Friday, 5 December 2014

Friday Happies

Aghhh! It's all got a bit much; too much to do, too much to think about. Lists. I have a lot of lists, with headings and sub-headings, highlighted sections. If I lose a list all hell will break loose. You see, the thing is, alongside all the usual Christmas mayhem, we are moving house. Before Christmas, too, which is sooner than we'd expected. If not before Christmas then straight after, probably at a date selected to maximise stress and bad timing. This is one of those things that has been rumbling along quietly in the background of our lives throughout this autumn, and I haven't wanted to say anything until we had definite facts and dates, and now suddenly it's all upon us. We are relocating to the south coast to be nearer my family, among other things. It's a big move, a scary and exhilarating one, but also feels like very much the right thing to do for us as a family. I am a whirlwind of emotions right now. So, as well as trying to remember that it was non school uniform day for Bella today, and Angus had a school trip (which I went on too - I'm shatterred), and they both had to take in something for the Christmas fair, and then they had the dentist at ten past four, and to have all John's family's Christmas presents wrapped and ready by this weekend when we see them, and a million and one other things, I am ringing removal companies and solicitors, ringing schools, sorting out the garage, ordering boxes. Oh, and I said I'd make Bella and Angus a fox and doe from here and I haven't even started them yet

I nearly didn't bother writing my happies this week as I thought, honestly, I've got nothing to say. I'm not unhappy, no, but I'm certainly distracted. But in among the craziness there are moments of calm and peace, happiness even, and they keep me sane.

1. Wrapping Christmas presents when the kids were in bed while watching my The Box of Delights DVD. It's a tradition of mine to watch this every year. I loved it as a child, and love it even more now. In an effort to have one less box to pack, I decided to use only paper, tags and ribbon I already had in the house. 


So it's brown parcel paper, any ribbon scraps I could find, and gift tags made from last year's Christmas cards.


It's what's inside that counts, anyway.


2. Mince pies. I love them and would happily eat them year round if it was socially acceptable, and I always do a little happy dance when it's ok to buy them. I don't think there will be time to make any this year so I'm embracing the supermarket ones. 


3. Soups and stews that simmer away on the hob, making the late afternoons less dark and dreary.


4. Watching the children's faces while they watched their Portable North Pole videos. If you don't know of it, you upload a photo and some facts (name, age etc) and a free, personalised message from Santa (or Father Christmas as I insist that he's known in this house - I realise I'm fighting a losing battle on that front) is sent to your inbox. Best of all, I think Bella is still a believer! I've never been one for queueing up in a shopping centre of theme park to "meet Santa" but this is a little bit of seasonal magic that I'm more than happy to indulge in. 

5. Being able to call some homemade gifts "finished".


A scarf for a man, in blokey colours, which by coincidence were all the colours left over from my blanket. This was my first time trying a granny stripe pattern too and I really enjoyed it. It's a satisfying pattern to hook up, and creates lovely tidy edges. 




7. Last of all, Angus has taken to wearing his swimming goggles in the bath and shower. Of course, it goes without saying that they've never seen chlorinated water, but it makes me belly laugh every time. He looks ridiculous. I'll spare you a photo of that.



This weekend will be bonkers. I am going out with some other mums from school tonight, we have swimming lessons then a day with grandparents tomorrow, the school fair on Sunday. Oh, yes, and packing!  I hope your weekend is full of festive joys and that you're not yet overwhelmed by the December rush.



61 comments:

  1. Hi Gillian! I'm surprised to hear you're moving ( and I'm a bit sad which is bonkers because we don't even live in the same city or have met eachbother!). I wish you all the best with the move and everything. It's great that you were able to find many happies amongst the chaos and craziness this week. Take care! x

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  2. Oh my. Oh my. I think it will all be okay so long as you keep your sleep down to under three hours per night. Very exciting though, it will of course be worth it in the end. I do hope it all goes well. Keep mainlining those mince pies, you will need all the energy you can get. I'm so impressed that you have hand made Christmas presents, you're a marvel. Have a good weekend Gillian. CJ xx

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  3. Sound crazy. Moving is crazy. Your blog post actually seems very calm...I don't think I would be able to blog! Wishing you happy moving vibes. xx

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  4. Oh my. Respect. I would go completely bonkers in your shoes. Freak out. Big time. How do you do it ?
    I wish you a lovely weekend, keep those energy levels high enough (fruits & veggies, and if that doesn't work, the pharmacist will be able to help with some legalized drugs ;-)))

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  5. Wow! Sounds full on with you. Hiw exciting though a move new things n.the horizon friends too as well as the familar and treasured. Hugs xxxx

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  6. Oh Gillian,
    I do hope the move goes well. I can feel the stress. I'm sure it will all be worth it and how lovely you will be near your family.
    Love your latest scarf.
    Jacquie x

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  7. Wishing you all the best with your move. It is a very stressful time but it will all be worth it in the end when you are all settled. Love your present wrappings they are very lovely and you have just reminded me that I will need to watch the Box of Delights DVD again this Christmas ~ hope you have alovely weekend :O)x

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  8. Oh how exciting - and stressful!! Hoping the mince pies are helping you through. Sounds like you're doing tremendously - hand made gifts., I don't manage that anyway, never mind moving house! Hope you have time to rest a little and enjoy all being together. It sounds a wonderful new start x

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  9. The Box of Delights! Yes! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to read that! I loved it as a child, too, and also have it as my annual watch in the run-up to Christmas. Insisted the hubby join me last year, which was very disappointing as he didn't enjoy it at all (said it was, whisper it, a bit weird and badly acted!) -- so am just waiting til the sproglets are old enough to be able to enjoy it without being scared.

    And yes, in your far more important news: a house move just before Christmas?! Insanity. Good luck. xxxx

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  10. Hugs to you guys. It will be okay. There will be a lot of stress for a few weeks and then one morning you will wake up and it will all be over and life will be so peaceful and worry-free as you explore your new place and make new friends. You can always write to me if you need to vent or complain. I will try to think of good jokes to help!

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  11. Oh my all so exciting - can I say just one thing, be kind to yourself! If you don't make the toys you can make them when you get settled in and give them to them when they have their new bedrooms. Everyone has a Christmas or two where they let Sh*t slide and this year might be yours. Mine was when I had two babies under three and in laws who arrived for a festive day and fried my head with boredom and humbug!!

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  12. Oh yeah! and I LOOOOVEEE Portable Norht pole - you have just reminded me so I am off to do that now. Jo x

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  13. Good luck with the packing! It is ever so stressful but if you look forward to unpacking and placing your loveliest things in a new place it might be easier. Good luck and enjoy your night out! xx

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  14. Oh wow, big news! I'll keep fingers and toes that it all goes as smoothly as possible for you Gillian. Keep your mince pie quota up, they have anti stress properties :-) xx

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  15. Oh my goodness, such a lot of stress for this time of year. I wish you the very best on the move. And remember Angus with those goggles on when you are feeling glum or stressed.
    Hugs and good luck,
    Meredith

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  16. I am excited to learn about your move, Gillian! And it sounds like it's the right move for your family. I know you are excited to be closer to your family. I look forward to seeing your new home - I know you will decorate it beautifully! Just take a deep breath (I know, easier said than done) and before you know it you will be settled into your new home. Enjoy the weekend! And that pot of soup on your stove looks beautiful and delicious.

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  17. Good luck with everything and remember to have a glass of sloe gin and mince pie to hand at all times if it gets a bit much! I just looked up the Box of Delights and the theme music gave me goosebumps, it really takes me back and I loved the magic of it all. I didn't realise it was based on a famous story so I might get the book now. Keep smiling, Antonia x

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  18. You have got a lot on you're plate, good luck with the move, I think you're brown paper parcels are so pretty.
    Clare x

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  19. Box of Delights. Tick. Us too. Brown paper wrapping and recycled cardy bits. Ditto. Moving before Christmas. Thank God, no! We did once move at Christmas, when number 3 was 8 months old, and it is not an experience I'd care to repeat. But if anyone can pull it off it's the woman moving house and still making her own Christmas presents. Like Claire said, limit the sleep and maximise the mince pie consumption and you will sail through xxx

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  20. Congratulations Gillian, what an exciting time ahead! Having followed your blog for a few years I know you've always hinted at being back by the sea so it's fantastic to realise a dream! I thought I'd bitten off more than I can choose by deciding to decorate the front room but you've put it in perspective now ;) Good luck with everything. Look forward to following your new adventure. Ella x

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  21. Wow - how exciting, if maybe just a little bit stressful! I love 'The Box of Delights' too and will have to set aside some time to have a bit of a wrap and watch it - maybe with a mince pie or two?! Love the manly scarf; someone will be very happy to find that in their stocking. Happy packing and remember, when things get too much ........ there's always alcohol! x

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  22. OOh things always happen at the same time ,it will be stressful but take a deep breath as it will all work out in the end ,merry xmas to you and rant away on your blog ,we will all help you through this stresfull time wont we girls ? xx

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  23. Well, that bit of news took us all by surprise! An extra busy lead up to Christmas for you but, armed with your lists and enough mince pies, it will all work out fine, I'm sure. The goggles in the bath made me smile as my boy used to do the same. He turned out to be a competitive swimmer, so you never know!

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  24. Oh my! Not the easiest time to move house but so pleased for you. You definitely have no time to make homemade mince pies. Stay well during the stress xo

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  25. Moving house at Christmas, definitely makes for stress but I'm sure you're up to the challenge! You're always so organised.
    Jacqui x

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  26. No December rush at all for me; I'll have the entire weekend to myself and will be writing my cards and getting the parcel for my family in Yorkshire ready so that I can take everything to the post office on Monday. The presents for the family here are all in the cabinet in the Third Room and only need to be wrapped before the 24th (which is our traditional time of exchanging gifts and gathering as a family).
    I certainly do not envy you this super-FULL time! Stay sane, and don't worry about blogging - we'll miss you, but you definitely need that time for other things now.

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  27. Wow! Good luck with the house move. It's a crazy process but will be worth it if you're going where you want to be. I too watch The Box of Delights every December, it was going to be part of my Christmas Rituals post :)
    Hope you find a bit of respite from the madness. And mince pies give you energy! S x

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  28. Oh my you don't do things by half! I wish you all the luck, at least in a few weeks it will all be over. Yes definitely Father Christmas but Santa Paws delivers to the dog you see! An extra exciting time for you, take care xx

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  29. Oh how exciting! Look after yourself through all the mania of moving. It will all be worth it. Bee xx

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  30. Moving is stressful, moving at christmas is mega stressful. I know because we moved once on the 23rd Dec when our children where still at home. One thing I can say though is that the build up before hand is the worst bit and once you're in your new home you'll be so excited that the stresses and strains will disappear.
    Good luck with it all!

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  31. Gillian - all of that and you still cranked out a scarf! You get the Domestic Goddess of the week award! How exciting about the move. As I haven't ever moved house, I can only imagine the mix of emotions that you're feeling and I think it would be accentuated by the fact that it is during the holiday season. Find some moments of quiet for yourself during this busy time.

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  32. Good luck - I hope a glass of wine helps over the weekend. On the plus side, you have made me feel heaps better that my lists are more than manageable at the moment!! :)
    When you've moved, if you fancy a trip to Mid-Sussex, it would be lovely to have a cuppa and a cake in reality, rather than "virtually". x

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  33. I live about 45mins from my parents and they have been part of my daughters life on an almost weekly basis for years. I would not have been without that support and a move closer to your parents will, I am sure, be great for all of you. In the meantime remember to breathe, buy the mince pies and think of how good it will be once you are all in your new house. You are one organised lady, you'll be fine xx

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  34. I don't think busy is a big enough word!! Your presents look delightful and the male granny scarf is bliss...good luck with everything xxx

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  35. Of the world to friends.
    Will present the Christmas music.
    Mariah Carey – “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – Christmas In Rockefeller 2014 http://wp.me/p3YsMF-4z @Sakamoto2Ryouma

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  36. Oh crikey! Good luck with everything, we moved into this house two days before xmas at the time it was stressful but it all worked out. Love the wrapping and the scarf.

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  37. Wow! Good luck with all the packing... busy times ahead! Hope it all goes smoothly :)

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  38. Despite the natural worry and list making, this a lovely cosy blog post filled with all the best things about December! It would be rude not to make the most out of the mince pies, I wish they were more socially acceptable year round but then maybe the happy dance wouldn't be as heartfelt! ;) I hope you have a happy and productive week!

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  39. Congrats! All I can say is get organised. My friend who also moves often made the children pack their own toys and they go through them as they pack to see if anything is "too baby", those are donated to charity. And they are allowed to keep out a small box of things they want for a week like you would take on holiday.

    Like everyone else I cant wait to see your new place.

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  40. All the best for the move, I always seem to move house at christmas, I feel your chaos! A lovely happy post, and such an exciting adventure :) Good luck with everything x (I hope the new house has a mantel :D)

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  41. Wow, that sounds a bit overwhelming! Moving with kids is such a big task (we did it two years ago). It probably will not be anything like the Christmases you usually have but I'm sure you'll always remember it as "the Christmas we moved". I send you loads of energy and force!

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  42. Congratulations and good luck. May all your boxes arrive intact; may your cupboards empty quickly and your books slip easily onto shelves; may your crockery arrive unbroken and your craft gear pack neatly; may your kettle be easily found and all boxes arrive in right room; and may your new home be all that you desire. Have a wonderful move and a great christmas.

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  43. My oldest daughter can relate to your status a bit, Gillian. She expected to move before Christmas and packed their belongings only to find the move delayed and herself now burrowing into boxes to unearth favorite Christmas decorations! Blessings on you and yours and your latest adventure! xx

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  44. Best of luck with the packing and with your move, Gillian. The thought of it is totally overwhelming, especially at this time of year, but you'l do great. Oh and big thumbs up for the Box of Delights and calling Father Christmas, Father Christmas. Can totally tell we are of the same excellent vintage :) x

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  45. Oh Gillian this is HUGE news! Good luck with it all. We have moved so many times and no matter how organised we are it's still a painful event but wonderful when you come out the other side of the boxes. Bet your family is thrilled to have you nearby and so nice to kick off 2015 with a new abode to settle into xxxx

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  46. Wow such big news! Very best of luck with the move and how lovely to be nearer your family. We moved house on the 22nd December five years ago and it actually wasn't as stressful as I thought! Lovely happies as always and I love how you have wrapped your parcels...I may borrow that idea if you don't mind!
    Marianne x

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  47. Wow, good luck with the move. One of the many things I love about reading your blog is the fact you're in Yorkshire which is where I'm from. I grew up near Hull and went to Uni in Leeds but now live in Buckinghamshire and miss Yorkshire dearly. But now one of the many things I will love about your blog is you being on the south coast and writing about that, as I also spent a lot of time there as a child as my Grandparents lived on Chichester Harbour which judging by some of your previous posts, could be the part of the south coast you're headed for? Hope it all goes well and it doesn't make Christmas too stressful. Fiona x

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  48. Good luck with the move! My parents moved house 8 years ago to be closer to us. They moved on the 21st December and we had the most lovely Christmas ever!! Wishing you all the very best. Sarah xo

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  49. Wow! I hope it goes well Gillian. I know you'd mentioned before how lovely it would be to be closer to your family and to the sea. Exciting times for 2015. My parents (and I) moved just before Christmas ( a loooooong time ago now) and they said it worked out well. Everyone was excited and jolly!! Hope the packing and preparations go well xxx

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  50. Wow big news!! I hope all goes well, I find moving really stressful but oh so exciting too!! Plus I always get rid of a ton of rubbish and unused stuff every time we move, which is always a plus! All the best of luck, I hope you all settle in quickly in your new surroundings, schools etc..
    Your scarf is beautiful, the colours are so pretty, I'd wear it myself! And I love your gift wrapping. What a clever idea to recycle old xmas cards into gift tags, I'd never thought of it!

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  51. What a jumble and mixed emotions you must be feeling right now. All that comes with moving home and then heaped on top of Christmas that's one emotion fuelled time.
    I hope the move, when it does happen, goes smoothly.
    Love the parcels, they look beautiful.
    You'll be nearer Gunwharf next year then!
    Lisa x

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  52. Exciting! And nail biting! So looking forward to reading of your new adventures and family life on the South Coast xo

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  53. Best wishes on your move and your To Do list! (From another Gillian whose son also wears swim goggles in the tub...)

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  54. Moving is stressful at the best of times but at Christmas it's really hectic. We moved into a new house about a week before Christmas in 2000. Priorities (according to my children) were to get the TV working (including Sky) and get the Christmas tree up. Then we were packing up, to move in January, around the Christmas of 2006. Found out on the first day the estate agent opened in 2007 that the sale had fallen through. So had to make a temporary move and start looking again! Anyway - I laughed about you and mince pies! I'm the same - can't wait for it to alright to start eating them!! Which it now is and which I now have been doing.

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  55. Blimey, you have been and will be a busy, busy bee! I can't quite believe you might well be moving before Christmas, I think I might just have a melt down if that was me and yet here you are, taking it in your stride! I hope everything goes smoothly for you, good luck with it all.

    S x

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  56. Wow that's super exciting! We moved around this time last year, rather stressful isn't it. It must be difficult relocating but I'm sure everyone will settle in quickly, kids are great at making new friends xx

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  57. Eek, how exciting! We are moving too in the new year. Sadly, not by choice. Our landlord is selling. I was devastated at first as I love where we live but we sadly can't afford to buy in this neighbourhood. Anyhoo, I'm over the shock and quite excited to move into a 'proper' house! Good luck with packing, social activities and the move! x

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  58. Wow... Good luck with the move. I have not yet been able to catch to know where and why you are moving quiet yet. I live the way you packaged your gifts and the recycled gift tags... How clever. You always have a way of making simple things look so pretty and elegant. I can't believe you started wrapping in the beginning of December. Today is December 23 and I have not wrapped even one single gift yet ... Craziness for me tomorrow . Hope you are having a wonderful holiday my dear friend. Would you mind sending me your address ... I have a little card I wanted it send to you.

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