It all started at the weekend with the Christmas fair at the school I used to teach at - nothing like children to get you in the mood for Christmas, and going back to school is always a pleasure as I just love seeing all the children and parents. My stall was down in one of the dinning rooms and it did seem a little quiet down there compared with being in the main hall but I did get lots of time to talk with people
Sunday saw Becky, myself and Jonathan's girlfriend, Fran on our way to Harrogate to the Country Living Christmas Event and it was everything I hoped it would be! We had been sent some free tickets from Cheryl-ann of Cheryl-ann Taylor Made who we had met at Yarndale, where we discussed wedding head dresses. Armed with some very old ostrich feathers we went straight to find her to continue our discussions (very successfully) with her. Her stand was gorgeous
From there we went for a coffee before looking round. There was so much loveliness everywhere, incredibly creative people. Flossie Teacake was just a couple of stands down from Cheryl, if you remember I went out to her workshop at Eyam in Derbyshire for a free-hand embroidery afternoon, so we stopped to chat with her. It was busy which meant talking photographs was difficult and also some stands don't like pictures being taken. However as we walked in there were a couple of room sets
I must just mentions a couple of books we looked at on one stand which really delighted us
and I'll just add this one in as well which Becky recommends. It's more Y3/4/5 humour but made us laugh.
Since my busy weekend I have found just enough time to fill the house with the smell of chutney and baking. I had aquired several tubs of cranberries from Becky last Christmas which were left over from when they made cranberry vodka, and not liking anything going to waste I had put them in the freezer. I decided that I would make Delia's spiced cranberry chutney
It smelt lovely, lets hope it tastes as good when we can use it in a few weeks time! That's the trouble with chutney you have to leave it to 'mature' so have no idea if it's any good, which is fine if you are keeping it all but I like to give jars of preserves away as presents.
My second nice smell this week is the shortbread Christmas trees that I have made to take down to Cornwall tomorrow (more about that shortly) I bought a set of 3 cutters from 'The Works' for only £2 and have been keen to use them
Success!! last time I made shortbread I rolled it too thin and then let it get too brown but these were 'just right' and tasted good too.
We're not ones to trim up on the 1st December like so many people around (sure more people do it earlier and earlier) but I do have to have the advent calendar that was bought when Charlotte was little up, plus an advent candle and this year I have treated myself to a new Christmas mug
I'll show you a close up of my mug
I just had to have it as it reminded me of one of our very favourite Christmas stories - 'Christmas in Exeter Street'
Don't the houses look the same? It's a story of how many people come to the house in Exeter Street to be taken in on Christmas Eve by Mrs Maggie Mistletoe, here are just a couple of pages from it
this is how some of them slept, unfortunately you can't see Lily-Loo who was in the kitchen sink
Here is a wonderful review of it that I have just found it with a picture of Lily-Loo in the sink.
You'll realise that I love Christmas story books and when the children were small Father Christmas used to bring them each a new Christmas story each year so we now have a VERY large collection which even now comes out for them to read and take great delight in.
But I digress and back briefly to my baking. I mentioned that I had made them to take to Cornwall for Charlotte as Hurray!! we are off there tomorrow to go down for the Padstow Christmas Festival .We have been for the past 2 years and is a wonderful event, with lots of food (as you might imagine being in Padstow) drink and gifts. There are cookery demonstrations throughout the four days, and I am especially proud as my godson is part of one happening tomorrow - unfortunately we won't be down in time to see him. Last year I watched Tom Kerridge, Phil Vickery, Brian Turner and Paul Ainsworth to name just a few, so am looking forward to Nathan Outlaw and Jack Stein this time. I am also hoping to finish my Christmas shopping by buying some of the lovely goodies on sale. But for now I must bid you goodbye and start my packing.