Monday, 21 January 2013

New Year

So, after munching my way through at least 84 mince pies, slurping more than 31 gin and tonics, and showing my cellulite that I just don't care by troughing my own (considerable) weight in Quality Streets and Roses, it's been a long time coming to get back on track.

But I can't be bothered. It's too cold out there and we need to fatten up through the winter to stay warm - that's what I tell myself when I reach for the Tunnocks...(again).

I haven't blogged for a whole month. I've never been away from it for so long. I've just found myself being very busy in other ways I guess and haven't had the urge.

So, by way of update:

Christmas came and went in a flash at my parents. My brother and sister in law were over from Chicago so it was particularly special.

Christmas Eve kicked off as usual with carols at the church
where my parents and then the Husband and I got married.

Much resting aplenty

Someone was thrilled with their gift!

This little chap became a talking point

We all ate well and were thankful for it

The Husband schmoozing with my sister and sister-in-law

I was happy as Larry with life's simple pleasures...

My beautiful mum and bro in law

Too much cake and tins stuffed with mince pies

Deciding what to watch each night

We played games. I lost...every time

We walked off the turkey
 Then we returned home and went straight to see the sea. I didn't realise how much I missed it until we were back.

Last week you could tell the snow was coming
 And indeed the snow did come! And lots of it too! We found an amazing place to go sledging. I had a fair few goes and only fell off once (in a skirt......slightly awkward for those in front of me)

Brand new hat from the cherry tree shop. £1.50!

We are lucky to live a few minutes' walk from one of the oldest villages in Britain. It was stunning in the snow.

Our street
Now things are very busy in the house. The husband has managed to cover the ENTIRE house in dust, from electrically sanding the lounge walls. I could have cried when I saw it. The whole house looked like it was covered in smoke.

Despite opening the windows and shutting the lounge door, the dust has still escaped and settled everywhere. I am more breathless than Meg Ryan...and not in a good way.

The Husband looked like one of the men in E.T.

Look at the air. Now feel my pain.
(Can I point out those testers on the wall are NOT our choices! We uncovered them!)

I suffer from chronic asthma (only diagnosed about six years ago) and am now suffering as a result of the dust. So here are my trusty weapons which I am using daily again.

I'm all about the glamour, see?

So while the Husband is ruining my home, and both the hoover and shower have chosen to pack in, I can hardly quit the chocolate now can I?

Mind you, I am keeping busy with my new friend Annie Sloan, although it's fair to say I am not a natural painter. I am also really into reading again and trying to get early nights, and baking for Cake Friday (where my friends and I get together for cake and gossip) which is probably why my blog is on the back burner a little.

Onto my main hobby in life, I'm hoping the cake stand in the cherry shop that I have been coveting since before Christmas is still in the window unsold on Thursday morning. If it is, the lady said I can have it for half price. Think she is sick of me popping in to look at it.....I'm like a broken record.


Shingle Cottage said...

Oh look we use the same asthma medication purple and blue stuff ;) its a nightmare around dust isn't it Gem? i have had to wear masks and run outside for fresh air a lot while we were working on our cottage,a puff of blue stuff and some honey in a cup of tea for you i think x
Loved your family pictures and the wee ones in the snow,just beautiful x
ps good luck with the cake stand x

Kylie said...

Hi Gem, you're so lovely and funny. Glad to read I'm not the only one out there with the dreaded 'C' (ha!) and that you had a lovely Chrissy with your family. For goodness sake, put the "Cherry Tree" ladies out of their misery and buy that cake stand! Like the sound of cake Friday - might have to copy. We're living in a reno dust bowl too. Horrible. Take care x

sandiart said...

I have been wondering where the heck you got to, am glad it was a happy place (apart from sanded walls) I was lucky to get to the beach for two days over the Christmas break and it was HEAVEN, my body was singing in the sun and sea water, apart from the fact it was over 40 deg, my body loves sea water and sea air. But it all seems like a dream now. Lovely snow, says she sitting in a cami and shorts at 10.47pm...
xx Sandi

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I HAVE MISSED YOU SO MUCH and here you are.

WHere do I begin my dear, but from the beginning here. You had FUN. FUN FUN FUN, and that is what the holidays are all about! EAT and be merry with all the fabulous people you love. What an absolute joy to see your children so happy in the snow, and in an English village to boot! Your hearth, OMG, so warm. Your mum, sisters, the husband covered in dust, this is what it is all about. Oh dear, I am sorry you have developed asthma! I may have had a short bout with it waaaaaaaay back when I lived in California, but the spring out there is wickedly aggressive in attacking my nasal passages and lungs!

It is a comforting joy to see your writing again. AND I believe that you and I both are on the very same quest for a cake stand. I have been watching TOO MUCH DOWNTON ABBY; there was a scene from Lady Edith's would-be wedding where the servants are carrying her cake on a FANTASTIC SILVER cake stand with little feet. I MUST HAVE ONE. I MUST!

Carry on today my dear, knowing that you made ME very happy to see your face today. LOVE ! Anita

thriftwood said...

Hello Gem, lovely to have you back and Happy New Year, my dear!

Looks like you had a fab time, and I really sympathise about the dust, sounds awful.

Good luck with the cake stand, and welcome back!

Love, Claire xxx

Marina said...

Hi Gem, oh what a lovely post as usual - so glad you're back, i've missed you! Oh and thank you for the comment you left on my blog earlier too.
I’ve been the same really with blogging of late, I’ve only written two posts since November which is unusual for me, but I’m finding it hard to get back in to it, mainly due to how busy we’ve been in the last few months what with the house move and Christmas, but it’s frustrated me that I haven’t been able to document it all quite so much as I’d have liked via my blog. Anyway never mind, I’m getting back in to it slowly, I too have eaten waaaaay too many mincepies, chocolates and Christmas cake - in fact I’m still getting through the chocolates now! Well what a lovely Christmas you have had, the Princess looks absolutely thrilled with her prezzie that’s a great photo, and I especially love the snowy pics; what a beautiful village! Oh dear I really do feel your pain with the dust! Your beautiful house - I would have felt like crying too – though I had to laugh at the picture of your husband lol,
Fingers crossed the cake stand is still there on Thursday!! Keep us posted! Marina xx

Jay said...

Good to have you back! What a lovely catch up this post was with great photo's. Enjoy the snow while it lasts, we're due a little more tonight so I'm told then it will all be gone!

Nelly B-K said...

Enjoyed that round up. I find I struggle to blog as much recently too, but even if not as often it is always nice to have a record of your last month I think. Loving the Christmas photos, you can fully feel the lovely time u had through reading about it!

Julia said...

Yay your back Gem! I have missed your posts, please don't leave it so long to your next one! What a fab catch up post, I think we all ate our own weight in chocolate over Christmas and we still have more to consume. Good luck with the decorating :0) xx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...


How nice to see you this morning at my blog! WONDERFUL! Oh my dear, I so hope that dust settles soon in YOUR new home! We had so much of that two years ago when they added two new rooms to the house. I seemed to have a wicked cough for months long after that work was done!

Thank you for enjoying the images on my post. The little fox is quite darling, isn't it? We have several of them here in our neighborhood as well as wild turkeys, rabbits, hawks, racoons AND in the neighboring CITY, BEARS IN THE TREES!!!!!!!! One must be cautious even in the city!

Well my dear, I wish you a wonderful HUNT for that cake stand (wish me luck too!) and share when you find it! SOOO GOOD to see you back. Much love, Anita

moleymakes said...

Lovely to hear from you Gem. I totally hear where you're coming from re the food. I need to lose a bit of weight but I know that it's pretty pointless till the warmer weather comes along. We need lots of food, I mean fuel, to keep warm.

Bummer about all that dust everywhere :(

Cuckoo said...

Bloody asthma. It's hell in this cold weather, I feel as though I have a cup of water in my lungs every time I go out side and them back in. You poor thing with all that dust. It'll be worth it though.

Your Christmas looked gorgeous. I love that pic of the Princess opening her gift. She looks more and more like you.

I put on over a stone this Christmas! I cannot believe how well I did. Man, I enjoyed troughing but the pinchy clothes are bugging me now.

Cake Friday sounds amazing though. I must banish that from my mind, I do not need cake right now!

So about dates. Any part of the last two weeks in August is great. But surely we can manage a weekend prior to that? That's 8 months away!!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...


How fun and wonderful to see you came by to visit me!

DEAREST, YOU MUST go to Etsy. If you have a fetish for vintage books and such, then just go to Etsy and select this category. You will find some fun things, I assure you!

AND YES....full-time teaching is best on the back burner for me these days! I am substitute teaching now and it is great. I can choose a job offer or decline, and no headaches about meetings or grading and I can be home at a good hour. So yes, this is a time of discovery to help me figure out how I can make a little supportive sure is NOT easy and probably never will be. But I am trying.

THANK YOU for visiting and hugs to you! Anita

fi said...

I am a new mum and also a cherry tree devotee and just wanted to say I love reading your posts, what a lovely positive personality you have and a lovely little life created for your gorgeous family. I love to read all about it, it always cheers me up and inspires me x