Some Christmassy bits and pieces

In late November, a week before my holiday in Ireland, I went to a large garden centre just a few miles from home. It had been a couple of years since I’d been there during the run up to Christmas and remembering that they’d previously had some really good Christmas displays I thought I’d be able to get some nice photos. I was a bit disappointed however as the displays weren’t nearly as good as in previous years and with boxes of decorations and other stuff stacked around most of them it wasn’t really worth taking many photos. I did call in at a smaller garden centre on my way back home though and found they had a lovely working miniature village on display so my journey wasn’t entirely wasted.
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The day after I got back from Ireland earlier this month I took myself off to the Trafford Centre on the outskirts of Manchester to see the Coca-Cola truck ; I’d missed it when it came to my home town last year as I’d been over in Ireland at the time so I was determined I wouldn’t miss it this time. Leaving the van at home I went to the Trafford Centre by bus ; the express service was an easy 20-minute ride along the motorway straight to the centre and I didn’t have to drive round and round the car park looking for a space.
The truck certainly seemed to be very popular as there was a continuous queue of people of all ages taking photos of themselves and others in front or at the side of it and I had to exercise a lot of patience to get my own photos without someone getting in the way. I’d only ever been to the Trafford Centre once before, about twelve years ago, on a brief visit with someone else and I didn’t really see much of it, so once I’d got the shots I wanted I went to have a look round inside. I wasn’t particularly interested in the shops, just the place in general, and with it all being decorated for Christmas I was able to get some good photos.
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At the Alpine Village outside the Great Hall
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And finally, a couple of attractive window displays at the florist’s shop on the main road close to home. I like the winged ponies – I can’t call them unicorns as they don’t have horns – but I thought the seal looked cute enough to have his own picture.
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I really meant to post these photos before Christmas but somehow writing about my Ireland holiday got in the way. I’ve just had two relatively pc-free days so hopefully if I don’t get sidetracked over the following few days my next post should be a round-up of the last twelve months – actually my computer tends to be a bit on the slow side these days so maybe I should start now  🙂

Merry Christmas everyone

After a really busy five days during which I had an absolute pig of a day on Tuesday, I finally finished work yesterday until Jan. 2nd, and with no private house cleaning to do over the festive period I’m really looking forward to having some much-needed chill out time. The shopping was all done yesterday and with only myself and Michael here I didn’t buy much more than I would for any normal week ; his presents were bought and wrapped before I went to Ireland and I hand delivered the last two remaining Christmas cards last night while taking the dogs for their late night walk, so I have nothing to do now except relax and wish everyone who reads this blog a very Merry Christmas.
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And for those of you who also read my other blog this means that you get two lots of Christmas wishes for the price of one, and that can’t be bad! So thank you everyone for visiting my blog(s) over the last twelve months – enjoy yourselves this festive season and have a lovely time!

Looking back

I can’t remember if it was a couple of days before Christmas or a couple of days after, but Michael rang me one afternoon sounding all excited and telling me to get a copy of the local paper as he was in it. At first I thought it was something to do with where he works but no; the paper runs a weekly page called Looking Back where local photos from past years are featured, and this particular edition featured photos of school nativity plays from the 1980s and 90s. I looked online and photo no.56 was the one of Michael’s primary school nativity when he was five years old – and there he was, right on the front row and the only little donkey in the play.
I remember buying a copy of the photo at the time, but I can’t think where it is now as it will have been put away somewhere years ago, so I downloaded it to my pc. I’ve just come across it again now while looking for something else; it’s hard to believe that the five-year-old little donkey in that photo is now an adult with a good job and responsibilities, but he looks so darned cute I just had to share it.
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Sophie & Poppie – my two little elves

After several quite dull grey days the weather today turned out to be quite reasonable with plenty of sunshine so I took the opportunity to take Sophie and Poppie for a long walk, but first I took a few snaps of them in their new Christmas outfits. Now I wouldn’t normally dress them up, though as they both have very short fine fur I do occasionally put them in hoodies to keep them warm when the weather is really cold, but my daughter-in-law bought these for them and they looked so cute I couldn’t resist getting the camera out. The writing on the back of each one says ‘Mummy’s little elf’ though neither of them would stay still long enough for me to photograph it.
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Needless to say, the outfits were taken off again before we actually went for our walk as they are too nice to get dirty so they’ll be kept for indoors only and after New year they’ll be put away. Then in twelve months time – if I can remember where I’ve put them – I’ll get them out again and Sophie and Poppie can become my little elves for next Christmas.