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New Year’s Day at the seaside

This post was written right at the beginning of the year but I never got round to publishing it, so here it is a day spent at the seaside to celebrate the arrival of a new year, 2019.

It has become a tradition with Jude and I to spend New Year’s Day at the seaside, sometime on the north coast, sometimes mid-wales. For 2019 we made the trip to mid-wales settling on Aberystwyth as our venue for the day. Daughter Jo and son-in-law Rob joined us so it was extra special.

 

We are always amazed when at the coast how both Mother Nature and visiting humans produce little creations with pebbles and driftwood.

    

As the day wore on the light changed and a warm light lit up the sea and the rocks where the tide rushed in with frothy waves.

So now we can look forward to January 1st 2020 a new year’s day seaside amble and of course a new decade’s day amble too!

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Christmas traditions Uncategorized

Our Christmas Traditions

Recently, Judy wrote on her blog, newenglandgardenandthread.wordpress.com, about their family traditions at Christmas time. Check out her post to read her words. She suggests other bloggers post about their family traditions too, so here is a summary of my family’s Christmas traditions.

Firstly we have to have a real green tree, no artificial ones allowed by request of the guests who descend on our home every Christmas Eve. We have three generations celebrating every year but this year we gain a fourth, Jude and I of course, Jude’s mother Sheila, our children Jamie and Jo and their spouses Sam and Rob, and this year a little one year old joins us, our granddaughter Arabella (the fourth generation). We have to decorate the tree before they arrive and place presents beneath and around it.

Christmas Eve means a family evening meal, with log burner and open fire lit and glowing nicely. We all intend to go to bed early and inevitably fail especially Jude and I. Jude has to be Father Christmas later when the house goes quiet – she has to drop off “Christmas Stockings” for everyone outside their bedroom doors. Aren’t we strange!

Chrsitmas Day is a day of chaos and feasting, from the first brew of tea to wake us up through the all too big feast, Christmas dinner itself and regular snacking of sweet or chocolate items throughout. Presents are unwrapped in the morning after a traditional English breakfast and mugs of coffee. Friends and family are contacted during the day to thank them for presents and cards and to wish them a Happy Christmas.

A good doze is the order of the day once the feast has been demolished. The day ends with an evening when the family play board games, eating chocolates until we collapse and retire to our beds.

The day after is Boxing Day, a day of relaxation and walks for those fit enough. It feels very quiet and calm!

So that is it – our traditions of Christmas Day.

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English

An Eccentric English Day Out – Pooh Sticks!

We are proud of being English and proud of being typically eccentrically English too. We enjoy doing typical English activities like Afternoon Tea and walking in the park. Recently we enjoyed a three-generation family weekend taking part in an activity only the English could do. We took part in the World Pooh Sticks Championships 2017! Totally crazy! But great fun!

We traveled down to Oxfordshire in search of Langel’s Common on the outskirts of Witney and parked up near the village’s parish church. A short walk saw us arriving at the field that was home to the championships and we crossed a bridge over the River Windrush.

Fans of the famous Winnie the Pooh children’s books written by AA Milne will know what this is all about. Others might need to check it out on Google. The event is described as one of the country’s quirkiest sports. In reality it requires absolutely no skill whatsoever, the only requirements needed are a sense of fun, a desire to help charities and a big smile.

The championships are run by the Rotary Club of Oxford Spires and they aimed to raise funds for their worldwide Purple4Polio campaign. Each competitor has to drop a coloured stick into the river on the count of three and then rush to the other side of the bridge to see whose stick crosses the finishing line first. Simple really!

We formed a team of four, calling ourselves “The Magnificent Mollies”, we registered our team and waited to collect our sticks from the “Keeper of the Sticks”. We chose to use green sticks and moved on to join the queue of teams awaiting their turn. We had Jude the Undergardener to support us along with Granddaughter Arabella who looked really cool with pink shades on.

   

We stood waiting and concentrating for the word and in turn dropped our green sticks. We did not do very well at all but enjoyed the fun and laughter and banter with other teams.

 

We celebrated the adage, “it’s the taking part that counts” by a family high fives after coming close to last in the team event. Then we celebrated again by enjoying a summer picnic on the river bank. A sign highlighted where ducks could be fed, but there were absolutely no ducks there!

While enjoying out picnic we watched the individual event taking place and to illustrate how skillful the sport is, it was won by a 6 year old boy, Daniel.

The team who arrived in their vintage US police car certainly seemed to enjoy their day and left happy and smiling and waving to everyone as they drove off. However, one little person must have arrived home unhappily after discovering they had lost their orange coat.

   

We had a great time and decided unanimously that we would be back!