Friday, 29 December 2017


Good morning lovely Rockettes/Rockers 'tis Friday which means only one thing - it's time for 

So obviously since we last touched base we've had Christmas

So first up, the impromptu gifts from my other work place, totally unexpected, last year we did a Secret Santa (which apparently didn't go fully according to plan), so this year there was no specifically organised gift plan, we were all simply sharing cards, so you can imagine my surprise when I arrived at work to find these goodies sat on my desk!  

Next up signs of Christmas we never have anything like this in the year, so it is definitely a Christmas treat! 

Early morning fires are the best, the TV room has always been the coolest part of the house, so its bliss we can now warm it through so easily without it affecting the rest of the house, which is always warmer. 

Christmas morning surprises were fun, apologies for the blurry image, I blame the atrocious lighting levels at the time, he was as you can see properly surprised!

Said 17 year old now has a girlfriend (who is absolutely lovely) they met up a couple of days before Christmas to have a walk and then he headed over to her house (we dropped them off), he had bought her a few little gifts, nothing major so you can imagine his surprise when she arrived on our doorstep on Christmas Eve with a bag of goodies, she bought soooooooo well for him, you can see how happy he is opening the gifts here.

Said 17 year old enjoyed reading records out of his Guiness Book of World Records on Christmas morning whilst I was preparing food and hubby had popped for a quick shower

I was really pleased with my Christmas table this year, my Mum bought Christmas crackers (as she always does), but struggled for my all white/silver theme and ended up with crackers with red elements.  When they arrived I had a rummage through the old Alice in Wonderland table decorations we had as I knew I had some red Christmas trees and votives and ta-dar the table was sorted!

You can see the Harry Potter tree and the Hogwarts silhouette in the window in the background, together with the sorting hat and a death eaters mask made by my brother. 

Christmas dinner went off OK, my Mum was poorly bless her and she is no better at the moment, upper respiratory chest infection, but being asthmatic she really has been struggling to breath, but never the less she came and tried to enjoy her day in between her flu capsules etc. 

Our lunch is always chaotic if I'm honest, our mornings are always long and leisurely and relaxing, which is always lovely but the afternoons are always madness.  This year I had a cunning plan, I told everyone to be at our house for 12.30pm because they are always late (and I mean always), Mum and Step-dad arrived just after 12.30pm but the rest arrived about 1.10pm - like I said always late! 

We had starter around 2pm, but then everyone asked for a 'break' before main, so we ended up unwrapping presents so the 3pm main ended up at 4pm, I dropped one of stuffing dishes on the floor and lost a good 50% of it (it was in foil, so didn't smash but obviously that which landed on the floor had to go).  

The rest of the meal seemed to work out OK, pudding was eaten gone 7pm and it was gone 9.30pm when everyone headed home (the latest we've ever had guests on Christmas day), me and hubby headed for sofa and were soon in the land of nod!

I had some lovely presents, I've taken part in two crafting swaps this year, the Advent calendar swap where my present for the 25th was this fantastic apron (which I wore all Christmas day despite not crafting) and a little bottle of fizz (which I had last night it was nom)

The other crafting swap was a Secret Santa Stocking swap, my haul of goodies is below and made me exceptionally giddy because it was predominantly paper based which I love love love and I don't own any of them!

We had quite a chilled day on Boxing day which I was pleased for after the busy Christmas day, me and hubby spent a good couple of hours sorting the main dining and kitchen area, the dishwasher was running full tilt all morning and I popped the new tablecloth in the washer to get rid of the red wine stains (white table cloth and red wine not the best of mixes).  But it wasn't too difficult to pull it back in shape and we had a couple of hours just enjoying time together (bliss).

Wednesday was a work day, I know me at work between Christmas and New Year, what the hell is happening to the world, I must admit it made my Christmas break feel really short, added to which college/schools in the area saw fit to make the first 'holiday' day the 25th of December and not returning until the 8th January - I much prefer to have my Christmas break split with a week before and a week after as I've always been a Christmas girl not a New Year girl.  The work day did drag but I appeared to be clock watching quite a bit. 

Once home we headed out to my Mum's house, she was having a post Christmas gathering, we tend to refer to it as the pig table day, predominantly because one year we sat and noted all the items on the table were pork based with the exception of the coleslaw!  This year there were hot roast pork sandwiches (with a side order of the best roast potatoes) and crackling, homemade sausage rolls, bacon and egg quiche, cheese and onion quiche, there was passionfruit gateaux or strawberry gateaux for dessert with strawberries that were still frozen. 

Thursday we decided to head to Chatsworth, believe it or believe it not, but we hadn't visited pre-Christmas, we took said 17 year old and his girlfriend and had a fabulous day, enjoying the house and then a wintery walk afterwards. 

My favourite view on the way there, was as beautiful as ever.

And the theme this year is Charles Dickens!

So we got to see the frontage to Scrooge and Marley's office

The decorated chair in the chapel was beautiful.

The wood panelled room off from the chapel, had an upside down Christmas tree and then several trees created by the different teams involved in Chatsworth.  

This was the plumbers tree made with plugs and tap tops as well as plumbers pipe and plumbers hoses

The electricians had recycled bulbs in their tree which changed colour

My favourite made from floor polishing pads had little knitted Henry Hoovers on them - this was by far my favourite!

A Tale of Two cities corridor was beautiful, all white and papery 

With lots of paper stars and snowflakes in the window

My favourite decoration in the main hall was hanging from a balcony

The dining room had the dinner set out for Miss Haversham, apparently all the tableware and crockery were bought by one of the Dukes of Devonshire in the late 1800's so in the period for the theme this year.

My favourite part of the 'Oh Dickens it's Christmas' displays were the paper sculpted houses. 

Done by a local artist, 16 books each one of Charles Dickens classics and each one with a different sculpted house set within in.

Some of them were lit, I was amazed at the tiny gutter brackets on each of the houses and the tiny chimney pots!

The sculpture gallery had a stunning tree in the centre

Then we headed outside for some fresh air, said 17 year old and girlfriend went for a wander on their own and we did the same.

The sun was so low in the sky and part of the Emperor fountain pond was frozen.

The odd sculpture from the Beyond Limits exhibition were still in situ, believe it or not that particular sculpture up close is black as black can be, so it was strange to see it with what looked like a pale grey side.

The house looked glorious in the sunshine.

Me and hubby attempted (and possibly failed) on a selfie, so busy trying to get rid of the shadows I forgot to smile! 

The peak district looked mighty barren as we trundled back home. 

Thankfully the roads were clear, although the same cannot be said for the view out of the window this morning. 

So there we go that was the week that was, can you believe that this is the 380th Rocking post that I've labelled as Rocking your World Friday, which is crazy in itself, I've never missed a week (occasionally been late but never missed), which means I've been doing this blog post weekly for in excess of 7 years.  

I always find them a therapy in my life as I yearn for balance, it's easy to get swept up in the day to day, that I never take time out to sit back and relax and take stock of the world.  There are weeks when I realise that I've worked too much and 'lived' too little, but these help me address the situation and re-balance in the week going forward. 

I look forward to posting these posts, I'm grateful to anyone that reads my ramblings on a weekly basis, that catches a glimpse of my life as I travel through it.  I feel grateful for every comment that I receive and for everyone that joins in, Kate, Lisca and Carmen have been my main participants this year (actually you might have been my only ones) - thank you for joining in and sharing your life with us and what you have in your grateful bucket that week. 

I will of course be continuing this into 2018, for Sunday night we turn a page and start a brand new chapter, the page will be clean and bright and new.  I hope you have all had a beautiful and blessed Christmas and festive season and that you enjoy your New Year's Eve on Sunday night, wherever you are in the world, may 2018 bring you the greatest of joys and the biggest of blessings. 

Much love


Tuesday, 26 December 2017


I found a stash of draft layouts that I've not yet shared, so I'm going to get them posted whilst I'm enjoying time off.  

This one named awesome using lots of pink papers (if anyone knows me they will know this is not normal) normal service will resume shortly!

Friday, 22 December 2017


Good Morning lovely people, 

Tis Friday so time for a Rocking post

First up is happening across an old photo from years ago, my Uncle on the left, my Grandma who I love and miss so much and my Dad who has been gone since 1989, such a very long time since I last had time to sit and have a natter. 

The original photo was obviously a film one and when it was developed the photo showed only half of their heads (in effect a ruined photo), it was only when going through the negatives after my Dad had passed away that we discovered there was more of the photo remaining and so I had it reprinted, so you could see everyone's eyes, despite the fact you can't see the tops of their heads, with the ability to add a frame and words on an app, I think it does the photo justice.  We have so very few of my Dad, so each and everyone is precious and it's a time of year that I always sit and reflect on the year that was, the Christmas in front of us, I start formulating plans and ideas for the next year but most of all I think of all those that aren't able to share it with us at this time of year.  I remember in one of my early journals for Christmas writing about a Christmas day when my Dad comes to share our meal with us and we get a chance to catch up, it was after a particularly vivid dream where we did the same, it still brings a tear to my eyes when I think about how real it all felt.  

Next up the rather bright canvas that me and hubby finished before Christmas, I really can't tell if it will stay that way or whether I will be compelled to back off the brightness or whether I will find it a new home and look for an alternative in the space, but for the time being it looks grand where it is, the quote reads

"There is a world just around the corner of my mind, where reality is an intruder and dreams do come true" 

Then we have the local shopping centre's decorations, whilst everyone was racing around looking fraught and stressed I had a lovely wander enjoying all the decorations

I love pretty lights

And this one is brilliant, there is a spot to stand on the floor where you can turn yourself into a Christmas angel 

Next up is pinterest for having an idea for last minute cards.  For anyone that knows me I don't do last minute cards, I do my Christmas cards in January to avoid all the rush, so you can imagine my happiness when hubby announces a need for a further 7 cards that he'd forgotten about!

And finally a good old fashioned Christmas panto, one of my work colleagues asked if I didn't think I was a bit old for panto - really?  I don't think you can ever be too old for panto can you?

We booked only for the one in the local town as the one in the big city is a really costly affair these days, we had good seats and didn't get picked on and the star of the show (who played Silly billy Jack's brother) really was a star, funny, comedic, spontaneous, entertaining, he had us rolling with laughter, so much so my face ached from laughing!

Other positives, said 17 year old enjoying an art visit to Hull to see the Turner prize at the beginning of the week, putting the world to rights with my cousin on the phone this morning, a last minute shopping trip for said 17 year old to sort his Christmas presents and managing to get our hands on the frozen turkey that hubby kept talking about (now we are having the defrost conversations sigh). 

All in all a good week, I've broken up from work now until next Wednesday when I'm back in and have a pretty busy to do list, but I'm feeling relatively calm and bright about it all.  

May I wish all my lovely readers a beautiful and blessed Christmas and holiday season and hope that you get to enjoy time with family and friends and loved ones. 


Friday, 15 December 2017


Evening all apologies for the delay in the post, but we've had a few days away, and I'm only just back.  So 

Well we booked for a few days at Center Parcs just to take a break from every day life, we seem to have been running full tilt for a while, so it was nice to stop and take stock a little.  Particularly at a time of year when things seem to be full on! 

Grateful for all the lovely festive lights there, we had snow on Sunday and were worried about our journey down, but thankfully whilst there was snow on the ground the roads were clear (another grateful, we aren't a country that fairs well in snowy weather let's be honest). 

The view over the lake was so picturesque and I loved the hint of blue sky

We had a proper wintery walk, hubby had insisted on me buying a coat before we went away and despite my protestations I can honestly say it was so warm and snuggly inside it that any wintery walks were pretty but I didn't get cold!  

Here we are on our walk.

Hubby insisted that a barbecue would be a good idea on the first night and just to prove that he is a man who sticks to his word here he is! 

Both said 17 year old and niece complained of how cold they were (despite heating and a log burning fire), but inventive as ever, they both found duvets and radiators to sort that out.  They are such great company and we all get along so well it's lovely to spend time together.  

Next up the pretty lights (they so remind me of the patronuses or is it patronusi from Harry Potter)

And the tree in the centre is stunning

The view out of our bedroom window was so pretty

I took my advent calendar away and enjoyed opening it each day

It was so cold midweek that the whole lake froze!

Hubby enjoyed trying out his new camera

We visited the real reindeer (and inadvertently got in the queue for meeting Santa - I had to laugh)

there were festive carriage rides - doesn't the carriage look pretty (we didn't partake, but I enjoyed seeing what people were doing).

Santa's elves washing made me smile

And we got a photo in front of the giant tree

My Mum came down for a couple of days and as you can see she is doing fab!

And my sister who enjoyed a short break away after lots of busy day and night shifts

My niece getting ready to go to play badminton put her hoodie on the wrong way around, which made us all giggle. 

And we had great fun playing badminton and table tennis (that was about as energetic as we got this week). 

I loved the Christmas cups in the coffee shop

We went to see the reindeers singing

and enjoyed the fireworks display (apologies for the lousy photo - I was too busy enjoying the fireworks). 

Me and hubby went back out for another evening walk and got some more light photos

Even the lights on the lamps looked fantastic. 

The giant tree in the day looks lovely but at night is off the chart, we stood taking photos and then grabbed a cup of hot mulled wine. 

I got this lovely photo

These two trying to look innocent but I know they are plotting they didn't get their Mischief 1 and 2 name tags for no reason! 

My niece all ready for a night out

And the fabulous napkin at the Italian we were eating at. 

We got a few late night shots under Nutmeg's display

and we had another coffee before setting off today and yet another Christmas cup!

Very grateful for a quick return journey home, for the lovely meal me and hubby went for this afternoon and for time to kick back and relax in the busy season. 

Fabulous news that my cousin and his lovely partner have had another little girl - thinking of you all James and Katy I hope you are all well and enjoying your new addition! 

I hope your week has been just as epic, if you fancy joining in (and apologies if you have already done it), then pop a post together, pop back and link up so we can come and visit.