Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

Like the photo of the steps leading through the archway, for most of us the way to the top and round the corner is unknown. I wonder what this unknown New Year will have in store for us?
Last year seemed a struggle with health issues for us and I wasn't sure that I would make 2011. Now here we are again standing on the threshold of another year.

When my daughter arrived here for Christmas, my youngest grandson came with a terrible cough and cold and a high temperature and didn't feel well enough to appreciate Christmas. Within a very short time, Deb caught it from Dean and Rick wasn't too well either.
Sam, my son, is now really ill with the same thing but so far, anyway, Harry and I keep chugging on.
Deb goes back to the east coast on Monday so I am hoping that she will feel better for the remaining days.

My little rabbit, Lily, started trying to mount Ash, her foster brother, again and he didn't like it at all. She was one very determined lady. Details of the last time it happened in my post here.
This time she was even more persistent so I rang the vet and asked her if she could spay a 4 month old rabbit as soon as possible.
There was a vacancy for the operation on the very next day.
So off I went last Thursday with my randy little rabbit in a carrier. I was almost tearful to leave her to this awful operation and was wondering how Ash would cope without her, too.
However, Ash enjoyed all the extra pampering and feeding of treats and was only a bit sullen as he sat hunched in his cage waiting for her return.
Three o'clock (the pick up hour) slowly crept round and off we went to collect her from the vets.
We'd had strict instructions that they should not be together for the next ten days so we are back to square one, with the large run divided. The rabbits can see each other and sniff and kiss but that is all.
Lily was very sleepy and tense when we brought her back and she'd been drugged with pain relief and antibiotics.
I knew I had to get her drinking and eating as soon as possible.
I got up in the night and dipped my finger in her drink and let her lick the water off. She refused all food though. She seemed grateful that I was trying to help her.She looked at me for a long time and then came over to be nearer and enjoyed being smoothed. Then she went over to her water bowl and took a few sips.
Next morning she did seem brighter and ate a few mouthfuls of greens and some hay. Just a few mouthfuls.
So the New Year will be a new beginning for her too. Hopefully she will turn into the little sister and companion that Ash needed.

I'd just like to wish you all a very Happy New Year and to tell you all how much it means to me that you follow my blog and faithfully comment.
May the coming year be kind to you all.
Incidentally, it is going to be the year of the rabbit in the Chinese New Year.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Aftermath of Christmas,

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

Wherever we try to go in our house, there are toys everywhere. We are finding it difficult to move from one place to another because of the clutter of new presents.
This is only to be expected when there are four children in the house.
We live in quite a spacious home but now it seems that there isn't room to swing a cat (or a rabbit) for that matter, though why anyone would want to do that, I don't know.
My rabbits had a few toys for Christmas, bought by various friends and members of the family. They appeared to be quite excited about the new things and immediately set about to destroy or eat them.

I walk into the front room to be greeted by lego every where but my grandsons are very good at making models from scratch and very soon the mess is made into an aeroplane.

There are railway tracks every where and the girls have left great heaps of toys in the hall and the bedroom and the attic.

Boxing Day in Britain is a strange day. A sort of relaxed day........ eating leftovers and recovering from the stress of all the cooking on Christmas Day.
I have often heard different explanations of the name, Boxing Day but today some one suggested it was the day when the church boxes were emptied and the money distributed to the poor. I quite like that one.
This year, Boxing Day was on a Sunday. We didn't get to Church on Christmas Day because we were expecting a visitor, so we decided to go today. There were only a handful of people there, though there were many people at the morning service on Christmas Day, so I was told. I expect many people have gone away now Christmas is over.
The side roads and the pavements are still treacherous and somewhere on the short walk to church this morning, I lost one of a new set of earrings that my daughter had bought me. I am very dismayed about that.
I have a boxful of lone earrings and wish I had the nerve to wear odd ones. It seems such a pity.

Anyway we had a very pleasant time and I hope you all did too.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Happy Christmas

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

Well here we are. I managed to finish knitting Mary, Joseph and Jesus.
I will carry on knitting the rest of the Nativity figures as time allows.

Bristol seems to have a German Market visit our city every year running up to Christmas and we have some lovely stalls selling typical German foods and goods.
I spotted this Nativity on one of my visits to the shopping centre.

My daughter and grandsons managed to come over from the east coast and brave the bad weather.
I am really pleased about this and it is a relief that they got here safely.
We are having very cold weather and there is still snow on the ground and icy pavements.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Sailor's Warning

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

I'd love to be able to say in a bragging way, "I was up in time to see the sunrise."
Well I was.... but it was at around half past seven.
I happened to look through the window at breakfast time and saw the rosy pink sky and dashed to get my camera. When I was a child, there was a saying, *Red in the morning.... sailors warning.* That was a day or so ago.

When I opened the curtains this morning, everything was covered in snow. It really looked quite pretty before the locals started writing things on the snowy car windows and before the foot trails on the pavements and the beginnings of slush.
As I write this, the sun is shining brightly so it will turn into slushy ice.
Maybe we should expect any kind of weather these days. It is so varied.

When I was young, the winters were always harsh and the summers were hot. So this is how I remember things before I was 8 years old. It was normal then. However nobody had central heating or double glazing and I do remember how cold we all felt and the frequent long illnesses caused by it.
We are definitely better off today.

I have finished knitting Mary and Jesus and have started knitting Joseph. I am beginning to be very busy though now, so progress will be slow.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Mrs Nesbitt's Nativity

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

I have recently received some knitting patterns to make a nativity set. I first noticed the beautiful figures on Mrs Nesbitt's Space and instantly fell in love with them. Denise has sent me a copy of the pattern and although I have left it too late to knit all of the nativity in time for this Christmas, I am hoping that I will be able to make Mary and baby Jesus at least. I will definitely have all the figures ready for next year.
For the ambitious, there are instructions for making Mary, Joseph and Jesus, three shepherds, three kings and any amount of little sheep.
Do pay her a visit and see these lovely figures as well as her great blog.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Preparing For Christmas

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

This week in particular, I have not had much time for blogging as I have suddenly realised just how far behind I am with Christmas preparations.
As well as Christmas things, we have had two very important Birthdays recently. Millie, who I have already talked about in my last post and my sister in law, Mrs Bluelights. You can get to my brother Eddie's blog here.
Mr and Mrs Bluelights invited us to a wonderful feast last night to celebrate my sister in law's 60th birthday, in a really lovely country pub.
However, we left the instructions on the table and managed to get lost, turning off the Bath Road before we should have and ending up in a country lane that got narrower and narrower as the time went on. Just as well that the snow and ice had completely thawed, else we might have missed the family gathering altogether.
Two phone calls later and eventually getting on the right path, we managed to get there just in time!
It is always lovely to meet up with a large family group and to catch up on all the latest news while sharing a meal together.

As well as family things and trying to get the Christmas decorations sorted out, there have been grandchildren's school activities to go to and these are always wonderful occasions. This year Millie had to have a santa outfit (which was bought from a charity shop) and Amber had to be dressed as a Russian peasant girl. This was all put together by foraging amongst old clothes and shawls and things that I hadn't thrown out and that sometimes come in really useful. There is still one more full week of things before the school breaks up.

Some of you might be wondering what happened to Lily, my sex starved rabbit. Did I have her spayed or not?
Well no....... not yet. Things seemed to calm down and Lily has accepted Ash as a brother again. Well that is how the land lies at the moment but as everyone knows, things can change pretty quickly with animals and children and I always say, *Always expect the unexpected*!
For the time being, it looks like Lily will not be spayed until the New Year or possibly later.
Thank you all those people who commented about the subject with useful advice. It has all been logged down and noted.

Well, Harry is tapping his feet and looking at his watch every few minutes because we have to be somewhere else very soon. Everything is such a rush.
Must go.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Jacko and Plop

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

On my last post, I used my own painting for the 9 o'clock fairy and my two granddaughters were a bit put out because I didn't use theirs. It wasn't because I thought that mine was more suitable. It was just because they were a bit late delivering their pictures and by the time I received them, I had already posted mine.
I promised that I would post theirs next time and as I have a little tale concerning my Birthday grandchild, thought it would be appropriate to use Millie and Amber's fairy pictures.

The post is about Millie who is six years old this week.
Apparently, last week she was the Star of her class and for a treat she got to take Jacko and Plop home for the weekend.
Jacko and Plop are two stuffed toys and they came in a carrier together with a book with an invitation to write down their adventures and illustrate with drawings or photos.
Millie immediately started to write down their adventure and over the weekend she had made her story which was as follows:

Jacko and Plop had a good time at my grannie's house. They met Ash and Lily, the rabbits.
Plop and Jacko had pasta Bake for tea and Plop fell out of his chair because he had too much to eat.
They slept in my bed and Plop cried for Mr Darley (teacher) but Jacko said it will be alright cuddle into Millie and Plop fell fast asleep. Jacko fell out of bed.
When I came back from Rainbows, Plop and Jacko were playing with my toys and they were knitting with my needles.
Plop and Jacko wanted to stay with me but they couldn't, so I said to Plop and Jacko, on Monday you're going back to Mr Darley. So Plop and Jacko went back to Mr Darley.

I added a few commas so that it would make more sense.

You might remember that back in September, Amber had a bear as a Birthday present from a massive shopping centre in Bristol and I wrote a post about my thoughts on the visit to that establishment here.
While we were there, Millie also wanted one, so I promised I would get it for her when her Birthday arrived. Well, it has arrived and here it is in the picture above, all set for skating, and while we are talking of skating, it is really slippery under foot and I am using all my safety apparatus that I bought too late last year and I still do not feel safe.
So many memories are flooding back from last year when I was waiting for chemo and experiencing the same bad weather. All the anxiety that I felt then, returned to haunt me.

Today I was putting up the first of the Christmas decorations and was not in the mood to do it at all.
Quite suddenly, I thought, "Why should I feel like this? I am glad to be alive. I will enjoy this Christmas like no other." Those feelings from last year just lifted. It just proves the way that our thoughts control how we feel.
Lets hope that I can practice doing this.
I wonder what techniques you use to change your mood?

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Nine O'Clock Fairy

Copyright: Maggie May

My son, Sam, brought our granddaughters round just before bedtime last Sunday. They had been bathed and had had their hair washed and all they needed was a snack and their teeth brushed because they were staying overnight so that I could take them to school in the morning, as Sam had an early appointment next day.
After they'd eaten, I wanted them to settle down quickly and go to bed straight away. However, they had other ideas and seemed quite lively.
In desperation I said, "Look if you don't go to bed now............. (I was furiously thinking of a suitable thing that would happen to them) .......... then The Nine O'Clock Fairy will be here and then you'll know it!"
At that, the girls really got the giggles and Amber said, "Thats funny, I've never seen her before and I've been up much later than this."
With a straight face I reminded her that there was school the next day and perhaps the fairy didn't need to come on Fridays and Saturdays, only on days when children might miss school if they didn't get to bed early enough because they overslept.
I realised then that I had psyched them up even further with this silly story and by now they were bouncing on the bed, squealing with laughter.
"You're the Nine O'Clock Fairy, Grannie. Its you, its you."

After a while I left them to calm down and hoped they'd get into bed. There was eventual silence and that was the last I heard until the morning.
However, even though Sam had asked me to wake him up by a certain time, he had great difficulty waking up, being an owl by nature, rather than an early bird. The girls always bounce straight out of bed and I heard them call up to him, "If you don't watch out, The Nine O'Clock Fairy will be after you. The morning one."
So now we seem to play along with The Nine O'Clock Fairy fantasy.
I sometimes wonder if, as I get older, I become more like a child myself.