Wednesday 25 December 2013

It's that time of year again.....


Merry Christmas 


All My Readers

Love you all!

Monday 23 December 2013

The Christmas Tree....

I know you've read this before but I'm posting it in remembrance of my Dearest Dad, as I will every year.

They were dirt poor, living in a poor neighbourhood but Christmas was always a magical time for Kit.  There was no money for fripperies but Kit needed a Christmas Tree.

"Joe, make me a Christmas Tree" she said to her youngest son.

"What?  How am I supposed to do that?" he asked.

"Use your imagination" said Kit.

Why did she always demand such things of him, Joe wondered, just for once couldn't she ask one of the others to come up with the impossible.   Oh well, there was no use in sulking, he would just have to get on with it and do his best because his mother would not accept anything less.

On his way back from work that day he decided to take the short cut through the park, as for once he didn't have any errands to do for Kit or the neighbours to whom she so readily offered his services.   Busy wondering how he could fulfill Kit's latest request he was not looking where he was going and suddenly found himself flat on his face having tripped over a broken branch off a tree, which had fallen as the result of the storm the day before.   Drat it, he thought as he dusted himself off, then *ding* a lightbulb lit up in his head - he could maybe do something with the branch!  It was quite a big branch with quite a few forks and twigs attached so he grabbed it by the thickest part and dragged it as carefully as he could along the streets until he got it back home.  

Once home he found a bucket and filled it with stones and soil and planted the branch carefully so that it was secure and standing proud.   He searched the cellar and found some white paint and set to work to paint the branch.  Whilst the paint was drying he searched the house for anything that would liven the tree up; bit of tinsel from a previous Christmas, a couple of paper chains Kit's grandchildren had made at school, a small doll one of the grandchildren had left lying about dressed in crepe paper would make a fairy for the top of the branch.  He carefully moved the branch to the front room and set it in the front window, it actually looked like a Christmas Tree he thought when he'd finished dressing it!

"I knew you wouldn't let me down" a delighted Kit told Joe.

Soon word got round the neighbourhood that Kit had a Christmas Tree, something no-one else had, and that's when the frequent knocks on the door started.  Neighbours arrived asking to see the Christmas Tree bringing little gifts to hang on it - an odd earring, another piece of tinsel, a long forgotten fripperie from more affluent times.  Before long the Christmas Tree was shimmering and sparkling and was truly magnificent.    Kit was thrilled and so were the neighbours who claimed part of The Christmas Tree as their own. On Christmas Eve Kit's family and neighbours gathered in the front room and sang traditional Christmas Carols whilst marvelling at the Tree.  Everyone agreed it was the best Christmas Tree they had ever seen and vowed that every year they would do the same thing again.

This is a true story - Joe was my Dad and Kit my grandmother.

Saturday 7 December 2013


Photo: 39 years ago today I married the love of my life.

Thirty Nine years ago today I married the love of my life.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

A wedding.....

Sorry you will have to wait a little longer for the next part of our Canada trip as I have to tell you about my niece's wedding, which took place on 23rd November.   We had to meet at a designated meeting place in Manchester to board the coaches which were to take us to the church. Here we are waiting for the coaches.  Youngest son and his family went to the church under their own steam as they live not far from there.

 Me and Harry

 Daughter-in-Law, Harry and Sam
 Eldest grandson Sam
 Mother-in-Law and eldest son, Nick.
MWM, his mother and Nick

 The wedding was at St. Hubert's Church, Dunsop Bridge, Near Clitheroe in Lancashire.

 The Roman Catholic church of St. Hubert's was built to the design of Edward Pugin, from, it is believed, the winnings of the racehorse Kettledrum owned by Colonel Charles Towneley of Towneley Hall, Burnley in the 1861Epsom Derby.   The Toweneley stud was at Root Farm. The Towneleys' agent and patron of St Hubert's, Richard Eastwood, is entombed outside the front entrance to the church.

In 1992, British Telecom installed its 100,000th payphone at Dunsop Bridge and included a plaque to explain its significance - the plaque reads "You are calling from the BT payphone that marks the centre of Great Britain." The telephone box was unveiled by Sir Ranulph Feinnes.

 Pronounced Man and Wife
Just Married
The service was beautiful and the church was crammed full, as there were a lot of guests and it's tiny.

 Rachel & Dean outside the church

After photographs at the church we boarded the coach again to be taken to the venue for the reception, Browsholme Hall in Clitheroe, where we were greeted with a glass of champagne in the Tithe Barn before walking up to the hall for more photographs. The Hall is an Elizabethan House claimed to be the oldest surviving family home in Lancashire. Since 1954, it has been designated a Grade I listed building. You can read more about it here.

 Rachel and Dean

 Bridesmaids and Bride's Mother (my granddaughter Gracie the little one in the centre)

Emma (on the left), Rachel's sister, chief bridesmaid

 Father (my eldest brother) and Mother of the Bride

 Youngest son and his family
 My family
 After the photocall it was time to walk back down to the Tithe Barn for canapes and another drink before the reception.   The venue was beautifully decorated.

We took our seats and listened to the entertaining and moving speeches.

Father of the Bride making his speech

 Rachel and Dean relaxing

We had a superb meal after which Rachel and Dean cut the cake.

After the meal we retired to an ante room whilst the staff cleared the remnants of the reception and prepared it for the evening.    There was a singer entertaining us and we took some candid shots of the family enjoying themselves.

Eldest grandson Sam

 Eldest Son and MWM
Nick and Dan, our two sons

Me and MWM
 Gracie, Sam and Alison (my DIL)

 Me & Nick
 Me with my baby brothers, Tony & Stewart

We were soon able to  go back into the reception room where Rachel and Dean had the first dance
before everyone else joined in and we were able to take some more photographs of the rest of the family.

 My youngest brother, Stewart, middle child Lauren and his wife, Karen
 My youngest brother's children, Bradley, Lauren and Kirsty
Cousins Lauren, Emma and Kirsty
Liam (the bride's brother) and his friend
Nate, our youngest grandson, and his Mum, Fiona
Harry and Kai (grandsons) enjoying a coke

Rachel and Dean have been together since they were 15 years old, nine years to be exact, they met at school. The wedding had been two years in the planning, I hope you enjoyed seeing my family enjoying a   very special day.