Friday, 30 December 2022

Countdown to Christmas: Day 13

Another day of Christmas fun, and the first full day of our annual pre-Christmas Cornish retreat!

Advent Tea

Today's advent tea from my Bird and Blend Tea calendar was Tea and Toast (which you may remember we had at Lammas as well)!

Wireless Station

First proper day of our holiday in Cornwall. We're staying in Lizard, at a National Trust property that was once Marconi's wireless station!

Fuzzy Duck Gift Set

Back at the beginning of my Halloween celebrations in October, I won a Baylis and Harding Fuzzy Duck gift set on a tombola at a funday at Boggart Hole Clough. I saved it for my winter holiday, so I've got Mulberry and Mistletoe body butter and Frosted Christmas Tree shower gel to enjoy while we're away.

Don’t Look Back

I usually read a lot while we're away in December, so all year I've been saving up books to bring that suit the season and/or the location. The first book I read from my pile was Don't Look Back by Ben Cheetham, which is set in Lizard.


Continued our annual Christmas viewing with Sint (aka Saint) this evening.

Stay Another Day

I read another book tonight that I'd been saving for Christmas, as it's super-festive - Stay Another Day by Juno Dawson.

Countdown to Christmas: Day 12

And we're off! We left today for ten days in Cornwall, our annual holiday, so a big chunk of the day was spent loading the car and driving down the country. But it was the start of our holiday!

Advent Tea

Today's advent tea from my Bird and Blend Tea calendar was Jasmine Poached Pears!

Driving to Cornwall

The M6 was a Winter Wonderland!! It was so pretty! (I tried to persuade Rob to drive in the slow lane so I could get a better picture, but he wasn't having it!)

Christmas with the Kranks

The first night of our Cornwall holiday meant the beginning of our annual Christmas film binge. We have a pile of films that we take away with us each year, and we started off this year's Christmas viewing with Christmas with the Kranks.

Countdown to Christmas: Day 11

It's the last day before we go away for our annual December holiday, so today (or this evening at least) was a mad panic to get everything finished before we head off to Cornwall for ten days with no wi-fi or mobile signal!

Advent Tea

Today's advent tea from my Bird and Blend Tea calendar was Mulled Cider!

Virtual Writing Retreat

Today was also my final Virtual Writing Retreat of the year (a thing I do with some other writers who have been on my Hannah's Bookshelf radio show on North Manchester FM). As it's December, this month's retreat had a festive flavour.

Thursday, 29 December 2022

Countdown to Christmas: Day 10

Day 10 of my Countdown to Christmas was a busy one (with an incredibly festive evening). Only two days left until our December holiday, so there's still a little bit of work stuff included in this one. But, as in previous blogs, it's work-but-make-it-festive.

Advent Tea

Today's advent tea from my Bird and Blend Tea calendar was Salted Caramel Lebkuchen!

Christmas Earrings

Today's earrings were my sparkly Christmas puddings!

Christmas Fayre at The Miners

I was at a Christmas fayre at the Miners Community Arts and Music Centre this afternoon.

Christmas Fair at St John Bosco’s Church

And then I was at the Christmas fair (spelt differently) at St John Bosco's RC Church after that. Work stuff, but at least no one can say it wasn't festive (and I did have a Gaelic coffee)!

Christmas Dinner on East Lancs Railway

We had Christmas Dinner on a steam train tonight! We've been looking forward to our annual trip on the East Lancashire Railway all year! Dinner tonight was Mushroom and Tarragon Pate, Roasted Chestnut and Parsnip Soup, Festive Wellington with Brie and Cranberry, and Christmas Pudding with Rum Sauce. Plus a glass of fizz, a glass or two of red, very fancy Cognac, and coffee (with a mince pie). Perfect.

Countdown to Christmas: Day 9

Another belated Countdown to Christmas post from me. I'm wondering if I'll get all of these up before the big day. I can but try!

Advent Tea

Today's advent tea from my Bird and Blend Tea calendar was Irish Cream!

Ninja Book Box Week 2

This week's Ninja Book Box advent parcels included A Bespoke Murder by Edward Marston and a lovely homemade paper decoration!

Castleton Literary and Scientific Society Talk

I gave a talk tonight to the Castleton Literary and Scientific Society (that's Castleton, Rochdale, not Castleton, Derbyshire) on one of the my favourite subjects: the Medieval Blackley Deer Park. Eagles! Boar! Unauthorized deer leaps! Bankrupt barons! It's got it all! And although it wasn't strictly speaking a festive talk, the drive there was amazingly Christmassy with all of Middleton and Castleton lit up and sparkling through the wintery mists. Just beautiful.

Countdown to Christmas: Day 8

The Countdown to Christmas (and the countdown to our December holiday!) continues. It was mostly work-but-make-it-festive today, though the very wintery weather certainly helped with the festive feel!

Advent Tea

Today's advent tea from my Bird and Blend Tea calendar was Cold Weather Warrior (much needed today)!

A Winter Walk

I had a very frosty estate walk with my colleague this morning. It was a wee bit nippy, but it didn't half look festive!

Boggart Hole Clough

The lake in Boggart Hole Clough looked absolutely stunning in the icy weather today! (And the mince pies at the Lakeside Cafe weren't half bad either!)

Dam Head and Crosslee Christmas Party

The Dam Head and Crosslee Tenants and Residents Association held a lovely Christmas party for older residents on the estates today. Hotpot, massive cakes (seriously, massive), music, a festive quiz and Christmas cards made by kids at the local school.

Wednesday, 28 December 2022

Countdown to Christmas: Day 7

Another somewhat belated Christmas post, and another rather short one, I'm afraid.

Advent Tea

Today's advent tea from my Bird and Blend Tea calendar was Milk Oolong Chai!

Ronald Hutton Lecture

Tonight I attended an online lecture by Ronald Hutton at Gresham College, on 'Paganism in Roman Britain'. (I know it wasn't actually seasonal, but I'm counting it as part of my seasonal celebrations anyway!) Really enjoyed this one (which is part of a lecture series that will run throughout the year).