Friday 31 December 2021


Farewell 2021!!

 Despite everything it's been a good year! 

From lockdown at the start of the year, the vaccine rolled out and life began to return to a more normal existence! Jeff and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary with a trip to Greece and a home grown display of sunflowers. Sophie got a job for after her final year and Sam got into his University of choice! Granny celebrated her 98th birthday in late July but sadly passed away a few weeks later. 
My fig tree produced over 70 figs!! We where allowed back into theatre's and could enjoy live music again. Sophie and Sam regained their independence, at Reading and Cardiff universities in September. So although we sadly lost Granny, we also had much to celebrate. 













Here's hoping 2022 is a good year too xx 


Jeff  met up with his side of the family just before Christmas. I was working but Sam and Sophie went over after Sam had finished work, to see their cousins. Usually an annual gathering but one that hadn't happened for the past two years.

Yesterday was all about family! My Mum and Dad haven't been up to our house since their Golden Wedding Anniversary in April 2019, partly due to Covid but also their commitment to looking after Granny, so it was lovely to all be together.

I set the table the night before....

....found all the treats I'd squirreled away!

I tried to make my life easy, 
Greek flatbreads, tzatziki, chicken, med veg, roasted mini potatoes, olives ....

.... a help yourself lunch!

Mum and dad got here first. This was the first drive they'd done out of Cornwall in over two years. I was worried, Dad is now in his mid 70's but he took it slow and all was fine.

Me and my Mum.
Annoyingly I didn't take hardly any photo's, was too busy.

Pud was Pavlova!

I've not made one in years....

...and Jo made a chocolate log x

Of course we missed Granny x
We talked and joked and reminisced. 
She lived a good life to the grand old age of 98, I miss her terribly but she'll always be here in spirit  and as we enter a new year, I will always look back on our times together fondly.

Thursday 30 December 2021


The 'Breakfast Bag' came about because the kids just wanted money for Christmas, Jeff and I didn't want anything! We didn't want to waste money just buying things to have under the tree to open, which then often went to the charity shop further down the line and no one needed the stress of trying to think of what to buy for each other just for the sake of it!.

Last year we had a £5 and a £10 category, this year just a £10 category as Sam has no money!!

So we came up with 4 categories
1* socks/accessories
2* drink/alcohol
3* food/chocolate
4* game/puzzle

We each got a category, lucky dip style and then you buy something for everyone, including yourself, so a maximum £40 spend, wrap it in the same paper and pop it in the named bag.

Come Christmas day, we open up everything in rounds. Someone chooses something to open, we all find the gift in the corresponding paper and open it all at the same time. It makes it fun to guess who had to buy each round!

We then don't buy anything else for each other, the kids get the money they really want but we still have fun opening a few gifts that haven't cost a fortune, have required a little thought but we will use/eat without lots of waste.

This will be our 3rd year, called the 'Breakfast Bag' because Sam can't wait to open presents, often at the breakfast table!! We tend to open a few rounds at breakfast, a few mid lunch and then a few late afternoon. It works for us and takes a lot of stress, hassle and waste of money out of Christmas gift buying xx

Our four £10 categories were

1* puzzles/games
2* drink/alcohol
3* food/chocolate
4* socks/accessories

We each picked one lucky dip style!

Jeff pulled out puzzles.....

 I got drinks/alcohol - I got Jeff a Greek beer and the promise of chocolate milk and orange juice with bits in! He's still a big kid, would have happily received a bottle of diet coke!! I of course treated myself to coffee! Sophie a cocktail shaker as she loves cocktails and Sam this whiskey selection box, mainly for the glass!!

Sophie food and chocolate....... she split hers in to two rounds!

And Sam socks!

Jeff did a few extra rounds. 

His main 'lucky dip round' was puzzles/games! 

He then bought everyone a book. 
I want to learn sign language as we have two deaf colleagues at work, so my book was a perfect choice.

He also bought us each a magazine.
My magazine has a great article on Naples, our next adventure destination.....

And his plant round! I love Spring bulbs. 
As soon as the Christmas decorations come down, I fill the house with bulbs and Spring flowers, so perfect gifts!

I always do a few extra rounds but nothing wasteful! 

A kitchen utensil round!

 A room diffuser (£1 each in Tesco's) and a small tub of  Pringles each!

Had to have a mushroom round ❤️🍄❤️ Jeff coconut mushrooms, me a lovely ceramic toadstool pair, Sophie tree decorations and Sam a kit to grow your own mushrooms!!

We then had a serviette round.....

......and a tea towel round.....



..... and scratchcards!

And finally a jigsaw puzzle round. I thought everyone would love a puzzle of me. 

I broke up the puzzles into a bag each. We then had a race to see who could complete the puzzle the fastest, with the winner getting another puzzle!!

They were under 100 pieces, was a great thing to do between the main meal and pud x

So that was our Christmas to each other, a stress free, low cost but fun gift sharing way we do Christmas. Need to start jotting down any new and different categories for next year, as and when I think of something xx