Monday, 30 December 2013
Nine plus a baby and a dog on Christmas day filled our house with people! Alice cooked lunch with a little help from my sister! We had turkey rolled and stuffed for those who don't like beef, rib of beef for those who do and a nut roast for those who don't like either. This was served with veg from the allotment - brussel sprouts, potatoes (mashed and roast) parsnips and carrots (felt very proud to do this) also swede and peas, Yorkshire puddings, little sausages, stuffing, bread sauce and cranberry sauce!
The pudding was quite a hit - sticky date and raisin pudding with rum butter (we ran out of brandy!!) ice cream and a great big flaming fountain on top!
It was lovely to spend some time with my sister, here we are on Christmas day!
There were two cakes on my dresser! this is the rich fruit cake with marzipan and icing that I made and....
The gingerbread house that Alice and Jared made, there were some silver balls left over! Just to point out that it was made from scratch, not a kit!!
More guests on Boxing day and a buffet for lunch!
Mr HH and me!
It has been non stop from the beginning of November, making gifts, shopping, writing cards, cleaning and cooking. Attending parties, meals out and other events, 3 days spent with various family members, I have loved every minute of the planning and organising but then yesterday nothing - oh it was lovely to go to the allotment and do a bit of digging and then come home and knit - what joy!
Looking forward to a New Years Eve Ceroc party tomorrow night and then two birthdays to prepare for - more cake!
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Well I've done it! I have posted an advent photo every day!
This is the finished gingerbread house that head chef Alice and assistant Jared made the other evening. They have reached the grand ages of 24 and 21 and never made a gingerbread house, oh how deprived they have been, what a bad mother I have been to have never suggested this before! Anyway it looks wonderful, a centrepiece for the dresser!
In case you missed any of the other advent posts here they all are
So off for a glass of Baileys, hang up my stocking and brace myself for the mad house of nine plus a baby for lunch tomorrow...........
Happy Christmas to all my blog friends, hope you all have a lovely day!
Monday, 23 December 2013
Monday 23 December
Last day at work for 10 days, I am so looking forward to a break, time to spend with the family, time to cook and maybe time to do a bit of crochet?
Last minute supermarket shop this afternoon, just need to pick up the meat from the butchers tomorrow. Then a quick wizz round with the cleaner and ice the cake and I am done! (well not quite, Alice and I have quite a long cooking list)
The photo is of my mantelpiece, the greenery is precariously wedged and balanced just don't touch it!
Sunday, 22 December 2013
Sunday 22 December
A quiet day
I have had a fairly quiet following two late nights! Danced all night at the Ceroc Christmas party last night. Today my legs ache, my feet ache and I am worn out! But what fun it was!
Alice has been busy cooking, the ham is cooked, 3 types of chocolate truffles made and a ginger bread house baked. Jared and her are decorating it together. I think they are going to use up all the silver balls I had.saved for the cake.
Only one day at work this week - woo!
Saturday 21 December
Happy winter solstice!
The shortest day of the year and I think probably the darkest, it was very dull here all day and dark even earlier, the chickens went to bed just after 3.30!
After today the sun will begin it's journey back nearer to us and the days will get longer and longer, those that do a school run will notice it when they go back in January.
It was raining too much to go out and pick any greenery so just lit loads of candles to celebrate.
Saturday, 21 December 2013
Friday 20th December
Happy! To be driving 85 miles in the blustery wind and rain to pick Alice up from Gatwick airport. Happy! To see her after being away for over 3 months. Not happy to pay £2.19 for a bottle of water at the airport!
Home far too late to post this on the right day!
Thursday, 19 December 2013
Thursday 19the December
Tea cosy ta da!
Was beginning to think that I would never get this finished. Had a bit of trouble with the frilled edge, still not sure that I followed the instructions properly. And then in no time last night I did the holly and sewed it up.
Mr Hh was a bit unsure and asked what it was exactly
A Christmas pudding tea cosy!!!
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Wednesday 18th December
Wrapping presents. Each year I am surprised at how long this takes me, two evenings and still not finished. Have to finish tomorrow as need to get Alices room ready. She is coming home for Christmas!
This year I have used brown parcel paper, red Kraft paper from Ikea, bakers twine and parcel tape from Dots and Spots.
Monday, 16 December 2013
Sunday, 15 December 2013
Saturday, 14 December 2013
Saturday 14th December
He's behind you! Oh no he isn't! Oh yes he is!
Tonight we have been to our little theatre, The Manifest, to see the Christmas panto. Ali Baba and the Faulty Thieves. It wad great fun, an old friend played the dame, he was very funny. We hissed and booed in all the right places!
Had an ice cream in the interval- What a treat!
Friday, 13 December 2013
(woops a day late, but got home far too late to post it)
My Mum is the chairman of Braintree district Council this year, her role is one of attending civic events and representing the council and the people of the district. She has been very busy opening things, giving speeches and attending all sorts of events. Last night was her Civic Carol Service. It was held in Castle Hedingham church, which must be one of the coldest churches in Braintree. Thick fog all the way there, 20 mile drive along the A12 and then some very narrow county lanes, thank goodness it cleared by the time we left.
I was allocated a seat in the front row, next to the Christmas tree, and everytime I moved the whole tree shook!
This event was attended by all the "important" people of Braintree and Essex!
Lots of chairman and mayors of different councils all wearing their chains of office (you could almost hear them all rattling!) The leader of Essex County Council, the MP and a lady in a very impressive hat. She is the High Sherrif of Essex. I had to look this up when I got home, but it would seem that this is a royal appointment and her role is to be present when royals visit the county, support the judges, police and charities.
After we had mince pies, cups of tea and a chance to stand near the radiator!
It is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!
Thursday, 12 December 2013
Wednesday 11th December
Planned the menus for Christmas day, Boxing Day and other meals and cakes. I have a collection if Christmas issues of Good Food magazine that I dig out each year and browse for inspiration,
Menus planned and then 4 shopping lists created! 1.heavy items, tins packets and everyday things for an online shop. 2. Market and local shop. 3, supermarket shop for things I need to look at 4. Last minute shop for cream and milk ( this one will probably be added to as I start to cook!)
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Mince pie making! I make a sweet almond pastry and fill them with the plum mincemeat (without nuts or peel) that I made a few weeks ago.
Some to take to my friends tomorrow night, froze some and only one left!
Yummy! Think I will have to make some more...............
All my cards are written. Work ones have been given out. Local ones will be hand delivered and some need posting.
I ordered my cards from Dots and Spots The very talented Becky from Somerset designs and sells them. She runs the small business from her home and there are some lovely photos of her home and studio on her Blog I was lucky to take advantage of one of her Friday offers and got them half price and free postage. She also has some lovely birthday cards and gift wrap, I am sure I will be placing another order soon!
Sunday, 8 December 2013
Switched them on as soon as it got dark and they looked very pretty twinkling away,
Saturday, 7 December 2013
Saturday 7th December
London Christmas lights
Another outing today, this time to London. Got the train and then the tube to Notting Hill where I met my sister who had come from Birmingham. We arranged to meet in the first cafe we came outside the station and thank goodness it was Jamie Oliver's!! We had tea and hand made bread and jam, delicious, but we did think the raspberry jam had not set!
We strolled along the Portobello road market and treated ourselves to one or two things including a pair of boots each for just £5. Lunch was brushetta and cheesecake from the stalls.
Took the bus along to Oxford street to see the lights, have never seen so many people, it was heaving! The light were wonderful hundreds and hundreds of sparkly lampshades were strung up across the street from Marble Arch all the way down past Oxford Circus. The shops were covered in lights - John Lewis, Debenhams, Boots and Selfridges. I would have liked to have had a closer look at the shop windows but ut was just too busy to get off the bus and walk
Another bus to the Southbank Christmas market and a glass of Gluhwein to warm us up. A German plate of fried potatoes and garlic mushrooms filled us up!
We have had a lovely day out, looking forward to next time!
Friday, 6 December 2013
Friday 6th December.
My third and final day off work today, two weeks and one days work until the Christmas break - hurray!
Spent the morning finishing my handmade presents. This involved a bit of sewing and making lots of labels. I bought this rubber stamp which says "handmade with love" used it lots. can't show or tell you what the gifts are as I know who reads my blog!!!!
Wrapped up the gifts to take into work on Monday, as it will also be our staff do.
Later I had my nails done. One silver nail and the rest red with white snow flakes. Done with gel polish so should last for three weeks so long as I remember to put the rubber gloves on!
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Thursday 5th December
Second day off work, so up and out early to catch the train to Cambridge. Absolutely freezing waiting at the station, a frost over night and 1c this morning.
Lovely to meet up with Jared and do some Christmas shopping. Got back to the train to realise that they didn't put his new shoes in the bag with the other clothes, now he will have to go back and complain. Such a nucience, why don't people concentrate on what they are doing?
The photo is of Jared in John Lewis's one of my favourite shops.
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Wednesday 4 December
Bring a plate of food to share and a secret Santa gift to the value of £3 was the request for tonight's WIGS (WI) meeting.
I saw these lovely Santa hat biscuits in the Waitrose magazine. Spicy biscuits topped with a strawberry and some cream piped around the edge and a blob on top - looked quite impressive!
My secret Santa gift was some scented candles and I was given a blue bird brooch, which I actually liked! I have not had much luck with these lucky dip gifts in the past and have had to put them in the raffle! I hope that doesn't sound too ungrateful but you can't help not liking something!
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Monday, 2 December 2013
Sunday, 1 December 2013
This is The Corpus Clock in Cambridge designed by John C Taylor and inaugurated in 2008 by Stephen Hawking. It is quite big and very, very gold!
This is in the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge.
this mosaic was in the entrance to the Fitzwilliam Museum.
some boxes in a shop window in Cambridge. One could buy ones top hat here!!
We have had plenty of rain this month, this was taken from INSIDE the car!