Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Days thirty and thirty one

Wishing every one a happy New Year!

Reviewing last year, I decided against knitting the advent wreath as it would be in use a very short time. I did complete NaPoWriMo  and really enjoyed trying all the poetry prompts. Declutter month was a success as was writing an epic poem and knitting endeavours. I reviewed 100 free e books,to be continued next year. To finish my 52 genres by the end of February is my plan.

Website favourites this year

Alpha bear
You food
Fifteen minutes of fiction
Podcast coffee break French

Blog ideas
 Jan   Foodie fortnight
 Jan/ Feb    52 genres completed / free e books continued
March     garden journal
April NaPoWriMo
May Photo blog
June  Postcrossing A to Z continued
July  Free e books
August  A month of bloglists

Daily December Diary

Day twenty nine

Finished season four!

Four of these beautiful birds visited today

Daily December Diary

Day twenty eight

Still in hibernation mode! Discarded a large amount of very old wrapping paper and Christmas cards for recycling as my husband pointed out I buy more each year. Plan to use remaining wrapping paper before buying any next year! Watched eight more episodes of 24!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Day twenty seven

Snowdrops in the garden, a robin luxuriating in the birdbath. Springlike temperatures but such a grey day. Perfect for watching four episodes of 24 season four which I've had for two years but haven't watched yet. Also did the ironing I didn't do yesterday. Reading a thriller too.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Day twenty six

A lie in this morning. A lull following yesterdays festivities. Watched Nativity 2 , a very silly but enjoyable Christmas film, reading The Orchid tree and some ironing was done.

Daily December Diary

Day twenty five

Christmas lunch cooked by my daughter and her boyfriend was delicious.My son did the washing up. We provided Christmas cake and crackers. Opening of presents was followed by playing a complicated but fun Japanese board game involving a gardener, a bamboo eating panda, plots needing irrigation and various weather conditions and a series of complex objectives to complete to win the game!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Day twenty four

Our son working a half day from home. Still knitting but should finish in time. On returning from the local shops we met a bus driven by Santa! Written a poem and wrapping  presents.  Salmon scramble and chocolate Baileys on the menu for this evening.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Day twenty three

Last minute food shop. Despite going early still very busy. Hand delivered remaining Christmas cards. Ironing and knitting and Indiana Jones!

Daily December Diary

Day twenty two

An hour of Zumba gold  followed by a pre Christmas meal at a local pub. Enjoyable catch up.

Daily December Diary

Day twenty one

Day of recovery. Reading, knitting, one more scarf to finish! Watched The Borrowers and enjoyed it. Son home after work so help to eat up left overs.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Day twenty

Spent the morning cooking!

Fruit salad with honey lime dressing- recipe found on Pinterest, simple and delicious
Vegetable chilli- found online Jamie Oliver
Chinese style pork and eggs- a frequently cooked favourite
Mulled wine- an amalgam of online recipes
Chicken curry- again frequently cooked with many variations
Steamed salmon with ginger and spring onions- sister in law
Coconut seafood soup- Malaysian online
mango salad- Malaysian online
mango and raspberry crumble with coconut- Ken Hom

My daughter made pumpkin pie

A fun afternoon eating, chatting and playing a board game - Ticket to Ride. My daughter and I won!
My lovely husband did most of the washing up!

Daily December Diary

Day nineteen

Morning spent wrapping presents.
 This very cute pop up card arrived in the post
then made acar, a Malaysian vegetable pickle using an amalgam of several recipes and omitting garlic as my sister is allergic. Also spent some time rearranging furniture and clearing clutter!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Day eighteen
A big shop complete with list to buy ingredients for my big cook and a few basics for us to eat! An email from Germany last night with photos of their Advent window and a description of their village local Christmas custom. Heartwarming to read about cultural traditions in this festive season. This afternoon, the ironing I didn't do yesterday as planned, and a massive sewing up session.
three beanies
a cowl/ear warmer and mini bag
two scarves, so wrapping and cooking on the menu tomorrow.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Day seventeen

Choir and concert review. The difficult pieces-- Blest pair of sirens and Sing, we sang well.  We were tiring through the Sinatra medleys and  The Stable carol at the end had many wrong notes but was carried through by our joie de vivre!  Music was returned, new music collected and we sang for a shortened time ending with John Rutter's beautiful Christmas lullaby. Cards exchanged, chat and a mince pie. After lunch more ironing, knitting and a shopping list  to make of all I need, to cook on Sunday.
Our Christmas card garland is full , so any new cards will adorn the stair rails.

Daily December Diary

Day sixteen

Ironing, new load of washing on so ever more to do. Knitting, one cowl and one beanie to complete and sew up before Sunday. Blogging, two entries. Emailing my German penfriend to confirm a letter is at last winging its way to her hopefully.Cooking more dishes as my son is home this evening. Sorting old music to be returned, old music to sing again, a book borrowed to be returned, Christmas cards to be distributed in choir tomorrow. Watching television and chatting too!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Day fifteen

Wrapped two parcels for my niece and stamped my Christmas cards. Used my remaining second class stamps from last Christmas too!! Finished writing ones for hand delivery. Another trip to the post office and to the local shop too. Relaxing, watched a Christmas film Nativity which I've seen before but still enjoyed and played a few games of Alpha bear, a very addictive word game. Currently on level six.

Daily December Diary

Day fourteen

Slept later than usual but made it in time to my Monday singing group. Our hostess had a throat lurgy and isolated herself in the conservatory so we didn't catch it. She still provided home made rock cakes! Singing was fun,a selection of  seasonal songs. After lunch, a trip to the post office to send my letter to Germany and card for Spain. Slightly disconcerted to be told there were no more second class stamps so had to buy some first class stamps for U.K. cards. A way to make extra money?? The post brought a lovely long Christmas letter from my cousin, and a welcome long email was received from my aunty whose last email I haven't yet replied to!!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Day thirteen

Morning spent writing Christmas cards. After an early lunch I collected my daughter from the station and we visited my Aunty. We enjoyed coffee and cake with chat and laughter. On return we decorated our small tree which has integral lights but a lost connector! We improvised by hanging baubles on the redundant lights and I think the result looks quite festive. With a meal for nine planned at the weekend a large tree is not practical in our small house.

My daughter is not fond of our Santa ornament and has nicknamed it Creepy Santa!

Daily December Diary

Day twelve

Two winter visitors this morning! Wrote a long letter to my German penfriend.Hard to believe we have been corresponding for over a year now. In the evening our Christmas concert. We had a good audience and it seemed to go fairly well. We await a detailed post mortem on Thursday! My beautiful daughter gave me flowers afterwards

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Day eleven

A visit to the dentist to smooth the rough edges of my crown, chipped whilst eating toast in Malta. An option to replace it in the New Year. I'm inclined to think it may be better to leave well alone as it's not too noticeable and as long as its not causing problems!
     In the afternoon I attended a musical soiree, two hours of Christmas songs, sung by our vocal coach, tenor Charles, accompanied on piano by the very talented Rob including; Child of the Stables secret birth, Chestnuts roasting, O holy night , Russian rose pluscarols to sing along and the totally new Ring a dong ding. An interval with mulled wine and home made mince pies made this a perfect social event in the run up to Christmas.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Day ten

Five of us in a car to our choir dress rehearsal for our Christmas concert. A lot of chair moving and rearranging was involved before we sang through our programme with some stress from our conductor when instructions were not followed.We also arranged a date to meet to practice our New Year entertainment. After lunch,  Christmas card writing, blog updating and poetry writing! Must buy more stamps!!

Daily December Diary

Day nine

Our last Aquacize class. Our group had all lost weight, two members had each lost a stone over the six week course. emails were exchanged and plans to start a walking group at the end of January were formulated. A food shop was needed today too!

Daily December Diary

Day eight ;Farewell to sunny Malta, aboard the bus to the airport and our flight home. On disembarking from the plane we came to a halt as a man at the front announced that the doors were locked . As a queue built up a stewardess appeared and easily pulled the doors open to the amusement of us all except perhaps the man at the front!
   My daughter had been intending to attend her French class but opted for a rest and cups of tea before we drove her home. An invite to the Zumba Christmas lunch awaited me at home.

Daily December Diary

Day seven: Valletta, a tour of the beautiful cathedral
 followed by a ride on the tiny train
lunch in a friendly artisans cafe
relaxing outside the grand palace
 Kiku the third
 before our tour of a nobleman's house
 Chess from around the world
A bureau made from three types of Maltese wood

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Daily December Diary

Day six ; A perfect day for a boat tour of the grand harbour
 on a traditional Maltese boat
with commentary from our boatman Victor
The quality of light is beautiful in Malta
We asked to be dropped off at the three cities
enjoying a cold drink in the sun
 before walking around the cities
 with their history

 Creamy delicious risotto for lunch
then more walking and views across the harbour

 returning for the salute in Valetta

Daily December Diary

Day five; Our air bnb in Valetta
The beautiful lobby
 Amazing glass bauble tree in Valetta
 A bus ride to Mdina
The silent city

An English style phone booth
travel for tourists
 views from above
heavenly cherry and almond cake before the bus back to Valetta
 Even more gorgeous lit up
Each street had different Christmas lights!