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Thursday, 20 December 2012

Happy Xmas Everyone

December has ambled along. The weather went from fiercely cold and icy to dismally wet and rainy. We hate the rain because it trickles down the walls on the third floor. The chimney rebuild was a great success! They are the best chimneys in the street, but the assumption that "the flashing looked OK so it was OK" has turned out to be erroneous. Obviously the flashing that we can't see is not OK. More work is now needed and so the scaffolding will go up again in January. Old houses have atmosphere and interesting features but they also exhibit the wear and tear of ages specially on the outside where the weather hits the roof.

Tinker entertains herself during the inclement weather by climbing the stairs instead of her out-door climbing frame. She found this wool in the stash on the top landing and liberated it.
It was a left over ball of white angora and probably had a more interesting aroma than the rest. She brought it down to the ground floor and then bit through the middle. Two very small things will now have to be knitted from the remains. I can't bear to throw it away. It was the only angora in the stash!
I do lots of cooking when I'm rained indoors. Here is a boiled fruit cake I made. You boil up the fruit with sugar, butter and in this case, fresh pineapple, juice and walnuts.
Then cool it and add the flour and eggs. Then you bake it. Oops!
But it tasted really good and we have nearly finished it all.
Just to go on a bit more about the gloomy weather and because it's the shortest day of the year tomorrow, I thought I'd include this pic of the workmen nearby using spotlights at 9.30 am so that they could get on with their work. It should amuse folks in Oz who rarely get up in the dark. 

Still it's not as bad as Siberia. Birds can freeze solid if they attempt to fly across the road in winter and they fall to the ground like a stone. No! don't ask me what they were doing there in the first place, they should have migrated. I just read it somewhere in a book and have carried a picture of it in my mind ever since
Cheers to all for the festive season.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas Creeps Closer

They started having xmas at the beginning of November in the shops up here but we are still undecorated chez nous. The first card arrived on Saturday and is standing in lone splendour on the mantlepiece (not counting the e-card!). I went to Artison to refresh my lino-cutting skills and knock up a card or two.
I shall do some more at home. It's the sort of craft that quite suits the kitchen table and the gear is cheap enough to acquire.
I have also been trawling the auctions and ebay for xmas gifts and came across this...
...lovely comfy recliner chair for the bedroom. It wan't possible to make it into a secret present so it is already in place and being used. In fact right now!
The great weather on Saturday got us out to Seaton Carew to examine the progress on the beachfront.
It would appear that the sea is still winning hands down. These steps are still under two metres of sand
and these ones needed 200tons of rock to protect them from the waves.
It is an enormous beach and there is a constant attack from the North Sea waves against the seafront.
Sad to say, humans don't do any better in places. This burnt out and derelict building occupies the best site on the seafront. The council are attempting a compulsory purchase order so that they can demolish it and..... well I don't know what they intend but I hope it's better thought out than the steps.
There's a good layer of snow on the ground this morning and the car will need to be cleaned off before we go to Lidl to take advantage of the £5 voucher to buy a lobster or two. They are advertising them at £5.99 each so we may well need two for a fine feast. Our voucher is for £5 off a £35 total purchase so I shall top up with other xmas fare and wine at the same time.
Cheers Gillian