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Looking forward to Christmas and looking back on the year a bit

Mr T treated me to some flowers today. Like a little bit of summer in a vase. The garden is falling asleep quite and looking a bit bleak. The heady, hot summer is long forgotten as hoolies swirl round the chimney pots and howl like banshees in the skies.

Been quite an eventful year. It started with what is now called Shingle bells. Yes. Boxing Day last year was the start of the ‘little tingles become shingles’. It was no fun. But, I was fairly stoic. Took extra strength Olive Leaf extract, rubbed the affected nerve path and horrible blisters with Vetiver, coconut oil, lavender and tea tree oil to minimise the scarring, encourage healing and it passed relatively quickly.

In March I was working in France for a while. A little outside Paris. The building I was in was a big tower block and gave a great view all around. You could just see the Eiffel Tower – you’ll have to zoom in but I’ve circled it for you:

Not what you’d call scenic, but there you are.

We went to see Jerry Fish. Mr T is one of the men he got up on stage….  We also saw Sarah Millican and Rob Brydon for shits and giggles.

We popped over to the UK a couple of times and met up with family and friends. Shopping in the UK seems so much cheaper. Stocked up on lots of things while we were there.

We had visitors and spent a week going place: Dublin Zoo, Brittas Bay for a picnic, Glendalough and Newgrange – an iron age monument. It looks quite large from the outside but when you’re actually in, there’s only a narrow chamber with three alcoves.On December 21st, the winter solstice, the rising sun lights the chamber up. The tour guides went to great lengths to simulate this for us by using a dimmer switch so we could immerse ourselves in the great darkness of the chamber without light then turned the lights up so we could see the chamber ‘flooded with light’. Do I sound a little snarky? Let’s just say the dimmer switch wasn’t very effective though I’m sure the real event is spectacular.

 

This could be anywhere, I know! But this is a view from Glendalough as the day was darkening over with stormy clouds.The walks were wonderful. We got up very close and personal to a beautifully irridescent-winged dragonfly… Unfortunately, the other pics all have pictures of my visitors in so I can’t really show you Glendalough but it was beautiful…. the lakes, the mountain views. Tremendous.

I made a poncho for the little one. It’s just waiting for a fringe, here.

And now the trees are bare. The rains are back with a vengeance! The hosepipe ban is lifted (lol). The cats enjoy their fireside beds.Gracie likes to stretch out and extend her back paws over the side towards the fire and toast her little toes. Jess likes to curl up and do some serious snoozing.

This was also the year someone or something happened to Gracie’s tail.  It was raw and nasty when first injured. Luckily the vet soon had her tail bandaged and gave her shots to minimise inflammation and pain. It healed nicely and her fur grew (still not as thick as the rest of her tail) back.You know what someone I think happened to her tail. Shouty Man. As an update, shouty man doesn’t speak to us now. We are obviously NOT on his Christmas card list. Oh dear. What a pity. Never mind. The last couple of times we’ve seen him, he’s been getting out of his car. He spots us then dashes in like Billy Whizz wanting a poo – his face does a very good impression of a cat’s arse…

The Pope came to Ireland this year! Joke shops filled their windows with lots of dodgy stuff:

 

I sat module one of an essential oils aromatherapy diploma. The training was delivered at the Courtyard Hotel in Leixlip. They had outside seating made from old barrels. Clever! Next module is January.

I’m currently decorating a plant pot:

Not sure if this is the back or the front. The other side will have a name and a date with some flowers, scandi-style, which I haven’t started yet but need to get a wiggle on cos it’s for next weekend.

And now Christmas is looming! I saw these glass bauble rabbits at Ikea and loved their quirkiness.

And, in honour of my mum who loved Christmas robins, I look for robin ornaments every year. This year I found four. All from Mr Dunnes. I’ve only taken pictures of the felt ones so far but might get some snaps of the other two and post later this week.

I walk past this pub most days – it’s getting ready for some ‘great Christmas craic’. Lots of the shopping centres have their lights up now and shop windows are full of Christmas stuff. I like it. It makes me feel all jolly inside. The nicest are the ones in Stephens Green. It’s really, really, pretty but for some reason they are always late (imho) in putting up their Christmas decs.

This year will be just the two of us, we’ll do some visiting and probably get visited back but Christmas Day itself will be just us. That means we get to do anything we want. Sit around in pyjamas eating chocolate, drinking Baileys, clinking with ice. Eating what we fancy. Crisp sandwiches. Chips with tomato ketchup. Classy stuff! We don’t do the big Christmas dinner if we don’t have anyone coming.

So, a mixed bag of a year but interesting. Lots of family stuff – lots of happy times. Next year will be better still. It always is. I really can’t stand Jeremy petrol head Clarkson but one thing he said stuck with me; after Top Gear got rid of him, he said “Something good will come along; it always does”. That’s my kind of motto.

You might be wondering why the photos from the year? My phone was dying. Behaving quite strangely and I suspect getting ready to conk out on me so I bought a new one and copied my galleries onto the PC and gave them a looking through. My tablet is also starting to suffer droid rot. What is going on? For info, both my phone and tablet were Samsung…I generally find Samsung are pretty OK…

And Mr T called me to listen to a strange noise the washing machine was making. It was making some kind of odd sounds but they stopped and didn’t come back when I washed a second load…. maybe the stern looks and warning tone in my voice when I spoke to Miss Wendy Washwoman (our washing machine name) made her behave and think about her behaviour. She’d better not think she’s going to give up this side of Christmas!

Do you have names for your appliances? My car is called Miss Markle. The tumble drier is Rumbly Tumbly machine.

Well, time to go wake Ms Wendy Washwoman up and get her to do a load for me. Bye for now.

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Indulgence

A very indulgent chocolate drip cake. Three tiers of Victoria sponge, sandwiched together with buttercream icing, covered with buttercream icing with white chocolate ganache poured over the top with lots of Maltesers for decoration...

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