Category Archives: Christmas

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

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


I Am Here!

You now how you are on New Year’s Eve and it his Midnight, it’s like being stood at the top of a very long and winding road down a mountain.  You know it is going to be a long way and there will be many twists and turns and some may be more difficult than others?  Well January started off with a lot of bumpy bits for us!

Eldest was rushed into hospital in the early hours of January 6th not being able to swallow and shallow breathing.  Last year he had two bouts, one in September and one end of October of toncilitis, which neither of our boys ever had when they were little. He had antibiotics and it managed to clear it but it started again just before Christmas.  After a couple of doctors saying he was fine and wanting to send him home (!) the A&E Doctor said he was too poorly to go home and admitted him at 4.00am.  They started him on much stronger intravenous antibiotics and then did lots of tests.  They eventually found out that not only did he have tonsilitis again but also a chest infection too!  He was in for a week. 

He is now out and looking a lot better than he did but still has a cough and a bit of a sore throat but they sent him out with a lot of tablets too!  DH and I spent the week running around visiting and taking things in he needed and of course not a lot of work on my part got done!

I managed to get the Christmas decorations taken down but the Christmas tree was still up in the sitting room until the Monday.  We also had the swimming club’s big Open on the weekend of 7th/8th January.  It all happens at once of course.  It took me the whole of this week to get caught up with work jobs/home jobs/washing & Ironing!!!

Tom started a cold at the swimming Open and was “growling” at everyone on the microphone and spent the week after coughing and spluttering. I did, of course, tell him not to give it to me but he didn’t listen, so I have spent this week with a sore throat, cough and every joint in my body hurting!  I do think we are now reaping the two years we spent wearing face masks during Covid!  I am hoping that it will be gone soon.

Here is Madam’s Ten Month Old picture!  This was taken on Eldest’s bed and she is looking over his TV out of the window!!! She looks quite big here but in fact she is just sitting up high, she still appears to be smaller than our dear Treacle was.

She was extremely interested in Christmas and in particular the presents and did start to help us open them just as Treacle used to. This is her sack and she is choosing a present to open from it.

We had some wonderful gifts from Molly and her wonderful Mom, Sue, but I have not taken any pictures yet due to all the chaos so that will be another post.  We did, in fact, have a wonderful Christmas the four of us, doing not a lot which was very nice.  The Boys and DH were busy playing cars of course and I got to stay home and read which was great!

This weekend and next weekend we are not doing anything but every weekend in February and March DH has a swimming event so I will be using the time to get things organised, reading and doing some quilting.  The weather is not good, we had had a sprinkling of snow but nothing to talk about but it has also been very frosty, definitely hibernating time!

I hope you lovely lot had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

Hugs & Love, Susie, DH, Eldest, Youngest & Coco xxxxx

Happy New Year.

Happy 2023 Everyone!

A little late today due to my monitor power lead failing and DH having to try and sort it out yesterday!!

I hope that 2023 is going to be a great year.  So far the new Millennium “Roaring Twenties” have not lived up to the previous Roaring Twenties!!  I read an article before Christmas about New Year Resolutions and instead of making lots that eventually get forgotten by the third week of January, another idea is to choose a word to represent you over the next twelve months.  I decided that this is a good idea and for the last few years I have used Happy & Hopeful, but thought a new word would be good for 2023 and have decided on “Achievement”.  There is a lot I want to achieve this year and thought that this would be a good word for me.


Of course I also have my Aims for the year as I have done over the last few years, some of which I managed to do and others did fall by the way side, but again it is something to work towards and hopefully Achieve!

1.  Aim to try and do more quilting.  2.  Aim to try and do more reading.  3.  Aim to try and be more organised with work and home things.  4.  Aim to get jobs which need doing in our home and garden to be done.  5.  Aim to work on me.

Only doing five Aims as I think that is enough and some of my Aims above are quite involved but hopefully I will be able to get them done. 

Tomorrow DH and I will be taking the decorations down and I will be cleaning on Tuesday, this is a little earlier than we would normally do them but next weekend is the swimming club’s big Open which launches the 50th Year Celebrations as well and it is all weekend so no chance of sorting things out next weekend hence tomorrow’s jobs!  I hate taking the deocations down as it makes your home look so plain and ordinary, but I am sure the way the months fly by it will be December again very soon!!!!!!!!

Happy New Year to all my Friends & Followers.  I hope that 2023 is going to be very kind to you all. 

Hugs & Love, Susie, DH, Eldest, Youngest & Coco xxxxx

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I honestly think that I managed to meet myself coming back over the last few weeks.  To say it has been busy is definitely an understatement which is why I have not had a chance to do any posts.  I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas so far and the stress of getting everything pulled together worked well for you and you are now sitting down with your feet up having a well deserved break.  I and Coco are on our own this Boxing Day as DH and The Boys are at Eldests garage “playing” vehicles!!!  Although I am not complaining as we always have a buffet on Boxing Day so no issues with cooking, I have watched a murder mystery on TV and after this going to read my latest book. 

These are the books I got for Christmas from DH & The Boys and can’t wait to read them.

We had some wonderful gifts from Molly & Sue in the US but have not had chance to take any pictures of those yet, especially the wonderful elephant that Molly sent for Coco that was taken off straight away to be played with!!  Thank you to them both for their wonderful gifts, pictures will follow.

Coco on Christmas Day waiting for her Christmas dinner.

Youngest & DH on Christmas morning.

Eldest on Christmas morning not quite awake I think!!!!

I got the Christmas Cake and Chocolate Log done, just!

Our Christmas Table this year, we went for simple but elegant!!!!!

Anyone who has followed my Blog for a while now know that Treacle was the best at helping to open our Christmas & Birthday gifts, something she did entirely on her own not taught by us.  Well it seems that Coco has possibly inherited the knack.  Here is her sack with her gifts in.

Trying to get a picture of her opening the gifts was very difficult as they were blurred, she was moving too fast, but she did open her gifts, although was eating the paper rather than like Treacle who used to spit it out!!!!  She is very happy with all her new toys.

We now have a week in which to relax and spend some quality time doing things we want to do, after New Year we are of course back to work and the first weekend we have our Big Swimming Open which opens the Club’s 50th Celebrations.  It will be a very long two days!!! 

I will be back in a few days with more pictures. 

Hugs & Love, Susie, DH, Eldest, Youngest & Coco xxxxx

Our Garden from 2010, perhaps we will get some snow this winter!!!

Christmas, Christmas!

I have been busy present wrapping and being Santa’s little helper delivering as I have gone along, so only a few left now to deliver this weekend and next week!

 All the cards written, below, stamped and put into the post box although because of all our mail strikes they will probably arrive in February!!!  We have not had many cards yet and suspect that, like ours will be, they are stuck.  In fact our postman only brought parcels the other day but no post!

Coco got to see Santa Claus the other evening when our local Rotary Club came round collecting for their charity this year. 

She was quite interested until he waved at her and then she got down!!!!

Jayne and I went for a Christmas Lunch here, The Cavendish Hotel at Baslow, which was all dressed for Christmas.  The lunch was lovely and this was our view, below, from the Garden Room, looking towards Chatsworth House.

In the windows were these lovely natural snowflakes!

We had a great day and got back after it was dark so got to see a lot of Christmas lights on the way home.  Jayne is also coming for coffee tomorrow morning.

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

I have home jobs to do tomorrow as well as the final Christmas presents to wrap and some more cookies to make.  Washing and ironing to do as well.  Friday night is the Presentation Night for the swimming club, Saturday we are visiting family in Nottingham and then in the evening DH is doing a Christmas disco and Sunday he is out all day at the oldies swimming event, better known as The Masters Championships!!!!!!  On Sunday I will have more cookies to make for DH to take out and about next week.  After making all these cookies perhaps I should open a bakery!!!!

I hope you lovely lot are having a great week and your plans are all going well for the Festive Season! 

Hugs & Love, Susie & Coco xxxxx