Tuesday, 27 December 2011


Christmas at our house follows time-honoured family patterns, with the same decorations and food served year after year. The only unknown, though sometimes guessed at, surprises, are the contents of the carefully wrapped presents. 

We opened a hatbox of goodies from Betty's Cafe, a place where I was taken for afternoon tea by my mother when I was a child. Sometimes my father would come home with a cake box filled with a choice of their deliciously 'continental' little cakes. He always included a custard slice, laden with cream, which was his favourite. Betty's Cafe was started by a Swiss but now also makes a speciality of several Yorkshire recipes.

Very mindful of my current state of health, Wee one had bought me the book from an excellent channel four television series. It is impossible to turn on the t.v. without being assailed by someone or other doing things with food. Mostly the programmes are about indulgence.  Many of the famous names, Delia, Jamie and Nigella seem to be fighting a losing battle with their weight. By contrast with all the rich excesses of the other programmes, the food hospital is quite inspirational, as is the book.

I love nice soap and nowadays there is a marvelous choice. This year I've been given a bar of milk soap from Scotland that feels like a large, smooth pebble in the hand.
I've been hunting for a replacement everyday shoulder bag for some time, so this Tod's bag in a grey/mushroom soft leather was a lovely surprise from one of my daughters.
The Debrett's lady's 2012 diary, with it's flexible cover, will fit comfortably inside the new bag. Although there is plenty of useful information, many of the diary contents are rather ridiculous and  have nothing whatsoever to do with my life; listings for 'the season' are very horse and sport orientated, neither ever having been my thing, and the shopping directory is only to dream of. Plenty of advice is given for Debrett 'ladies', but as a retired old bat I can happily ignore it!

The Chantecaille 'sea turtle palette' eye shadows are beautifully presented and look almost too pretty to use, (The important word here is 'almost') and I've also been given some very useful anti-wrinkle products.

Himself has got some traditional Christmas gifts for men, a box of socks and some jumpers. But look what else - oh, he's a happy, and noisy, man, with a three disc set of Queen  blasting through the house. 
And just to test whether his brain cells are being fried by all the noise, a pocket IQ test, which we haven't yet dared to open!

I hope that you also unwrapped some lovely surprises on Christmas Day.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Winter titfers

Titfer, English rhyming slang
Tit-for-tat,  hat.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, as the song goes.  It's the time of year to cram on a cosy titfer before going out. Wee one was home for the weekend and agreed to model some of my winter hats.

This is an obliging old brown hat that can be crammed into a pocket and pulled out without being much the worse for wear.

This brown one with its large black velvet, lop-sided bow is a real favourite but it doesn't respond too well to casual treatment.

Jaeger cashmere pull-on hat. It has a matching jumper. 

Wee 0ne's hair


I have everyday berets

and a beret with attitude.

Fed up with modeling? I know to call it a day when Wee one starts larking about with the dog!

I, on the other hand, take my hat wearing very seriously!

Ceramic Sunday, Hungarian bowl.

This bowl came from the importer of our Hungarian kitchen dresser and rack. We could not resist buying it because the colour is so joyful. Only the three small marks of a kiln spacer are untouched by the vibrant yellow which its charming random mottling. The bowl sits on our kitchen table and seems the perfect place to keep citrus fruit.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Ceramic Sunday, kitchen shelves

I've been rather remiss in posting ceramic Sundays just lately, so I'm catching up on myself by showing you a couple of shelves of assorted ceramics  from my kitchen dresser. A small doll in a teacup, a favourite postcard, a cardboard container from Barcelona (contents eaten), a motley selection of things. I've never promised that I was tidy, now have I!  
And if these are my shelves, just imagine the state of my brain!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


I'm busy. Busy catching up on all the things that I should have been doing over the last couple of weeks - before I got ill. If you live in England, NEVER be ill at the weekend! Himself got very little sleep, he kept having to get back into his clothes and go down the garden path to wait for an out of hours doctor. What is it about me that I always take a turn for the worse at an ungodly hour? 
Well, this week, my third scan of the year, and, at last, a diagnosis. Didn't I say so at the start? Gallstones, b----- gallstones! Christmas is coming and there will be no chocolate, no pudding or pigs in blankets, no brandy butter for me. Oh, how galling!
So here I am, just sitting quietly and writing the Christmas cards and trying to be good.