Monday, 26 January 2015

It's Monday

Various Mondays in January have been given the title of Blue Monday -  one of the most depressing days of the year.   But today there is a way to combat depression and stress because it is

Or, to be more precise, Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. The last Monday of January was designated as Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day after a radio station in Bloomington, Indiana received a shipment of microphones wrapped in bubble wrap, which, after being unwrapped and installed, inadvertently broadcast the sound of their wrappings being popped.

There are, of course, many uses for bubble wrap - 

(the above picture can be enlarged by clicking on it).

Then there is the Fairy outfit -

 or straightforward dresses -

Or bridal outfits - 

If you are an obsessive compulsive popper you can always buy a key-ring accessory that feels like and sounds like bubble wrap but never runs out and makes a different weird sound one very hundredth pop.

Ignore Blue Mondays,  have a popping good day...

Friday, 23 January 2015

The Snowdrop Walk - Norton Priory - Feb 7th

The Snowdrop Walk is a special day to remember the babies and children who have died and the children who are bereaved each year. 

On 7th February 2015 Norton Priory will open the stunning Walled Garden between 12 noon and 4pm, exclusively for Child Bereavement UK.  It will be available for you to explore at your leisure with the addition of a children's Treasure Hunt where they receive a fun-filled goody bag at the end.

Snowdrops are available for purchase on the day and charity staff and volunteers will be on hand to help with the planting at a dedicated area within Norton Priory.

Refreshments will be available from the traditional Straw Bale building.

Booking isn't required, please just turn up on the day between 12pm and 4pm.

Entrance fee is £2.50 Adult, £1.50 Children & Concessions, Under 3's are FREE

Less than 30 minutes by car from Chester, Liverpool and Manchester. From M56, jct 11 turn for Warrington and follow the Norton Priory signs. From all other directions follow the "All other Runcorn Traffic" and then the Norton Priory Signs.

Norton Priory Museum & Gardens, Tudor Road, Manor Park, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 1SX
Tel: 01928 569895

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Winnie the Pooh Day

On 18th January 1882, the creator of Winnie the Pooh was born.  AA Milne has created many children's characters and is the author of many books.  Now, every year Pooh Bear is celebrated on the day of the author's birth.  Milne's most famous creation springs to life along with Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger and don't forget Christopher Robin!

With his caring nature the oh-so-loveable old bear appeals to all ages. Who could resist a bear that utters the words "If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you." It just makes you melt inside!

(My favourite character is Eeyore - I wonder if we'll ever have an Eeyore Day.  'Doubt it," said Eeyore.)

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

And that was 2014

What’s in a Name?

People in our family have been living with names I gave them over a decade ago.  We have decided that some of them need updating or made more appropriate and into titles that better reflect current interests and skills and philosophies of life.  Unfortunately no one has actually come up with a new name as yet.  So I have decided to give them each a temporary new name and see if they can suggest better.

These new names will become apparent over the next few blog postings.  And for a few postings I’ll give both the old and new names to help avoid confusion.  

What’s been going on…

We opened our presents on Christmas morning.   Son-who-watches-films (hereinafter known as The Chef) got quite a few DVDs and BluRays and we also (rather cruelly) gave him this puzzle.  There is a ball inside it and you have to get the ball out and then reassemble it.  

I had a try and after looking at the solution I knew the theory but hadn’t a clue how to do it in practice.

Washington looked over my shoulder but wasn’t much help.

Partner-who-loves-tea (hereinafter to be known as Partner-who-tends-minds) received some jewellery including a blue topaz ring, and amber ring and bracelets of crystal and aqua aura.

My presents included a lot of books and notebooks (no surprise there) and this super post box.

It goes well with my postbox collection which, you will notice, includes a US postbox thanks to Friend-über-special.

But an even bigger present was the announcement a few days later that Partner-who-tends-minds was prepared to agree to getting another cat.  (She would prefer a dog and has been against the idea of getting a cat since Ivy disappeared.  The death of a pet is bad enough but Ivy’s disappearance and the subsequent search and worry about her proved even more upsetting.)   So after the holiday period has died down we shall be off to the shelters to see which cat or kitten was made for us.

The Chef cooked Christmas dinner (leg of lamb) and it was as beautifully cooked as usual. 

It was only after I’d taken this photo that I thought about all the beautiful gravy boats and tureens that we have and here we are serving the gravy (two different types) in measuring jugs. 

On Boxing Day it rained heavily for much of the day but then around 4 pm it started to snow.  “It won’t stick on this wet ground,” I said, authoritatively.  

 The snow didn’t hear me.  And this was the scene twenty four minutes later.

The next day Elder-Daughter (formerly Daughter-who-likes-food) and Computer-and-Railway-Guy (formerly Son-in-law-who-cooks) called in and we swapped presents.  Elder-Daughter wore a super Polar Bear jumper – it even had a tail!

One of my Christmas present books, “When Findus was Little and Disappeared”, proved popular.

Three days later Daughter-who-Cares-for-the-Cosmos (formerly Daughter-who-takes-photographs) and Friend-and-Son-in-law=who-Clears-the-Clouds (formerly Friend-and-son-in-law-who-loves-otters) arrived.  

Oh goody – more present swapping.

And even the postman was in a good mood, delivering seven postcards. 

On New Years Eve we lit the fire in the living room and listened to Queen (as opposed to The Queen who was on Christmas Day).   

Big Ben struck twelve and 2014 was over…

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Happy Christmas

 Good morning and a Happy Christmas!

The dinner is prepared and the meat in the oven.  Presents will shortly be opened.  
This year our preparations have been in two stages.  An early beginning when I was well ahead of where I needed to be and then (because of a spell in bed) a last minute panic.  The cards got sent out on the day of Royal Mail's deadline at the weekend.  On Tuesday Partner-who-loves-tea and I went to the three local supermarkets (Aldi, Tesco, and Sainsburys) and bought them.  I don't mean that we made purchases - I mean we bought them.  Or that is how it seemed.  While in Tesco's we met a friend who has a husband, children and about twelve grandchildren.  In her trolley she had seven items.  Our trolley had splayed wheels because of the weight and was overflowing leaving a trail of items.  There is something wrong when that happens.  A trip to the bank sorted an additional mortgage to pay for it all.   Getting home was OK but to comply with the car's handbook we should really have pumped up the back tyres by a few psi because of the additional weight....  

The tree was late going up but it is there now and the presents are wrapped and safely underneath it.

Doesn't one of our US friends wrap her gifts beautifully - the ones with the big red ribbon. What is in there is hardly important when the attention to wrapping shows such love.

Friend-uber-special sent us a Vintage Shiny-brite for the tree and every year when we put it on we shall think of her and her husband.   

And this year we have also added a Christmas pickle!

In the 1880s Woolworth stores started selling glass ornaments imported from Germany and some were in the shape of various fruit and vegetables. It seems that pickles must have been among the selection!  Around the same time it was claimed that the Christmas Pickle was a very old German tradition and that the pickle was the last ornament hung on the Christmas tree and then the first child to find the pickle got an extra present. However, this seems to be a total myth! Not many people in Germany have even heard of the Christmas Pickle!
There is an equally unlikely story linked to St. Nicholas. It's a medieval tale of two Spanish boys travelling home from a boarding school for the holidays. When they stopped at an inn for the night, the evil innkeeper killed the boys and put them in a pickle barrel. That evening, St. Nicholas stopped at the same inn, found the boys in the barrel and miraculously bought them back to life!  But it is most likely that an ornament salesmen, with a lot of spare pickles to sell, invented the legend of the Christmas Pickle!

It has been such a mild winter so far that the birds are nesting – or at least this one from New Jersey is…

We will have to make such the squirrel doesn’t get the eggs.

We also put up two new decorations that we had bought ourselves.  We usually get one or two new ones each year. 

Lots of Love to you all...

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