to scrap.. and when I look back it is amazing to realise how many of his photos I have already scrapped this year.. Zac's prom, Colin's eyes, paintball..

Little mention too to say how great it was to go with Gillian to Carols at St Levan, great company, beautiful night, and the mulled wine and mince pies went down well too. Saw Sarah our cousin and we always have a little reminisce, and swap some new stories, perhaps they'll be the folklore for our kids.. like how she got her pounds and kilos mixed up and now has a very large turkey for Friday!  Thinking of you guys..

Funny when you see so many faces you know, and it made me think that 40 years ago we'd have all been there as kids but now we are the grown who's in charge ???

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Online shopping...

... used to seem a bit of a cop-out when it first started, but boy, now I love it!  Just receiving the boxes in the post is good enough for me, it doesn't matter who the actual gift is for!!
And it also means you can relax and enjoy the town shopping looking for those extras and seeing friends for coffee instead!

But earlier this week a beautiful hamper arrived for us all from Uncle Bill and Deborah, they will spend almost 2 weeks with us, and it was such a nice parcel to unpack... jams, biscuits, humbugs (for Bah Humbugs.. you know who you are.. but to be fair Col is getting a little more relaxed and in the flow..), champagne, chutneys, all we need is the cheese and dippers!

Christmas brainwashing...

... going on here the past two Saturdays!  I bought a couple of new Christmas music CDs, old Bing and his mates, Johnny Cash and added to the triple CD from last year, I have a great Christmas section in my iTunes.   It always seems a shame kids today aren't as exposed to Christmas carols and oldies, so quietly I'm playing them in the background and hoping they'll be like me... 'I like this one.. who is it?' (but usually for me it's a track I hated last week when I first heard it!

Plenty of cleaning going on here, Jordan stayed back from the video-watching last day of school yesterday and got next door ready for Uncle Bill bar a few tree decorations, and indoors today I have Zac booked to make up a new sofa for the kitchen, and Ross is allocated to cleaning the bathroom with me this afternoon...have to make use of his OCD in a positive way don't I!?

Oh, and Jordan almondpasted her first cake this week..

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Mr (and Mrs) Happy!

Colin is showing definite signs of Christmas Cheer.. he has, it must be said, cracked several sad but undeniably humourous jokes this week and it is lovely to see him relax a little. I'm not sure if it is the sheer volume of work we have in which is making his head a little light or the idea of a few days break .. or perhaps the promise of a good holiday come springtime... whichever I'm happy to go along for the ride!

Examples of said humour...
  • 'I bought lots more cereal today when I was out.. I'm a serial shopper!!'
  • 'I used  a store discount card to scrape ice off the windscreen, pity it only removed 10% of the ice!'
.. see I said sad.

Been out twice this week for a meal at the Dolphin in Penzance. Took the crew from STS on Monday and last night caught up with cousins, both evenings lubricated nicely with hot mulled wine which if I can recall, runs well into the New Year.. sounds good to me. May take Uncle Bill there next week for the Chrsitmas Carol-oke, hoping this is the 21st Century version of a Carolaire as opposed to individual singing, but who knows.

Heading out to St Levan for the annual Christingle on Sunday evening. I have been the past 3 years now and love to take that bit of time out to reacquaint myself with places and faces from the days 'way back when'...each year I ask the kids if any of them want to come along, they all give me that funny look, like 'do I have to?'. I then let them off the hook saying that I am happy to go alone, and they should only come if they want and by no accounts come along just to please me.

Consequently I go alone, head off to meet Gill and the others ...It's so special to travel out west on my own, music and thoughts to myself, drift back to the days when Father Christmas decorated our holly on Christmas Eve as an extra gift and we ran across the road to show old Auntie Janie our presents as soon as the door was open!

(It was only as a much older child I realised that the tree decorating was done so late cos Mum & Dad had been so busy and the present of a decorated tree made up for having small presents if fishing had been tough the weeks leading up to Christmas.. and appreciate too the year I got a fab dolls cot in February when there had been a good week's fishing, to make up for a sad Christmas.. we only realise the sacrifices when they have long passed don't we?)

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Accomplishments for today...

4 blog entries.. check !

Ainsley's Mum's cake.. in oven .. check!

Two red wine fruit cakes, almost done.. check!

Tesco shop, lots of store cupboard stuff..check!

Sitting room tree.. bought .. check!

Same... decorated.. by Kate.. looks absolutely.. well you wouldn't believe it, she must have the makings of a window dresser..CHECK
....this out!!  ( I can hear Linda laughing from here, at how pleased I must be by such an organised look to my tree... haha, but hey I do do chaos when it comes to my holly!)

This is it!

Kate has just joined the ranks of tree-meister in our household.  Those who know me will know that I have only ever bought one Christmas Tree (and that was the year JB was born 20 days before Christmas, so I had a good excuse), it meant buying a tree rather than offing out to have one cut from a holly, either in our hedge or, in the years before we lived here, from down Penberth , and all that entailed... visiting long-lost (well since last year) relatives and doing the old nostalgia trip and having to fit prickley holly in car with upwards of at least 3 children.

Zac joined the tree-meister ranks when he cut his first holly, I think 2 or 3 years ago when Col had a bad back.

Last year we had huge holly in my kitchen, which I loved since it is my domain and in the sitting room I don't get to enjoy it all day..but this year, as Kate always wishes for a tree earlier than cutting holly will allow (22nd Dec at earliest).. I said we'd have an early fir tree in the sitting room, so she can enjoy it with the X-Factor final and the numerous episodes of Friends she has taped in the run up the the big day.... and then I would have a smaller, less co-ordinated holly event in my kitchen to be cut / hung/ decorated and fully photographed by U Bill after he arrives in the run up,.. you see there IS method in my madness (I know the quality of his pictures will be so great and give me brill scrapping opportunites for months to come!)

Anyways, Kate is arranging the tree (I succombed not to a £60 cut tree which my dearest husband advised me would  be worthless firewood in 3 weeks, thus devaluing at £20 per week... but to a vastly more expensive but good looking imitation tree.. you know me, cost per wear / cost per airing of the tree...I should be quids in and break even by 6th January 2011.. and actually I am not as traumatised by the buying of a 'fake' tree as I thought I'd be)

I have, I hasten to add, still not made the cakes, and while I write the fruit awaits the Ainsley / BBC Veggie Christmas treatment to be transformed ... pictures of tree and cakes follow.. watch this space.

Shhh.....but when Col seemed to disappear while we were at the Garden Centre I half expected to find him curled up and quivering in the garden tools section, (a little like Damien in Omen films when made to visit a church) .........having been beaten by the energy sapping bug he feels when Christmas is mentioned (you know, the same one boys and men get when dragged into New Look or M&S... Kryptonite Zac calls it!).. ...he is by no means humbug about Christmas, just wishes it could be a long rest!


.. of the year seems to be order of the day on TV at this time of year.. just wanted to share the page I speed-scrapped yesterday and then doodled at leisure this morning for an hour...slight artistic license keeping in a photo of Will & Michele's visit last Christmas (technically 2008), and letting the last 3 months be reflected by just boating, but maybe that's how the year felt!

Hard to believe the pictures are of the same page.. bah, humbug, phone mumblings! If I could find the proper camera charger would help, but then the images are so huge it takes ages to upload..never happy, mumble mumble.

Ross has gone off on a roadtrip today, visiting friends from here to Edinburgh. Good old Google maps (do I get points for bigging up Google on Blogger??) says it's going to be 1300 miles in 7 days, sounds like an epic trip until I realise Colin has 900 miles in 2 and half days PLUS 4 customer calls, and a few sad lonely nights in a Travel Inn to boot.. and not always, may I say, the Travel Inns that Lenny Henry would be proud to feature in his adverts either!

Last scrap of the year...

... sounds like a street fight in our village!  Seriously though, we had a great day yesterday, few festive nibbles (well a minor feast to be honest) and some great canvases created, as usual inspired ideas from Linda.  Last year for Christmas Jordan gave me a 12" deep frame so I gave pride of place to this picture of my Mum and Ross, so this Christmas I wanted a nice layout of Jean to share the space in our kitchen.

I tried to incorporate a range of photos, some of them not usually seen in our collections, Zac liked the one of Nan riding the quad back in...about 1995 I think, and I like the one a few years ago with Kate making the famous smiley face which seems to be the genetic link between her and Lisa, caught on camera! 

The layout wouldn't be complete without a few grungeboard letters and some bling!  (and I'm sure the paint I used was red, but now it seems pink!)
....I am less than happy though with the quality of photos coming out of my new camera phone.. it's an LG touchscreen but it is beaten hands down by my faithful old Motorola!