Sunday 28 December 2014

December 2014.....

Before the end of this year I must apologise for my absence from blogging.   I have been so very busy!

I had every intention of writing part 3 of our America/Canada trip but got caught up in organising a campaign to try to get a vital screening service reinstated to our local clinic!     It is still ongoing, so I can't say too much, but suffice to say I think we are getting somewhere with it and I will write about it fully once the situation is resolved.

In the meantime, besides organising Christmas I was also organising a party for our family and friends to help MWM and I celebrate our Ruby Wedding Anniversary on 7th December, which was our actual anniversary date but we had the party on 6th.   We thought 40 years together was worth celebrating and could think of no better way that gathering family and friends.

We hired a room at a local social club, booked caterers, a DJ and a live band, had an anniversary cake made by a local baker, had the room decorated with balloons, banners and etc and just hoped everyone would be able to turn up.  

Here's some photos from the evening.

The Cake

The married long time couple
Guests: MIL and her friend
 Our youngest son Daniel and his two sons, Kai and Nate
Eldest son Nick and his wife Alison
DIL Alison, her Mum and our granddaughter Gracie
 My eldest brother and his family
 My youngest brother and his family

Old friends

 The children eagerly awaiting the announcement that the buffet was open!
The band - Mr Bifter
Our five gorgeous grandchildren, from left to right and in age order, youngest first,  Nate, Gracie, Harry, Kai and Sam, just before they each presented us with a red rose each!
Guests having a good time.

 The childen doing Gangnam Style!

 Dancing round the handbags like in the 60's! 

Everyone had a wonderful time, as did we, it was so lovely having everyone together in one place.

Now Christmas is all but done, we are busy packing for a few days away over new year with some friends.  We leave on Tuesday and get back on Friday, it's just a short package for a hotel stay in the south of England, with a gala dinner on NYE and a day trip to Brighton - a complete change to what we usually do.

I'll tell you all about it when we get back and promise to continue with the America/Canada trip and will, eventually, get round to posting about the trip to Italy we made in May.   Such a lot to catch up on!

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

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.