Sunday, 29 December 2013

Our Christmas


Well hello! We are back in Leeds after a blissful Christmas week spent on the South Coast staying with my parents. I feel a bit like I've been on holiday. The only downside was the weather, which managed to be cold, wet and very windy most of the time. But it was still pretty wonderful, and a much needed break from everyday life. It's a long and photo heavy post I'm afraid, but I wanted to share some of my week with you.

We spent most of Monday sheltering from the wind and torrential rain in a pub in West Sussex with my friend Abigail, her husband, and their two daughters. The good behaviour of four small children meant we had three whole hours to sit, eat, laugh and catch up and it was, as ever, lovely to spend time with such very dear friends. The wind on Monday night was awful, very loud and quite unsettling, but the storm seemed to blow itself out by morning and so on Tuesday we went for a walk as we were all rather in need of some fresh air and exercise. 


Drains were overflowing, water was lying on the fields and it was so very gloomy. We had to drive through a very scary and quite deep flood in a main road to get to our destination, Emsworth mill pond, and I did rather hold my breath as I drove through the seemingly endless pool of water and hoped that we wouldn't float away. The low light and stormy skies made everything look almost black and white.


On Christmas Eve I slept so badly - I was convinced the children were going to wake at some awful hour and I kept waking up, wondering it if was morning yet, then couldn't get back to sleep as I was so excited to see them find their stockings full of presents. Eventually they woke at a very respectable 6.30 and came into our bed to open their presents. Moments like those are a reward for parents for the broken sleep, the night feeds and the tantrums.


It was just the four of us plus my parents on Christmas Day. We went out for another walk (Langstone Harbour this time) in the morning then came home to open some presents. The rabbit was a big hit, I am relieved to say. She is called Rosie and I've made her a scarf and am under strict orders to produce another dress and a nightie too, sharpish. Angus's dog received a luke warm reception. He smiled, then put it carefully to one side and proceeded to ignore it all day. But he likes it and when he's feeling sleepy or affectionate he goes and gets it and plays with it. It sleeps next to him at night. I caught him pretending to feed it a chocolate coin today.


I find it fascinating to watch Bella and Angus open their presents as they are so different. Bella is excitable and impatient and cannot rest and play with anything until every last gift is open. But Angus will open one gift and then go off and quietly play with it (usually while lying on his tummy right in the middle of a busy thoroughfare) and forget about the other parcels lying under the tree.


Boxing Day was a gloriously busy affair with both my sisters, their partners and children. joining us for the day. Fourteen of us squeezed around the table for a lunch of cold turkey and ham, salad, pickles, bubble and squeak, smoked salmon, quiches and tarts. It was delicious and more than a little chaotic.


We ended our week, and our visits to different parts of Chichester Harbour, with a walk around Bosham, a small Sussex coastal village rich in history which I am very fond of. Again, more leaden skies. The sun only seemed to shine when we traveled on the M1 this week.


We fed stale bread to the unnervingly tame ducks and swans, then wandered around the village.


As the sun started to set we walked across the causeway that appears at low tide and we rewarded with beautiful views back to the village.


I fall under a bit of a spell when I visit Bosham, and dream of living in one of those cottages which line the water's edge. Some places do that to you. But judging by the number of sand bags I saw in doorways this week I imagine it's not so idyllic after all, especially when the weather is bad and the tide high.


So, there is our Christmas. Well done if you made it to the end. I had my fill of family, food and sea air, and am very happy. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas too.

48 comments:

  1. It looks like you had a lovely Christmas, Gillian. I'm sorry the weather wasn't better while you were not on the road, but it seems like there was plenty of fun to be had indoors. I love the photos of both of your children with the toys you made for them. These gifts will be cherished always, I think.

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  2. Dearest Gillian
    Looks like a really lovely time was had on the south coast and I am so pleased you got to see and enjoy time with special friends and all your family. Really pleased that Bella loves Rosie and I am sure Angus's doggy will carve a special.place in his heart xox wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy 2014 xox Penny

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  3. What a great post Gillian, it looks like you all had a wonderful time. Wishing you all a happy 2014. Hugs Elisa xx

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  4. What a wonderful Christmas you had! So glad that Bella and Angus liked their presents, I am sure that they will be treasured for many years. Glad you had a nice time catching up with family and friends. Hope you have a great 2014! xx

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  5. Pleased you enjoyed your busy family Christmas. Enjoy looking at all of your pictures as always! x

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  6. Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas, the storm was awful we lost some branches off our tree and some guttering but else where it's been terrible with the floods and power cuts, some of our town lost power but thankfully ours was fine my heart goes out to those who have had not power for six day now. Have a happy and healthy 2014
    Clare xx
    http://summerhousebythesea.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. Sounds like a lovely Christmas, so nice to be able to get all the family together even if the weathers been awful!
    http://ahandfulofhope.blogspot.co.uk/

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  8. Thanks for sharing your wonderful Christmas with us, I very much enjoyed this post. I am glad you managed some lovely outings, the weather was really atrocious (we've been lucky for once up North). Rosie riding an armoured car with a soldier made me smile... x

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  9. What a wonderful Christmas, beautiful scenery and what gorgeous food. Sounds perfect. Sam

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  10. I have been reading about your challenging weather over the holidays and am sorry for those who have had to cope with flooding. Even though the weather was a bit gloomy for you, I am glad you managed to have warm and happy times with your family, Gillian. Our weather has been majoring in cold and fog, but like you I have been having warm and happy times with family and friends, so I am grateful! I got to read a blog story by Mereknits to my Grand Girls and posted some photos of our reactions to the story which was great fun. Happy New Year to you and yours! xx

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  11. Glad you had such a lovely Christmas. Rosie looked like she is going to be much loved. xx

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  12. What a lovely post, full of happy family times.
    Looks like Action Man has a new sidekick!
    I remember my dad visiting Bosham and saying how pretty it is. After seeing your photos I think I should make the effort to go, it's easy to get to by train.
    Lisa x

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  13. How wonderful that you had such a great Christmas and that is really what is important in life...family and making great memories with them. So happy!

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  14. What a wonderful Christmas you have had :). I too have a child who plays lying on his stomach in a thoroughfare this Christmas it was mecanno!

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  15. Such beautiful pics, and it sounds like a truly lovely Christmas celebration, despite the horrible weather. Wishing you & yours a happy, healthy & blessed new year ahead. Xx

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  16. Looks lovely! Rather like arnside near me! Glad you had a great time. It is interesting how different your children can be. Have a great new year! Xxx

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  17. Wow, what utterly beautiful photos. It sounds as though your Christmas was magical. I love the pictures taken across the water, they're lovely. Glad you all had such a wonderful time.

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  18. Just the loveliest post, Gillian. Your Christmas sounds wonderful.

    I love the photo of Rosie hitching a lift and Angus engrossed in play made my heart melt, bless him.

    Hasn't the weather been ferocious? We had a fence post uprooted and two panels flapping around like sails. Poor D had to battle the elements to secure them while I watched from a cosy kitchen! ;-)

    Heather xx

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  19. Wondeful Xmas time. I hope the weather will be better as we will be in East Sussex/Kent in the next couple of days. Wishing you a wonderful time for New Year too.

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  20. What a wonderful Christmas - Gorgeous photos and a lovely post to read. Happy New year. :)

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  21. It was lovely to read all about your family Christmas. Shame about the weather but you made the most of it.
    Xxx

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  22. It looks like the best kind of Christmas! And here's hoping you have just as much fun at New Year and in 2014 x

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  23. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas Gillian and I love seeing all of the photos. Such a gorgeous part of the world. I'm completely in love with the Doggy you made Angus too by the way - just gorgeous!!! Hope you guys have the most wonderful New year!!! Mel xxx

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  24. Oh I really enjoyed your post Gillian! Glad you all had a wonderful time. I wish you a Happy New year to you and yours. Hugs :)

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  25. Gillian. I enjoyed your Christmas so much. Thank you for sharing. I am so glad you had such a wonderful time. The memory banks must be truly stocked up x x x

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  26. Lovely post Gillian. Glad you had a lovely time with your family. All the best for 2014. Nicola x

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  27. Hi Gillian, So glad you managed to have a warm and blessed Christmas, inspite of the weather!!! Your coastal pictures are amazing, maybe because of the weather!!! Have a fab week!!!!
    Love
    AMarie

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  28. Sounds like a glorious Christmas! Lovely photos too! x

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  29. Hi Gillian
    What a lovely Christmas you had. So many lovely pictures and the ones of Bosham took me right back.... my parents used to have a cottage there and we spent so many happy holidays there, particularly at this time of year. My Dad is a vicar, so Christmas being his busiest time, we all used to pile in to the car on Boxing Day and head off to Bosham for some quiet time. The smell of the mud and the tide, and the clanking of the sails still comes right back to me.
    I'm so glad , but not at all surprised, that the homemade toys were so well received - gorgeous photo's.
    Enjoy the New Year celebrations,
    Kate x

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  30. Wonderful pictures! And what is bubble and squeak (for us Americans who don't know)

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    1. It's usually leftover cooked potatoes and greens, mashed together and formed into little patties then fried, and it's very delicious. We used all the leftover veg from Christmas lunch (roast potatoes and parsnips, sprouts, carrots etc) but you can make your own from scratch. It's a tradition in our family to eat bubble and squeak (no idea why it's called that) with the cold cuts of leftover turkey and ham on Boxing Day. x

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  31. Lovely pictures of what looks like a lovely Christmas. Did Father Christmas bring you anything special? Happy new year to you and your family.

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  32. It looks like a lovely family Christmas; full of joy, peace and beauty in so many ways!
    Hope you have a lovely 2nd week before all normality resumes! x

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  33. Beautiful photos, it sounds like a lovely Christmas. Hope you have a great new year too.

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  34. That all sounds like a jolly perfect Christmas! I adore being beside the sea this time of year, even if the weather is as wet and wild as recent days, it truly blows the cobwebs away....and gives you back the appetite to polish off those leftovers! Those presents look beautiful, I'm sure they will be loved and treasured for years to come!

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  35. it looks and sounds like a wonderful, peaceful, cozy family time. Perfect. Beautiful pictures too. I'm so glad Rosie was well received and you can't beat a special toy for those quite moments too, so I'm sure dog is just as loved, in his own unique way! :)

    S x

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  36. Looks like you had a very happy Christmas, lovely post and happy photos

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  37. Gillian, I just love this post. It looks like everyone had a fantastic trip and I am so glad you were able to see friends and family and have a great time.
    Happy New Year,
    Meredith

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  38. I'm so glad that you had such a fabulous Christmas Gillian. Your card did arrive - thank you. I love all the photos that you have shared here. A real slice of life.

    Leanne xx

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  39. What a lovely Christmas. All the best to you and your family for the new year xx

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  40. It all goes so quickly doesn't it. I love the picture of all the toys going for a ride in the Jeep and Angus up the hall.

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  41. Lovely post. It looks and sounds like a very happy family Christmas. Very best wishes for the New Year.
    Marianne xx

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  42. Happy Christmas! Love the pic with the swans. All the best for 2014...

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  43. What a wonderful Christmas you've all had, and spending it with family must have made it all the more special. I absolutely love the rabbit and dog, I'd have loved to have found one of those in my own stocking on Christmas morning as I'm not talented enough to make one myself. I'm sure they'll be treasured forever. Happy New Year.

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  44. I am glad that the rabbit and the dog were well received. Looks like a lovely family Christmas. Great photos, that village is so pretty.

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  45. Beautiful photographs and it looks like you had a great Christmas. Laughed with you about the not sleeping on Christmas eve, it ended up that teenboy got up first out of our children which was most unexpected. See you next year, katie x

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  46. It sounds like you had a wonderful break, despite the weather! I'm so glad the rabbit was well-received, it really is beautiful! x

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  47. It looks like you had a fabulous Christmas with family and friends! Bella seems to adore her rabbit, and Angus looks so cute cuddled up with his dog. Your Boxing Day dinner looks really nice with so much yummy food. So sorry the weather was so grey and wet.

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