Thursday 31 December 2020

Happy New Year

 We are nearing the end of 2020 and for many a relief to welcome in a new year and see the back of this one.   The pandemic has dominated most of the year, along with it restrictions and so many deaths.  The news channel for me has become unbearable, whilst technology has been a lifeline for keeping in touch with family.  This new strain is not what we wanted and seems to be spreading like wildfire, there is no holding it back.  But then we have been given HOPE and a lifeline with not one but two vaccines now available.  I am hopeful that if we can ride out these next few months, the vaccine will be a great help.  We have no real plans for the New Year, taking everything very slowly but it is with a renewed energy that we go into 2021 with HOPE that we will be strengthened by this horrific experience of 2020.

Here's good health to you and yours
And all the joy that luck assures.

Wishing everybody a Happy New Year and everything that you wish for yourself.

Take care and stay safe.

See you soon.

Thursday 24 December 2020

Happy Christmas 2020

A bouquet for all my blogging friends and a wish that you all have a wonderful Christmas wherever you may be.  Best wishes for Christmas and the New year.

See you soon. 

Saturday 19 December 2020

Covid Restrictions Change Again

 My goodness I am watching the BBC channel news as the terrible news is breaking about the rise in Covid cases and the new variant that has evolved.  There has been an alarming spread and as such the relaxation of Christmas rules have now been scrapped.  A stay at home order has been issued for all those in Tier 4.  There will only now be a one day mixing allowed in Tiers 1 to 3.  All the Christmas plans have now had to be scrapped.  My heart goes out to all those affected.  We now await the announcement from the First Minister in Scotland to see what will be happening here.

Thankfully we had no real plans but I do feel for my dear parents who were expecting my brother and sister to call in.  Two of our daughters were getting together for a few hours and now that has got to be scrapped.  So many changes in such a short time.  Lets hope the sacrifices that will have to be made will help.  Hopefully business's will survive this next round of closures and shutdowns.

A batch of soap has been made and some simple lavender bags to add to some Christmas cards that have been delivered today.  Some little doorstep deliveries to hopefully make someone smile.  It has been a difficult year and so I wanted people to know that they were in my thoughts.

Small hampers have been put together and delivered to our neighbours today to thank them for their help and support through the lockdown and this past year.  We are so fortunate to have good neighbours and it is nice to show them how much they are appreciated.

Blogger is playing silly beggars once again the photos are not loading in the order that I want.  Anyway this arrived in the post earlier this week and made us smile.  It certainly sums up this year 2020, toilet paper, hand sanitiser and masks...

Hopefully this will bring some cheer at a time when there is so much doom and gloom.  Where ever you are in the World I do hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and that your plans have not been altered too much.  I intend to remain as positive as I can and find joy in the simplicity of our celebrations this year.  Take care dear friends and stay safe.

See you soon.

Thursday 17 December 2020

Window Displays

 Another trip to Stornoway this morning for a hospital appointment, so I thought it prudent to have a quick look around the town centre.  I wanted to absorb the Christmas decor and appreciate the effort people have made to decorate the shop windows.  It was also nice to pick up one or two little gifts to add to Gerard's stocking sshhhh!

The tree was a delight and I loved the lobster pots around the base.  The trees around the square were also lit up so was a joy to see.

Let me take you on a short stroll around the shops so that you can see the decor.  Every shop has made an effort to decorate and lift our spirits.  Each photo has a reflection but I think that adds to the charm.

I am a great fan of the Harris Tweed shop, they really do stock so many choices of the fabric, it is difficult to choose.

The chemist is also a wonderful gift shop and at this time of year is a such a nice place to walk into and browse, you can always find something to buy.

The bookstore is another store that holds so much more than books so is always good for a trinket for the stocking.

The two windows above are from the charity shop, they are so well done and are a real delight to see.  The tinsel adorning the bodyform making it into a party dress is amazing, with matching dazzling bags and shoes a real temptation on top of the gifts.

Not a big town centre but enough shops to buy the necessities.  I did go to the supermarket and collect as much as I could in readiness for Christmas and as a treat we went to An Lanntair for breakfast.

 I had the pancakes and Gerard had the traditional Scottish, it was very nice.  It was also good to browse the shop and admire some of the local craftmanship.

Christmas will be different this year that goes without saying so it was nice to get out and about for a few hours.  The bonus was we got some fresh air and supported local business's.  A little bit of normality did us the world of good.  It was so nice to finally feel a little festive.

What are you doing to introduce a little bit of festive cheer?

Take care and stay safe.

See you soon.

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Christmas Baking

 I spent the best part of the day in the kitchen yesterday, one of my favourite places to be.  I had Christmas carols and songs playing in the background which made for a great seasonal experience.  The pandemic has made us rethink what is important at this time of year and to this end Christmas has been toned down considerably.  Food will still play an important role so I made a start and enjoyed the process.

Mince pies, sausage rolls and cranberry and walnut scones.

All ready for the freezer to be pulled out when needed.  I also mixed up some cookie dough ready to pull out when we want it.

I went on to make some mini meat loaves, two of which were used for our dinner last night.  They were so tasty and it is a comfort to know that there are more in the freezer.

We had the meatloaf with root vegetable mash, (carrot/swede/parsnip/potato) and kale, it was so tasty.

It is the time of year for hot chocolate so I made some hot chocolate spoons, another one of our traditions.  It is so nice to be a little decadent at this time of year.

Some topped with mini marchmallows, some with crushed candy cane.  I enjoy both...

Whilst the chocolate was out I made some little chocolate gingerbread men and candy canes to use as toppers either for some cupcakes or to use to add to the gingerbread house.  Another tradition, usually made on Christmas eve.

My apologies for the quality of the photos but I think you get the idea of it.  I also had the bread maker going to use a packet bread mix I had in that was nearing its best before date.  We don't usually eat much white bread but it was all I could get when we were in lockdown earlier in the year.

Have you made a start on your baking or do you prefer to buy it all?  There are some great bakeries about I do wonder if it is worth all the effort, but I do enjoy the process.

Thank you all for your visit to the blog and your uplifting comments.  Take care and stay safe.

See you soon.

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Christmas Decorations

 Let me take you through the hall, past the bathroom to our bedroom where the theme continues and both windows have been decorated.

Each piece a treasured memory.  The plate in the centre was the year that Gerard and I met.  We met at the Army Air Corps Centre Middle Wallop in 1979 and got together at the ice skating rink.  The plant belongs to our neighbours who own the sweet cottage next door, we look after it whilst they are away I have added a little Santa to the pot to give it a little festive cheer.

Another window, another display.  The very modern tree is musical and turns.  A precious gift from my parents which holds a much loved collection of glass baubles each depicting the twelve days of Christmas.  There is a very special carausol that also turns and is musical.  The large oblong plate at the back was brought back from a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, where dreams come true.  Such wonderful memories of family holidays with so much fun and laughter.

The bed is dressed ready for the season with some vintage pillowcases and a handcrafted throw.  I also like to display several quilts made over the years on a stand.  A little cluttered but put together with love.  

We have loved our trips to Florida over the years and so we have a treasured collection that is a must to be displayed each year.  A collection of Disney ornaments.  We have also collected quite a few vintage ornaments that we have found on our travels from places such as Mount Dora, we love to go to the festivals that they have there and add to my collections.  The vintage ornaments are usually displayed on the tree.  We have an eclectic mix of colours and styles but the one thing that is a common thread through out them all is the love that has been spread by the buying of them or of the receiving of them when they were given as gifts.  Each ornament is loved and treasured.

The last gift was made and finished yesterday for our dog Mickey.  He is getting older and is starting to feel the cold so I have made hime a Harris Tweed coat to help keep out the cold on his walks and excursions out.

Not sure what happened the photos are not in the order that I put them in but I am sure you get the gist.

I now intend to put together some little hampers to do some doorstep deliveries later in the week.  I have also made some little soaps to pop into cards just to let people know that we are thinking of them.  I have a long list of tasks for the next few days but I am enjoying the process and the joy of the season.

See you soon.

Monday 14 December 2020


Slowly but surely our little cottage is being transformed into a Christmas haven.  I have been adding little bits and pieces each day and moving things around for the perfect look.  There is still a major gap in the decor the TREE.  Unforunately we had a very unwelcome visitor to the attic earlier in the year, a tiny mouse.  Tiny in stature maybe but it did cause a lot of damage to our beloved Christmas tree.  Everything was checked and sorted at the time but as there was no damage to the box we didn't check the tree.  The damage was discovered when we opened the box, it had eaten its way through all of the berries and cones.  I am sure you can imagine the mess.  Consequently we have no tree as yet...

I love a wreath at ay time of the year in all its guises, let me take you on a little tour.

This is the one that greets you if you enter the cottge through the front porch.  Made from an old curtain to match the pelmet made for the window.

Whilst this will welcome you into the kitchen if you enter the cottage via the side porch.  Made from the excess trim from the process of making Harris Tweed.

In the bedroom I have one hanging from a cupboard made from scraps of Harriws Tweed.  The second one is a momento from our daughters wedding, crocheted with love.

I enjoy the process of making them and using different materials to experiement with texture and style.  Here are the three hanging in the main room of the cottage.

Each one a fun make and adding to the ambience of our home.  The final wreath today is one that was made for the table an Advent wreath.

Each Sunday, we celebrate Advent by enjoying afternoon tea together and focus on the lighting of the candles.  This week I made some very tasty cupcakes using a tradional sponge mix and then adding mincemeat.  The topping is a cinnammon icing with a pecan, the other one a grated peel and the juice of a clemantine.  The taste of Christas in a mouthful.

Bark was made using plain, milk and white chocolate topped with dried fruit and nuts with some broken candy canes.  Very tasty and a great addition to the orange and cranberry trifle.  It is a tradition that has been passed on to our daughters who now in turn enjoy the process with their own children.  I love that family traditions are passed down through the generations.  Have you any traditions that have been passed on?

Christmas is fast approaching and I am enjoying each and every moment.

Take care and stay safe.

See you soon.