Saturday, 26 December 2009

Christmas Day In Pictures

Miss Cottage, The Boy & I on Christmas day.

Empty Advent calendar

Beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree

"New" vintage dog which was a gift from dear Mrs Custard, with friend, both bedecked with Miss Cottage's pom-poms!

Stairs decked with lovely cards from near & far.

Paper chains in the kitchen

More pom-poms

Even the Aga has a few reindeer friends....

Table set with festive finery & the best cutlery which only comes out a few times a year as it has to be polished & hand washed!

Mmmmmm....sherry trifle...

Peeling the vegetables

Yorkshire puddings before...

...and after!

Homemade nut roast

The potatoes & vegetables are ready!

The roast beast (or two)

A plate full of deliciousness

A Christmas hug!

Hope you all had as enjoyable & peaceful day as we did in the Cottage!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas To All!

Just popping in to wish all of my dear readers a very Merry Christmas..... I hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow!

I always used to read this story to my children on Christmas Eve, so settle down with a cup of hot chocolate & we'll begin....

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-nig

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Festive Photos

Vintage decorations

Jolly red goodies

Toby in his Christmas jumper

Vintage Christmas cake decorations

The kitchen tree

The lounge tree - this one has all vintage glass decorations.

The mantlepiece with stockings awaiting filling (my mum made these).

Couldn't resist taking a photo of this animated unicorn at the grotto at the local garden centre. I want one!!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Wrapping & Packing

One of my favourite Christmas activities is gift wrapping - I love the papers & the ribbons & the tags. This year I managed to find some reindeer Christmas paper (what else) so, armed with my trusty red & white string, ribbons, vintage gift tags, seals & labels (I have some available in my shop here) plus a basket full of vintage plastic holly & decorations I sat down for a wrapping session.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Two Very British Events

I have lots of photos for you today. In the past week I have been involved in two very traditional events for this time of the year.

The first was the annual village children's Christmas party. We are fortunate that the local Christmas tree farm donates one of their biggest trees for the hall. This always looks wonderful but it's always a bit of a struggle to get it up - we tie it to one of the beams so it doesn't fall over!

The tables are decorated & set & each child receives a pretty party box filled with tasty treats to eat & drink.

There is always a raffle too - a nice Christmas hamper being the first prize.

Mulled wine & mince pies for the adults.

Ah! They are here! Tucking into their treats & waiting for a visit from someone special....

Who is that we spy coming through the door?

Yay! It's Santa with a sack full of selection boxes.

All the children lined up politely to shake Santa's hand & to receive their gift.
After Santa left the entertainer arrived with music & plenty of party games.
A great time was had by all!

This time of year is also the beginning of the hunting season with all it's tradition, dress codes & etiquette & of course Miss Cottage & Dylan were in the thick of things.
Dylan was brushed & plaited, tack polished & shiny, Miss C & friends were kitted out in their jackets, shirts, stocks & long riding boots & off they went. The meet started at the local pub so not far to ride.

The hounds arrived in an excited & friendly mass.

Ah! Here they come....

Port is available for the adults & Ribena for the younger members. I noticed quite a few hip flasks doing the rounds! Dylan looks very small next to some of the huge hunters there.

Notice the chap in the background in his top hat? Very dapper!

All ready to set off - I can tell you that they weren't this clean when they returned a few hours later! Great fun was had by all!

Just a note - this was drag hunting!