Saturday, 31 December 2016

A Quick Christmas round-up and some Cat News

Hello Dear Peeps!
We're back home after spending 10 days in the UK - I took my camera, but took no photos!

We drove through France - two hours on Sunday evening, after the Carol service, up to Bourges, where we stayed in a Campanile hotel, and then the rest of the journey on Monday. Mr FD had booked us into the "Club Lounge" on the boat, which was very pleasant....calm and quiet, with complementary champagne, nibbles, tea and coffee. We arrived at MiL's house just after 5 o'clock.

We were due to drive to Milton Keynes, where we used to live, on Tuesday, to stay with some friends, but during Monday evening, Garyt texted to tell me that they'd had some bad news and were unable to put us up. We were disapponted, but understood. Luckily, we were able to stay with ML another night, so we went into Canterbury to do some shopping, then on Tuesday evening wnt to see the film "A United Kingdom", which was excellent.

I would definitely recommend seeing it if you get the chance.

On Wednesday we drove up to Liverpool, and arried at mum's around 4 o'clock. It was lovely to see her, and we had a relaxing few days with her...Some more shopping in Liverpool, going to see her neighbours for a lovely meal (They really went overboard with the Christmas decorations - snow laden village, 10 foot Christmas tree with a train running round it, giant baubles, Christmas themed teddy bears - the lot! They don't have children!) I also visited my 93 year old "aunty" Dorothy with mum. I remember when Dorothy and her friend Kathleen would come to our house a week before Christmas to decorate the Christmas cake with beautifully piped royal icing. Mum would bake an amazing cake but wasn't good at decorating it. In later years, Kathleen had MS, and was wheelchair bound, but she & Dorothy would still come to "do" the cake. I think that was the start of the celebrations for me!

We had a quiet Christmas day, with our meal spread out through the day - Church, followed by smoked salmon and a good Macon wine. A walk and then Mr FD cooked the main course - roast beef, yorkshires, potatoes, broccoli, butternut squash and parsnips. Lovely! We had cheese after Doctor Who, and Pannetone Pudding with the Baby Wranglers ("Call the Midwife"!)

During Boxing Day we drove back down to Kent, and stayed a couple more nights at MiL's, this time with Mr FD's brother, his wife & son there as well. A bit more shopping (a gift exchange in the Sales meant I was able to get a pair of jeans, a handbag and a jumper in exchange for a wrap, of which I received two this year!) and more delicious food and wine! On 28th we crossed back over the Channel and arrived home on Wednesday evening. The house was cold!! Both our neighbours (the school and the hotel) are closed so we have no heat from either side, plus we'd been absent for ten days. The cats were very pleased to see us and shared our bed!

Yesterday evening we went to friends for apèros and lots of nibbles, and tonight we have a meal of smoked salmon, followed by duckling in morille sauce, and Buche de Noel (courtesy of the Boulangerie)
 We will probably watch a film and go to bed before midnight.

But our big news is this boy:

You can read about him over at The Teapot - we have called him Jasper, but we don't know if he'll be staying, as it depends on whether we find his owners or not. It certainly seems that he's a domesticated cat, but whether he's been abandoned or lost we don't know. We've put up adverts saying he's been found, so we are waiting to see if we get any response.

Millie, Bib and Pomme aren't really sure about him, but most meetings so far have been reasonably polite - a little bad language but no fisticuffs.

I direct all my dear readers of this blog over to The Teapot (again!) for my New Year's greetings. Let's hope that 2017 is a peaceful year, and full of joyand blessing for us all.

But, whatever 2017 may bring us, remember that God has promised that He is always with us:

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Christmas Greetings

Here is a Happy Christmas video for you Cat lovers to enjoy!

And I wish all of my lovely Readers a very happy Christmas. I'm not sure I'll be posting now until after we get back from the UK, so I do hope that you all enjoy your time over Christmas.

May God bless you.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Apologies - again!

Hello my lovely Peeps! I am sorry to have left you hanging with no blog post for over two weeks! How rude of me!

 (Haven't decorated yet! Eep!)

The bathroom is still unfinished, but it is usable. And it is very nice (if you don't look too closely at the finishing off!) We've bought a few new accessories (including the world's most expensive bin!) and we do like it...Hopefully it will be finished soon. We're a tad pissed off as we have to finish stuff off ourselves that we would have expected the builder to do (But it's not on the devis!)

In fact Mr FD had a minor painting disaster today - he was priming the wooden battens that are going to be added to the top of the tiles and the join between wall and ceiling, when Bib, the inquisitive cat, managed to knock over the tin of primer, all over herself, the floor and various other places. Scared witless, she then scooted all round the house, leaving paint-y paw marks everywhere! Mr FD managed to catch her and took her into the shower for a good wash before she could ingest too much of it trying to clean herself! I'm sorry I missed it!!

We're off to the UK for Christmas...So there won't be any posts for a while. I'll try to post next weekend - maybe with a picture of the finished bathroom!!

If you would like some quietly meditative Christmas music, I would definitely recommend this concert by Sting from Durham Cathedral, in 2009. I have had it playing gently in the background while I have been blogging.

If you'd like to read about my Advent Challenges you can go to The Teapot

Food-wise nothing exciting has been happening - except I bought a Christmas ham in Ikea today (it's really hard to find proper gammon-ham here) which I will roast tomorrow - when it's defrosted. Then we'll be having ham for a couple of meals this week. Nom-nom.

TODAY: Pork steaks in a kind-of ratatouille-y sauce, pasta.

MONDAY: Ham, chips, and HM coleslaw.

TUESDAY: Probably out for dinner.We are thinking about going to see "Arrival" in the cinema in Clermont, so we'll eat out somewhere.

WEDNESDAY: It's the Dance group Christmas party so I'm not eating at home. I will maybe buy some liver for Mr FD. Yuckity-yuck!

THURSDAY: Ham and mushrooms in sauce, rice.

FRIDAY: Something from the freezer - I think there's some meatballs in there to have with a sauce and pasta.

SATURDAY: Something that uses up the bits that are around before we go to the UK.

SUNDAY: We'll have lunch - probably a steak & chips - as Mr FD is coming to the Service of 9 Lessons & Carols inthe evening, and then we're going to travel on to Bourges from there. This will save us coming home and then getting up dead early on Monday to set off for the UK. We'll have a sandwich tea between choir rehearsal and the service before leaving after the event itself (there'll be some mulled wine and mince pies afterwards, but we thought we'd have a couple of sandwiches)

We'll miss seeing our lovely kitties for that night, but it can't be helped.... After George's escape we're not letting them out on the balcony while we're away. Our friend Alison will pop in to feed them, and she'll also bring her daughter to play with them from time to time.