This morning we went to the last boot fair of this year. I am glad most
of the mud in the parking field had dried up. At the end of the
afternoon, I saw this thrush come down for a bath. I was very glad that
he stayed long enough for me to get some video. It is a long time since
we have had a thrush in the garden and I hope he will be back. Thrushes
eat snails and there are loads in my garden, so he should find lots of
dinners. I will keep a lookout for him when the weather gets frosty. In
the evening we put up most of the Christmas lights. The older ones with
the paler colours go on the big mirror.
The brighter LED ones go on the door and the windows, so that they can
be seen from further away. The lights for the Christmas tree are draped
over the window, and the tree will go up a week before Christmas. Dull
afternoons when the light is fading can be gloomy but now I will look
forward to switching these on as soon as possible every day.
We went Christmas shopping in Bromley. This star is in the main Glades
shopping mall and it has lights zooming from the middle to the tips and
I really like this light-up jumper, but I think I would prefer a dark
blue jumper with light-up stars, or light-up village windows. This shop
has chosen a snowball theme for its window displays. The fluffy
snowball wigs look really warm and I think they would sell well as hats!
I get a good view of dawns over the countryside from my bedroom window.
Today we are helping a friend to tidy their garden before winter gets
really cold, so I hope this dawn turns into some sunshine.
We are garden tidying again today, and after we had cleared the steps of
all the soil that had collected, the robin came down to get the small
worms in the corners.
Today we visited Ruxley garden centre with Auntie. We all enjoyed
watching the ice rink for quite some time, and the energetic music
seemed to keep everyone warm somehow! I really like these penguins that
have handles for children to hold onto. The yellow sledge shaped one is for
children to ride on while the bigger person pushes it along.
Another view of the model snowy village. Every time, I notice something
else that I didn't see before. This time they have put some wooden steps
at the side of the display cabinet, so that children can climb up to see
This snowy scene is done like a book opening, with the scenery coming
out of the two pages. This Nativity scene is really well made, and it
would look even better if it had a plain dark background, maybe with
some stars painted on in silver paint.
I think this starry clay-pot ornament must have a light inside to shine
through the star holes. These knitted bird decorations were very
interesting, they look as if you could make them using an existing old
patterned jumper sewn into a bird shape. The wings are held on with
Here are the real reindeer, this time they were trying to get to sleep,
which was a bit difficult with all the people walking past. In the end
the front one got up for a drink. This model deer was looking a lot more
relaxed about the crowds than a real deer would be. After our morning at
Ruxley, we went home to Auntie's and spent the rest of the day helping
her wrap up all the presents for her friends.
In the afternoon we swept all the leaves on the paths into the bottom
corner of the garden. The ones on the soil are left for the blackbirds
to find worms underneath during the winter when the ground is frozen.
The only flowers we have now are three large pots of daffodil bulbs with
pansies on top.
Frosty morning - we went through the park really early and the pond and
ground was covered in a low foggy mist. The leaves by the pond were all
Today we went to our friends in the countryside. The fields were covered
in frost, but the sun was quickly melting it and the trees were dripping
on us as we walked along the path.
We helped them plant their bulbs of daffodils and crocuses. You have to
sprinkle the soil back on until they are half covered, and then the rest
can go on, so that they all stay upright. I am really looking forward to
seeing all these flowering next year.
After a day in our friends' garden, we enjoyed this lovely sunset over
the distant trees and hills.
We went shopping today and here are two shire horses pulling a carriage
driven by Father Christmas. He was allowing people to have rides up and
down the High Street. Their hooves made a very loud clopping sound on
the tarmac. That is my bus right behind him!
In the afternoon we put up the Christmas tree. All the branches slot
into holes marked A to D according to size, and then you have to bend
out the squashed branches. The lights go on first.
We have found the best way to store the decorations is in big document
boxes and small food containers. Blue Parrot found this box full of bows
from all the presents we have received over the years. They fill in all
the gaps on the tree after everything else has gone on, especially the
empty middle spaces.
The gold and silver hooks always get tangled, but I kept shaking the
pile and they all fell off in the end. Here is the completed tree, with
everything shining and twinkling.
This is the last good weather day for helping in our friend's garden. We
planted a fuchsia bush which will grow quite large with big red flowers
next year. We just had time to turn over the weedy area into lumps and
we will let the winter weather break it all down.
We went to the garden centre to get some new aquarium fish. My
favourites are these mottled goldfish. I think they might be shubunkins.
They were very active and swimming around fast. These mussels were
completely different, and there was no movement to be seen at all.
The pet section also had some Bearded Dragons. This first one was
letting the locusts sit on his head, and I think he will just suddenly
snap at one and eat it before too long. This big Bearded Dragon became
interested in something outside. His vivarium is opposite the shelves of
aquarium things for sale, so maybe he saw something there he liked!
Here is the blackbird outside my kitchen window eating the cotoneaster
berries. He just has a few then flies away. We went shopping and got
caught in the rain on the way home. The park was very wet and empty, but
the ducks, geese and seagulls were very happy with the watery park. They
were just resting, as there were no people around with bread bags.
As it was cold outside and warm inside, we settled down during the
afternoon to watch the "Lord of the Dance" Irish dancing video. It was
blowing gales and stormy all day and night, and so we doubled up our
special leopard pattern fur throw to make it extra cosy. We listened to
the gales all night.
We went out shopping for some last Christmas things. This shop had lots
of dinosaur stuff but we did not see anything that our Dino did not
already have. Afterwards we went to our friend's house and along the
country road some trees had come down and the paths were full of twigs
blown down in the gales.
The last of the hedgerow apples had come down, and outside this garden a
lot of the rosehips had blown off and were being squashed as people
walked past. We had to go carefully as we walked, as all this was very
slippery and squidgy underfoot.
We came back home through the park. The gale had twisted and ripped this
branch off the almond tree. This willow tree branch was already in the
water but the gales had twisted it around as well, and we could see it
from a long way off as the wood inside is bright and clean.
There are two poorly geese in the park and we found them and gave them a
good feed. Then we tipped out all the last bits and crumbs of bread for
In the evening, Dino decided to hang his chocolate coins on the tree.
For some reason, he was making sure they were mostly hanging round the
back where they would not be noticed by everyone else.
We got all the presents out of their carrier bags and put them under the
tree. Most of wrapping paper this year seems to be shiny red and a few
gold ones. Blue Parrot went up and rearranged the feathers on the top
angel. The angel decoration is quite old with a plaster head, gold paper
wings and a carol song sheet.
Brown Teddy is keeping an eye on this lovely gold bow. We always save
the bows and add them to the tree decorations every year. His favourite
decorations this year are the three tiny white owls that are sitting
amongst the branches.
Parrot has seen a little round present and is spending a lot of time
wondering what it is, as most presents are usually squarish. Dino asked
if there were any more presents, as there is a bit of wrapping still
left on the roll. I think we will have to save it for next year.
We all went to bed a little later than normal. This is Dino, Me, Brown
Teddy, Blue Parrot, Gecko and Seagull still awake looking at the
Christmas lights still glowing behind the curtains. When soon fell
asleep once the Christmas lights were switched off.
The day started grey but breezy, but then the sun came out for a while,
followed by showers. This robin arrived for his Christmas morning
breakfast of bread and suet pellets. He knows exactly which kitchen
window to sit outside for quick results.
I have the Christmas dinner organised very early in the morning, with
all the vegetables ready in the pots. We will only use one Christmas
pudding today, and we will save the other one for next week at New Year.
Dino is checking the stash of mince pies, cakes and sweets very
carefully, so that nothing gets missed out by mistake! I laid the table
with a red and white cracker at each corner, and the best shiny cutlery
in the middle.
Time to make the Yorkshire Puddings, and this pudding tray is heating up
ready for the mixture to go in. At last everything was ready and we all
sat down at 2 o'clock.
Everyone had a bit of everything - Christmas pudding, mince pie, mint
chocolate ice cream and custard. Dino still had room for a sweet or two
afterwards, but then he is quite big and very energetic most of the
I washed up all the cutlery and Brown Teddy will be drying it off and
sorting it out. The best ones go away in the cupboard and the ordinary
ones go back in the kitchen drawer. Dino sorted the wrapping into piles,
one for paper recycling and one for putting in the bin. He spent a lot
of time moving it around and I think he was making sure there were no
other sweets or interesting things amongst it all.
Blue Parrot spent the evening playing with the colour-changing Christmas
trees on the little tray.
As it got near bedtime, Dino had a last count of the chocolate coins,
and Brown Teddy had an extra few minutes admiring the fibre optic tree
up on the shelf.
I spent the day tidying and dusting the bookshelves. This nylon duster
attracts all the dust like a magnet, and at intervals you have to ruffle
and shake it outside in the garden, so that the dust blows away. There
were quite a few good books that were no longer wanted, and so they all
went into carrier bags for the charity shop.
Dino helped with the tidying. He found the remains of some paper
crackers which reminded him of dinosaur teeth. In the evening we all
watched the Strong Man Competition programme. Here is one of the
competitors doing the Log Lift.
We took the bags of books to the charity shop. Dino stayed at home and
rearranged his chocolate coins hanging on the Christmas tree. Eventually
he decided to eat them. Parrot discovered the Malted Milk biscuits with
little pictures of cows on. He likes crunchy crumbly things and he
nibbled his way through quite a few of them. Afterwards he played with
all the coloured biros on the notepad.
We went out very early today. At the bus stop we saw this lovely dawn
sky. The clouds were arranged in two big rolls of glowing orange. It was
sunny all day and the shops were quite crowded because of the January
Sales. In the afternoon I helped with looking up some of the shorthand
in the dictionary, for the website article.
We went along to the garden centre. We had to go on the very muddy and
slippery verge to get round, a bit too close to the traffic - we decided
we would come back on the other side of the road. The penguin ornaments
in the garden centre were looking very smart and I have a red hat just
like that somewhere at home.
It was nice to see all the colours, after the muddy wintry walk to get
here. These are paint mixing cards, tile samples and lots of lovely seed
packets to remind us to plan our next year's flowers.
Behind the garden centre is the river, which is now higher and muddier
than usual. All the inlet drains along the way are flowing fast.
Normally they are very small, you can't always see where they are, and
you only know they are there because of the trickling sound.
TOP OF PAGE