Friday, 30 December 2016

Christmas day catch-up, our own Harry Potter and I'm all the 5's now!

I didn't get round to doing a pre-Christmas post and now we are almost ready to say goodbye to 2016.
The Christmas holiday hasn't really been what I had visions of it being, I had thought i'd have plenty of time to stitch, knit or crochet as I pleased but instead it feels like the time has gone and i've got nothing to show for it.  I can't say that i've even watched anything on the TV either.  It's been a strange one that's for sure.
Tomorrow the decorations will come down and be packed away and it will be time to think about plans for next year.

But, looking back to Christmas day, it was a good one, we all descended on Jenny, James and Oliver this year, they cooked a fabulous meal and it was lovely seeing Oliver so excited over his presents, goodness knows where they are going to put all the new toys and games Santa left!  We stayed until early evening and came home full and happy :-)

One of the things we bought Oliver was a Harry Potter costume, he has watched some of the films and loves them, once he opened this present he wore it for the rest of the day.

We all had a chuckle over how much he looked the part :-)

The girls always put a lot of thought into their gifts but this year they really have spoilt us.
Knowing how much we both love London they gave us the most amazing gift containing 3 envelopes, inside those envelope was.........

 A visit to Buckingham Palace
A gift voucher for a London hotel booking
An E-voucher to Kensington Palace
Breakfast at the Orangery (at Kensington Palace)
A London walking tour, (Kings, Queens, Politics and Power) 
View from The Shard  (O.M.G I'm going to the top of the Shard!!!!!),
AND a three course meal at Marco Pierre White!!!

Oh. My. Goodness!! how cool is that present? I was just speechless what amazing daughters I have.

I'm so exited!!  Although we have been to London many times these will all be new experiences for us.

That they put so much thought into this gift means such a lot to me.  We don't have to do everything in one visit so we are looking forward to arranging a few trips to the capital during 2017.

There was a birthday celebration on the 27th too, Mine!
I have now reach the half way point of my 50's

This time everyone gathered at our house for roast pork and stuffing sandwiches, and of course cake:-)

A lovely grey poncho and a crochet blocking board off Joanne and Gavin
(I got very excited over that blocking board) :-)

The Madame Chantilly chart and the lovely cake forks were from Jenny and James, the jar of squishies were off Oliver, they are mine, and his favourites :-)
The lovely flowers were from my friend Lyn along with a bottle of Amaretto, the Scholl pedi and CK makeup bag and Yankee candle off Stevie and the 'Sisters' figurine was off my sister.
And Mark gave me an M&S voucher which i'm saving for the for year as i don't really like shopping in the sales.

Last but not least, Julie sent me these beautiful knitted gloves.

Thank you Julie for thinking of me, I love them :-)

I really do feel very spoilt both at Christmas and my Birthday this year and few emotional tears have been shed over the generosity and thoughtfulness behind all my gifts.

So that's it for my 2016 blogging, I wonder what 2017 will bring ?
 I've been planning a little of what I might be doing but it's just in my head at the moment, I think tomorrow i will try and get it down on paper so that I've got something to refer to that will help me keep track, some are craft related some are not.  How about you? are you making list of  crafting goals for next year or making some changes or just challenging yourself ?

Whatever you are doing in 2017 I wish you  Health and Happiness

Until Next year

Friday, 16 December 2016

Christmas Markets of the Rhine

This time last week we were in Germany, It was very early start on the Friday morning to get down to London and park the car, but staying overnight in London the night before wouldn't have saved us anymore time really, and the car parking was much cheaper than a hotel.

This was my first visit to St Pancras station and lovely it is too, but very very busy.

(These were taken on the Monday we arrived back)

We set off on the Eurostar at 9am and arrived at the hotel around 5pm, a long day travelling.
We couldn't fault the hotel, (Hotel Pinger, in Remagen, right opposite the railway station), very clean, staff were really friendly and the food was good.  You would have thought that it would have been noisy being right by the railway, but we didn't hear a thing.

(dining room below)

Loved the seating outside

Remagen has quite an interesting history, if you feel the urge to find out more, just type The bridge at Remagen into Google, there is a 1969 war film of the same name, which I have never seen but which has now gone on my 'to watch' list. 

The town is so quiet and peaceful and everywhere is dressed for Christmas, beautiful.

On the Saturday our first market was Koblenz, this I have to say was my least favourite market, we arrived quite early so a lot of the stalls were still closed.  Although the town it self had plenty of shops it was rather spread out, a little disappointing really.

We had a walk down to the river which looked very pretty as the morning mist was still hanging around.

On Sunday we had a trip on the Vulkan Express which was great fun, and Santa boarded the train at one stop

Saturday was Linz and it's Christmas market.
The town was very pretty, lovely painted building but strangely not many of them were occupied as shops.
This lovely green building below was an amazing craft shop

Our last market, and the best one of the three was at Ahr set in the Ahrweiler Valley.
We didn't have nearly enough time to explore this lovely town, everywhere was festive and all the shops were decorated beautifully, I could have spent a whole day there!

I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by Germany, I didn't expect it to be so pretty, it's definitely somewhere I would like to visit again sometime.

Next week is going to be a hectic one for most of us, and in this house of course Christmas just magically  happens, at least that's what Mark believes, ha, ha, ha.

 I still have a couple of gifts to buy, I know what they are It's just If I can muster up the courage to brave the shopping centre.
I do have 2 days off work next week so that should ease some of the pre Christmas panic.

I wish you all a good week and hope that you manage to get everything crossed off your lists.

Until next time