Friday, 30 December 2011

How I Spent Christmas and the tale of the naughty computer

Christmas 2011

A belated Merry Christmas to all!  Here I am on Christmas morning at Liverpool Cathedral.  The service is just over and we have worshipped and taken communion with about 798 others.  No exaggeration!  Christmas Day service is PACKED.  (Gorgeous husband did a calculation of the number of rows and number of seats per row.) The service finishes with Widor's Toccata in D, belted out by one of the most powerful church organs in the world.  Magnificently stirring stuff!!

Afterwards we had the usual Christmas day with his family, and even though I have been with them for 15 Christmas dinners consecutively, it never fails to amaze me that they don't fight, there is no hard feelings, and everyone has a jolly time.  So different from other Christmases I have known, but that's another story!

The naughty computer decided to die, or go on extended holiday, or off into la-la land on Christmas Eve.  I thought I could catch up using the computers at the library, but no, no, no..... they are closed until January 3.  Just as I contemplated an expensive bill for computer repair, GH decided to have a go at it one more time.  Surprise, surprise.  It is back, and behaving as though nothing had happened.  What is one to do?  Just be glad and amazed and hope that it continues to operate, I suppose.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Handmade owl on taupe sweater

Here is one of my presents from the Bloggers' Christmas swap on my new taupe sweater.  The two items are almost exactly the same colour, so they harmonize really well. The stitching on the owl is really lovely, so thanks to Mrs. D for that!

Sometimes I just get fixated on one colour, and buy several things in that colour, without even being consciously aware of it.  One year it was red, once it was yellow, but lately it's taupe: that lovely warm greyish brown. Someone said to me it was "donkey brown", but I don't think that has the same flair.

As I said to a friend of mine, "if taupe is your colour, it will look REALLY good on you, but if it isn't --yuck!"

I think it's my colour.  I hope it is.  I feel good wearing it, so I indulge myself.  No one has passed out from fright seeing me in it.  At least not yet anyway.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Look what I got in the Bloggers' Christmas Swap!

Aren't I lucky?!!  This is what I got in the Bloggers' Christmas Swap from Mrs. D of .  For Christmas: 4 delightful tiny sequinned high heel shoes (she knows I'm a shoe girl),  the handmade: a beautiful owl brooch, and the thrifted, a vintage initial brooch with the letter "R".

I thought the owl was really lovely, beautifully stitched.  It will look great on my new jumper (sweater to my North American friends).  It'll be a taupe owl on taupe knit, so really chic.

Interestingly, she chose a Christmas card featuring a sweet kitten, and she didn't even know what a cat lover I am.  We must have been on the same wavelength!

Mrs. D and I both agree that the swap was a lot of fun.  For myself, I found it wonderful to be giving a present to someone I hardly knew.  It was really enjoyable and possibly the best part (in addition to connecting with someone new) was that we got to open them as soon as we got them so that the photos can go on Sacramento's blog.  I can hardly wait to see all the great exchanges!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Bloggers' Christmas Swap has begun!

My package has been received by the lovely Mrs. D at and the photos have come out great!  The sweetheart that she is, she's also included the Christmas labels with my scribbling on them.  When I first saw them, I did wonder why the handwriting looked so familiar, and then the penny dropped!  It was my own handwriting, silly goose that I am!!

Many thanks to Sacramento of for organising this.  It has been a lot of fun.  I'm wondering what the other bloggers will get in their packages.  Mine is on its way, so I'm keen to rip open my pressies, possibly on Monday.

I must say, the Internet is great for connecting people with similar interests from all over the world.  I feel I "know" so many marvellous people.

Friday, 9 December 2011

The blog I check most regularly

I'm not exactly short of inspiration today, I just thought I would pay homage to the fashion blog that is my all-time favourite, and the one that I turn to again and again for inspiration, for fun, and for her beautiful style, both in words and in clothes.  It's

If you fancy seeing a really beautiful woman, who deals with pain and loss with such strength and in such an uplifting way, check out her blog.  Judith lost her beloved husband Nelson earlier this year.  The way that she has dealt with her grief and the bewilderment of having to start life anew without him is indeed awe-inspiring.  Here's to you, Judith! You're one in a million.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Saint Nicholas's Day

I adore these chocolate Santas that are all on a stick like lollipops.  I think they are so cute!

I decided to post this image in honour of Saint Nicholas's Day, although, technically speaking, it was actually yesterday.  I should have taken the photo then, but I was too busy being at a Christmas dinner, which I suppose is a good "seasonal" excuse.

Anyway, Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of children, and in the Netherlands, children receive presents on his day, which is December 6.  Then Christmas Day, the 25th, is reserved as a religious occasion.  I'm totally in favour of this type of arrangement, as it separates the hoopla and the frenzy of gift giving, the razzle and dazzle, etc from the celebration of the birth of Christ, which is a religious occasion with deep significance. 

Much has been said about the commercialization of Christmas, and indeed, most stores make the majority of their income from the last couple of months of the calendar year.  To me, all this festivity and over-festivity seems to be like a tremendous amount of icing on a small and already very rich cake.

Does anyone else feel they would like the secular and the religious aspects of Christmas to be two separate occasions, or am I just weird?

Monday, 5 December 2011

Look out, wide load!!

Had a seasonal EGG NOGG LATTE this afternoon at Starbucks.  Yummy.  However, Gorgeous Husband found this information in the Daily Mail about our "treat".

An egg nogg latte contains 24 grams of saturated fat, 74 grams of sugar (the equivalent of 18 TEASPOONS!!) and a startling total of 579 calories.  Good thing we only had one.  Of course, these statistics are for a large size, and we only had a medium between us.  I imagine Gorgeous Husband got about 6 mouthfuls, so really, the numbers I consumed were way down!  (Tell it to the scales!!)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Foraging in the, antique shop, actually!

Here I am in one of my favourite activites, rooting around an antique/second hand/vintage shop seeing what I can find to bring home with me.  As it turned out on this trip, nothing!  Many things were lovely, but none MADE me open up that carvanous bag and get out my wallet.

This shop is in Ludlow, which is a lovely market town only about 30 miles from here.  I like to go on the train, as the road is windy and twisty and I end up feeling a bit green by the time we get there. The shop is actually a large building with a good selection of little stalls.  It's imaginatively called "Warehouse."  Check it out if you are in Ludlow.  It's near the Square and across from the Assembly Rooms.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

They're number 19!

Sorry, can't get myself into gear to take a photo, but let your imagination do the work and try to visualise 19 pair of leather gloves.  Yes, I just purchased pair number 19 today.  Well, when you see a lovely pair of cream white vintage leather gloves that fit you and don't cost the earth, a person just feels, well.... compelled to buy them.  Like they're orphans or something!

So, just for the record,  here is the list of my leather gloves:
egg yolk yellow
pale yellow
creamy white
true blue
turquoisey green/blue
olive green
pale greyish green
chocolate brown
pink suede
pink leather
terra cotta and beige patterned
leopard print
raspberry pink

I think my favourite pair are the leopard print ones... not just because it is unusual to have leather leopard print ones, but because when I saw them, I dithered about buying them.  I really liked them, but couldn't justify buying them.  (What was I thinking?!!) Later Gorgeous Husband went back and bought them for me and gave them to me on Valentine's Day.  Aaaah!!