Christmas Films.

Do you love them or do you hate them?  Generally I love them except there seems to have been a Netflix “effect” on quite a few now.  You know how Netflix is accused of just putting films and TV series out there to satisfy the amount whether they are good or not!

I have watched quite a few whilst I have been baking and wrapping presents and some of them have been dreadful! 

I do have a few favourites though:

DH and I actually saw this at the cinema before the Boys were born and we were both in stitches.  Still love watching it.  Not a fan of Home Alone 2 or the other Home Alone films but can watch the original again and again.

Love this one and it has the wonderful Lauren Bacall in.  If you have never seen it do.

Another one I liked not too much of a story but it is okay.

Probably the best version of A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim as Scrooge, I watch this every year. 

Who does not love this movie, a real Hollywood movie with the famous Bing Crosby song at the end with snow!!!

A modern remake of the original Miracle on 34th Street with the wonderful Richard Attenborough. 

This is a Netflix offering and does well on the Christmas scale.  Worth a watch.

As I say there are a lot out there that when you have watched them you think well that is an hour and a half I cannot get back, especially at this time of year.  I may be unpopular with the next two films and a lot of people absolutely love them but for me, no, not really!

The Holiday is too contrived and Love Actually well a typical British film!!!

Do you have a favourite Christmas Movie?  I also find as well that if an actor is in it that I don’t like that then affects whether I like the film/programme or not!  I was watching a series the other day on our BBC channel and this actress was in about Episode 3, out of 6, and I really cannot stand her and it just made the rest of the season a torture to watch!!  I ended up skipping the bits she was in!!!! 

I hope you have had a good Wednesday, almost the weekend. 

Hugs & Love, Susie & Coco xx

Coco’s Christmas Corner.

Mom says I have to be very good over the next few weeks or else Santa Paws will not come and visit and bring me a present or three! 

I was most concerned as Youngest found this today and I cannot believe that my name is on this list.  I mean really how does Santa Paws know I have been naughty?  Unless of course Mom has been telling him!

I haven’t been too naughty this year, just a few toys have been demolished, a couple of plants have been flattened in the garden but I have not wrecked anything else as far as I am aware.  I think I will have to put my best cute face on.

Tomorrow I have my Spa Day and Mom says I need it, as I am very, very woolly and smell a bit doggy!  I will show you how I look when I get home. 

So don’t forget everyone be good or else your presents won’t arrive!

Woof, Coco xx

First Week of December!

When we were little we used to have Advent Calendars which were lovely pictures with little doors on and you opened them to find another picture in the countdown to Christmas day.  I loved my Advent Calendar.  When the Boys were little I always used to buy them the same, despite the fashion to have chocolate Advent Calendars which I hated!  I was a mean Mummy!!!  Now that they are grown they have, for a few years now, had a grown up Advent Calendar from a company called Wera and you may have guessed they have tools in! 

Anyway this year DH and the Boys bought be an Advent Calendar from Fortnum & Mason, one of their beauty ones, below, which is sat on my desk.  It has some lovely products in it and I am being very good and opening the doors on the day it should be and not peeking at the other days!!

As you know it has been very cold here over the last week and this is what the trees looked like on Friday morning!  It is just frost not snow.

However when I got up at 4.00am on Sunday morning I opened the curtains to find this!  They had said it may snow a little bit, but this was quite a lot!!!

Our garden covered!

Madam enjoyed it and would not come in when I called her!! She was very wet and cold when I did finally get her in!

Her Paw Prints!

It was Youngest’s Birthday so we went out to dinner on the steam train again. It was a lovely evening and meal.

The Christmas Tree on the Station.

The Steam Engine waiting to go.

The Platform.

This is the real fire in the Ladies Waiting Room, It is very cosy and I could quite happily while away a few hours reading in there!

The dining table on the train.

On Saturday, before it snowed, we had a visit from a Robin.

Last night it was the Christmas Light Switch on in our village.  It did look rather festive with the snow, although by the time we got there it was raining and very cold!  It went very well but those who attended did not stay long despite the hot drinks and mince pies availabe!!

We got our Christmas Tree on Saturday morning and did start decorating it yesterday here it is with just the lights on.

Now with all the ornaments on. 

We still need to decorate the rest of our home but we did not get back from the light switch on until 8.00pm and we had not had dinner, so we will be doing the rest tonight. 

It has been raining all day today and still cold but all the snow has gone for now but it is due to be frosty again this week but a little warmer next weekend, which is a good thing as we need to do a few bits in the garden! 

I hope you wonderful weekend and a good week to come. 

Hugs & Love, Susie & Coco xx

It’s Friday & December 1st!

Right the first thing you need to know is that there are :

24 Days To Go To Christmas!

So if you have not done so already, time to get your scates on!

I have now finished all the wrapping, the baking (I still have some baking to do as gifts!) and just now have a couple of other things to do today and we are ready! 

Look who is Home!  Even woolier than before, but she has her Spa Day booked next Wednesday.  I braved the traffic, which actually wasn’t too bad as it is Friday and I think a lot of people “work from home” today, and got to the Kennels at 10.30am.  She was very pleased to see me.  They said she had been very good and had a lovely time.

After a wash and much needed cut on Wednesday Coco will be all ready for Santa Paws.  Speaking of haircuts Youngest is also going on Monday, he looks about as bad as Coco!!!!

I forgot to show you all the other day, but we had a sprinkling of snow the other morning, on top of the heavy frost, so it was fun de-icing all the vehicles.  It also snowed a little bit again last night so it took me half an hour to de-frost my car which had not been out for two weeks!  It was FREEZING!

Getting Coco from Kennels I have to drive past where I used to live with my Parents and where my Grand Parents lived so a trip down memory lane!  I had the Christmas music playing in the car and I felt very Christmasy and nostalgic!  Especially remembering all those family Christmases from the past.

DH is out tonight at another light switch on and the final one is on Sunday for our Village.  Tomorrow we have lots to do including getting our tree and are out in the evening and then Sunday we have everyone round to us for breakfast whilst we decorate the tree and the house. 

I hope you lovely lot have a wonderful first weekend of December and the start of Advent. 

Hugs & Love, Susie & Coco xxx

Christmas Preparations Continuing!

The one benefit of having to be in all day and up very early is that I am getting a lot done for Christmas.

Here is the Christmas cake after baking for four hours.  It will be wrapped in grease proof paper and tin foil and “fed” some brandy over the next week or so and then it will have marzipan and Royal icing put on it ready for the big day.

I also got all our Christmas cards written today, all 100 of them!

I am in the process of making another sixty mince pies and tomorrow after home jobs I will be making the Christmas cookies.

The plumbers have fitted the bath today and toilet and the sink will be tomorrow and they just have to finish all the waste and water pipes and then make sure there are no leaks of course.  Then they will give it a good clean.  Cannot wait to have a bath!

Coco is coming home on Friday morning and then I will be getting on with some other jobs I need to do.

We woke up this morning to a hard frost on the garden and all the cars were frosted over.  It has been bright and sunny all day so once again it will be frosty tonight!  So if we don’t get any snow it will be white with frost!


“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire; it is the time for home”

Edith Sitwell

I think the above quote embodies Winter and particularly Christmas.  When I am baking it reminds me so much of being with my Grandma and helping her with all the Christmas preparations during the School Winter holidays.  My Grandmother taught me to bake and I used to help her making the Christmas cake and pudding, the mince pies and she would pluck the goose, which we always had for Christmas dinner and I would pick up the feathers to stuff cushions with.  She also used to make marzipan fruits (below) but they are quite tricky to make and only Eldest likes them!!! 

Fortnum & Mason

She always used to make her own wreath for the front door and I would help my Grandfather collect the greenery and holly to make it and decorate the home.  We also used to make Christmas ornaments for the tree and to give as presents, as well as baked goods and the chutneys and jams that Grandma had made during the summer.  My Grandparents were of the era where you grew and made everything your self and only bought necessities.

This is my Grandmother in 1926 aged 22.

I am so glad that she taught me how to do all this and that I am able in a small way to do it now.

Happy Wednesday you lovely lot. 

Hugs & Love, Susie xx


As a lot of you who follow my Blog know I have been working from home now for thirty one years.  Which was a laugh during Covid because lots of people were working from home for the first time ever and it was a novelty, but for me it was business as usual!

We still have the Plumbers with us but they are cracking on and each night we get to see what they have finished.  So far we have a new floor and wall, new tiles on the floor and walls and the bath came in yesterday although it is not fixed yet.  The Plasterer was here yesterday so we do not now have a hole in the ceiling!  Although DH and I had to clean everything down because plaster dust goes everywhere!

The Christmas Cake all wrapped up and ready for its four hour cooking!

The Christmas Pudding in its basin.  It will be covered and “rest” overnight before being steamed tomorrow.

The reason I mentioned working from home is that you do have the luxury of taking a few hours off here or there or the whole morning or afternoon or the whole day to do other jobs!  Because I have been so far behind with things I have spent the day working and baking!  I have been getting up at 5.00am so have been able to get quite a few jobs done before the Plumbers arrive at 8.00am.  Tonight I have the presents to finish wrapping (I ran out of paper!) and tomorrow it is card writing and more baking (!).  Thursday morning will be home jobs and in the afternoon more baking if I don’t get it finished tomorrow! 

The Plumbers will be finished by Thursday, so Coco is coming home Friday morning, yeah.  I have missed her lovely furry face!   Friday afternoon I have one or two other jobs to get done and DH is out at another Christmas Light switch on, so I have quite a few hours to spare then.  Saturday morning we are getting our Christmas tree and when we have sorted and paid for it, we get to go for breakfast out.  Saturday is also Youngest’s Birthday so we are out in the evening for dinner.   Sunday we will get to decorate the tree and our home and Eldest and Girlfriend are coming round in the morning.  Sunday evening is our Village Light Switch on and DH is compering that too. 

(Edgar Degas)

I have told all our lot that they can have showers but I am the first to have a bath!!! Can’t wait.  I always read in the bath so I may be a few hours!!!!!  It won’t be entirely finished as we have decided to put new lighting in which DH needs to do (when he gets a sec!!!!) and I am waiting for a new mirror to be delivered and some other bits for it but we will be able to use it which is the main thing.

I am aiming to get pictures of everything Christmas this year and will show you here on the Blog! 

Our weather has turned really quite cold, apparently we have Scandinavia to thank for this cold front!  It is going below freezing every night this week and not much above it during the day, although it has been sunny today, which I love.  Cold frosty days with the sun shining.  I think we can say that Winter has arrived rather than coming (for all you Game of Thrones Fans!).

Happy Tuesday everyone. 

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Christmas Has Arrived!

Yesterday DH, Eldest, Girlfriend, The Girls and I went to Great Central Railway in Loughborough to see Santa on the steam train.  Fortunately the day was clear and sunny when we arrived although it got misty as evening came on.

This is the Ticket Office and entrance to the Rails.

The Signal and Porters Lodge

We went and looked at the Museum

The four of them stood by The Station Master’s Office.

On the Train waiting to leave.

Eldest & Girlfriend.

Parcels waiting on the Station.

Eldest & Girlfriend’s Youngest.

Santa arrived and brought a gift for both Girls.

The Cafe at Rothley Station.

The decorations in the garage which had twinkling lights.

Santa and The Girls.

Picture Time.

On our way back to Loughborough and it was getting dark so the lights were all very bright.

Here are Eldest & Youngest with Santa from 2007. Eldest was 12 and Youngest Eight, on the very same steam train!

We all had a lovely day and came home and had Lasagna & Salad for dinner.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and great week to come.  December at the end of this week and then the next few weeks to Christmas will fly by!!!! 

Hugs & Love, Susie xxx


Susie’s Friday Book Club.

Here is November’s Book Club!  I know it’s late!!!!!

DH bought this for me a few years ago and I love it.  It has lots of receipes and anecdotes of Christmases at The Ritz in London. I have used several of the recipes from it for various Christmas dinners especially the Cranberry sauce one to go with the turkey. 

The first Chapter tells you about how The Ritz prepare for Christmas from the week before to Boxing Day and the second Chapter tells you about the customs and traditions of Christmas and how they came to be.  Then there are the recipes and there is also a Chapter of gift ideas and things to make. 

If you love Christmas then this is a must for your Bookshelf.


I wanted to show you this, above.  It is the Christmas Tree in St. Pancras International Train Station in London.  A Bookshelf Tree!  Now how about that for an idea!  It has been sponsored by Hatchards, my favourite Book Store in London, and was built over the course of a few days on the main concourse.  This is the train station that we go into if we go by Train but sadly I have not seen it in person!  There are nooks around the bottom of the tree for people to sit and read in.  To be honest if I did go there I probably would not move and just read all day!!!!!

Hatchards, London.  The Oldest London Bookstore established in 1797.  It is also next door to Fortnum & Mason!

Happy Winter Reading. 

Hugs & Love, Susie xx


Susie’s Friday Book Club.

Completely behind with the Book Club, I really don’t know where the weeks go to!  Here is October’s Book Club!

This is the final book in the series by Matthew Reilly regarding Jack West and his journey through seven books.  I am glad that I did not have to wait for the final book as I had sort of forgotten about the series until I saw it advertised. 

Jack West has been fighting against a shaddow group of people who actually run the World and all the Governments answer to them.  Their aim is to bring about the downfall of all the countries so that they are able to rule in the open once and for all.  There are many twists and turns through the books and he is helped by a loyal band of friends with different skill sets, think Mission Impossible and James Bond rolled into one! 

This last book does not disappoint and do they save the world?  Well have a read it is really good!

It will be a few years but I will read all these again as they are so good!

Happy Reading! 

Hugs & Love, Susie xx