Les Mis Trailer

Wednesday, 31 December 2008


HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone! This was taken on the last day of 2008, Peter with our neighbours Lily and William, supping mulled wine by the fire whilst the children skated on the sloot. It was chilly to say the least but perfect weather with a clear sky and a sharp frost. The very mention of the possibility of skating on ice outside sends shivers down the spine and makes everyone eager to experience it for the first or last time. The small sloot behind our garden was full of children skating or sliding up and down when we arrived home yesterday from our Spa break, so it wasn't long before we were out there too with the wine and mince pies at the ready!! So glad we bought the fire in the summer; it came in very handy yesterday! Anyway, lots to do today so no time to sit and chat at this stage. I would like to wish you all a very healthy, happy and prosperous 2009, and a safe New Year celebration this evening. Sue x

Friday, 26 December 2008

Final part from Christmas Day

Well, it all went really well - nothing burnt or tasted awful, everything was eaten and the puddings disappeared in a flash! It is always such a build-up to just one day, but singing in the church in Hoorn on Christmas Eve added to the feeling that it was Christmas here in Holland. We all received lovely presents and feel very fortunate to have had them from our family and friends. I suppose there is one present that topped all the others by a mile...my son wrote me a letter telling me how he feels about me and how much he loves me. I just burst into tears, so that was good!!! It is not often that a 15 year old boy can put into words what his emotions are, and how he sees things that happen in his life. I will treasure it always, and it is going in a frame as soon as Christmas is over!! It reminded me of my favourite verse in one of my favourite carols; 'In the Bleak Mid-winter'. That goes: " what can I give him, poor as I am. If I were a shepherd, I would give a lamb. If I were a rich man, I would do my part. Yet what I have I give him; give my heart." Ti m didn't have a lot of money to buy something so he decided that this was something money can't buy and he wrote down his love for me instead. My joy in this is that if he can write down and express his emotions now, then he is going to become a caring and compassionate adult, partner and father. I will have looked after him in a way that means he can go forward in his life, totally in touch with his heart and soul, and no matter what he becomes or does in his life, he will know LOVE. Giving love out to others, returns it two-fold I always believe. We spoke to Becci in the morning which was so nice, despite missing her dreadfully here, I know she will have enjoyed a super day with Roy and his family, and her friends. So looking forward to seeing her in February!! Today I will talk to her again so that we can hear all about her Christmas Day. She is driving up to Leeds again this evening with Roy so that they can pick Tim up tomorrow from the airport; yes, I have to get my head around an early start tomorrow morning to get him off to Schiphol on time!!! They will have a few days together which is very heart-warming for me. I am giving Becci my camera to use so I hope to get some great photos of the 3 of them and any other family members they go to see - make a note Becs! The camera comes with the condition that I get photos for my albums!!!! Anyway, time to make breakfast for Pete and I as I think Tim is still sound asleep. A wonderful frosty morning here, love it!!!! Sue x

Christmas part 3!

Later in the day............the hat out of the cracker is traditionally worn all day Pete!!!!!
Tim and Arjan whilst playing our quizzes at the table - thanks Roland!!
The start of the meal when we are pulling our crackers and telling the jokes...ha!ha! They never get any better do they, but the pressies were good this year - Tesco's finest!!!
Peter opening his toiletry set from Tim. Handy when he is travelling.
Fresh from the garden! I am full of wonder for anyone who can create fantastic things with a few leaves and flowers, especially Loes who has the magic touch as far as I am concerned. She has the most beautiful flower arrangements in her home this Christmas, both in and outside!

Christmas part 2

Breakfast BUCK'S FIZZ!! An annual tradition we like to keep. We had bacon pancakes at Tim's request this year as well.
Early morning drinkipoos!!!!
Ok, so he got an XBox 360 ...and I got no sense out of either of them for quite some time afterwards!!!!!
The wearing of the Christmas Hat.
Xander tried it on too!!!


Our turkey ready for the oven!!! I stuffed with with onions, lemons and rosemary and a stuffing at the other end; delicious!!
Christmas flowers in the kitchen along with my fresh ingredients...
My treacle-basted Ham following James Martins recipe, for Boxing Day.
The sherry every Christmas cook deserves!!!! This was all the preparation on Christmas morning. We got up a little later than usual - 8 o'clock!!! That's late by our standards! But from the next set of photos you will see why!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008


This is the final menu for our Christmas Dinner this year!!! Salmon pate & Rose- Marie Prawns on toasts Prosecco Lemon & herb roasted Turkey Crispy Roast Potatoes Chardonnay Carrots Loes' special Red Cabbage Sprouts a la Tim My Roast Parsnips Chipolata sausages in bacon rolls Home-made Bread Sauce Cranberry Relish Madeira Gravy & stuffing New Zealand White and Fleurie Red Wines White Chocolate & Red Berry Trifles Port Coffee & liquers I think that will just about cover it!!!! All that is needed later is a good film, Christmas Cake and Mince Pies for supper!! I am going to print the menu out now for in my scrapped card, so there is no going back from here!!! Wonder what you are all going to be enjoying for your dinners?? Sue xx

traditions remembered

One of my favourite memories is of my father at Christmas. He never bought our presents through the year, but on Christmas Eve he would go off after work, and buy our stocking presents. He always wrapped them in awful cheap paper from Woolies - and wrote his name on them all - dad - nothing more. We got the same every year!!! He used his own socks, grey usually, and stuffed them with an orange, a hazelnut, a diary, 10pence, a box of chocolates ( mine were Black Magic), usually a gift from the jewellers like a bracelet or something, maybe a cassette tape, sweets etc. Nothing out of this world but it meant such a lot to me because he did it all by himself and that was hard enough for him!!!! I never got a card from my dad until he was retired and living most of the time in Ludlow whilst my mother was in their house in Deal. She had had a stroke and wanted to be back in Deal where she knew people, but dad had a job to do still so he commuted every 3 weeks or so....he was far from perfect as a person but he was my dad and he has been dead for almost 12 years now, and I miss him dreadfully. Our toast is the same every Christmas: 'Absent friends'. We make this toast so that each and every person at the table can think of their own special people and remember them and Christmas's past. Must be the sherry talking! Gone all sentimental! I was icing the christmas cake just before blogging and I always have a sherry whilst I do that job! The ham for Boxing Day is in the oven and smells wonderful. I am not at all sure I am cooking it right....how we cook a ham is different from the Dutch methods so I am worried that it won't cook properly!!! I have a James Martin recipe that I want to use for Boxing Day, cold with the buffet I am preparing. I know it is easy to just pop to the shops and buy it all ready-made, but that feels as though I have missed so much from my cooking prep! Last year being at Sally's I didn't have to do a thing so I am probably over-compensating this year!!!! I want to cover it with all the delicious stuff James tells me to do, so that is the next on my list. The 12 bottles of wine from DANMIL, Peter's company arrived too, just now, but no sign of my keyboard as yet...it is on its way, but I think it will be tomorrow now ( there is still time!!). We are singing at 8pm tomorrow night in the Oosterkerk in Hoorn. There is also a brass band playing too so that is exciting. I associate Christmas music with the Salvation Army Band because they came around the streets playing carols at Christmas and I adored watching them from out of our bedroom windows! I collected the portrait of the cats and it is delightful. Peter will be thrilled I am sure. Thank you so much Caren!! I will put it on the blog after Christmas so that you can all see it! Bye for now, busy, busy, busy... Sue x

Monday, 22 December 2008

One Little Word for 2009

It is really hard to decide on one word for a whole year!! But I am trying my best to think of an appropriate one for myself. I know my own flaws ( no, really, I do!!!!) and probably the biggest one of all is my tendency to be hyper-sensitive. I'm that kind of gal! I get easily bruised my the brittleness of others, and I can be hurt by the teeny tiniest of remarks or insensitive comments. I am so aware of atmospheres and insaid thoughts that it can be quite a nightmare at times. I wouldn't want to change myself, but I think I have to come up with a word that helps me keep my ultra-sensitivity under wraps on more occasions this coming year! What would that be, I wonder? What word sums up a need to be tougher without losing my intuitiveness; assertive but yet caring and empathetic; aware of others feelings but not undermining my own.....if you can think of one for me, please help!!!!! Ali Edwards set me off thinking about this again, just now, and I do believe it is a useful and self-protecting idea so I plan to do it! Sue x ps. I am having a keyboard for my 50th birthday from Peter!! chose it today -yippee!!!

Post -weekend catch-up

A batch of Mince Pies!! Thank goodness I have some in the freezer too, 'cos they are all gone!!! Traditionally I make the last batch on Christmas Eve so still one lot to go!! Jummy!
Here is our gorgeous Genghis Khan...recovering from his upset. He has got the whole chair and hot water bottle to himself..aaah! Thankfully he seems to be totally fine again, so the worry is over.
So, what about Strictly then?! Do you agree with the outcome or not - there seems to be a great debate so I am waiting for the BBC breakfast news to interview Tom and Camilla this morning, because............FIASCO!!!! Couldn't believe it Sunday morning! Ann came round to watch the final with us, we saw 20 minutes before - BLANK SCREEN!!! Apparently when we went round to our neighbours, I must have switched the recorder OFF...............nothing!!!!! Fortunately our back-up was that Ann would record it as well, in case of....so we dashed round to hers, pulled the settee closer to the set, and watched the FINAL. Or did we?!!!!
Half way through the recording Ann started to worry that she had not set it for long enough............and sure enough, after the last dance, the recording STOPPED. Nothing we could do! I had guessed the outcome - because I feel Tom got all the sympathy votes rather than great dancing votes - but we checked on the site, and then have had to wait until this morning to see it on BBC breakfast TV! Next year we will do better!!!!! We really wanted Rachel and Vincent to win because they were fantastic and such a delightful couple. But I had in the back of my mind that everything that is said during the interviews etc also tends to influence the voting public greatly. A delayed wedding....being everyone's 'little brother'....a partner who has been in the semi-final twice and never the final....all this sort of talk does pay dividends in the end. I did enjoy their show dance but it was typical Camilla; she always goes for the comic act - remember her and James? and I rather wish she would do something different. It is interesting that a programme like Strictly can cause so many debates and furore all over the country! Bring back "THE GOOD OLD DAYS' show I say!!!!!
Have a great day,
sue x

Friday, 19 December 2008

Genghis update

Genghis has slept all day, not eating or drinking as yet. He is now curled up on the chair with the rug and hot water bottle etc so I can keep an eye on him better. He is not happy!! We have to check his kidneys just as a precaution due to his age, and nothing to do with his tooth actually! Apparently it helps to find problems long before they become too severe so it seems like a good thing to do. We can do Xander too, only he is 7 and usually it should be after age 8. Sue x

handy, this feed thingy...

Hey, I really like this feedjit that I have added to my blog! It shows where people are that read it, and I noticed that STAFFORD read it 11 hours ago! Hi Becci Sweetheart!!! I will call you soon. It sort of shrinks the world doesn't it? Knowing that through blogging people are reading and learning about the ordinary everyday lives of others should make us more tolerant and understanding of our own and other cultures and ways of living, in my mind. Just after writing this piece our cat Genghis sat next to me and looked uncomfortable with something in his mouth. I tried to look but he wasn't having that so I put him down and called Peter to come and see him. I thought he had swallowed a tooth. Genghis started choking and then bleeding from his mouth so we picked him up in a blanket and rushed him to the vets! He hates that but he behaved well and when she looked in his mouth sure enough a huge tooth was missing and there was a great big gaping hole! Poor old chap! He settled down once she had cleaned it up a bit and the taste of the blood was less, and so we brought him home again, safe and sound! It was so scary at the time; panic sets in and it is hard to think calmly. I've got a few nice scratches from Genghis struggling in the car, but nothing terrible. He is a sweet cat. The vet looked him over and he is fine. Needs to drink more as his coat is a bit starry but apart from that for an 11 year old Siamese he is doing ok. I had dreamt that something happened to Genghis just last night so that is well strange.....I just got this feeling that he was not well. I hope that was it and nothing else is going to happen - we adore our cats and cannot imagine life in the family without them. I am collecting their portrait next Tuesday now - it is redone in the right colours this time so it will be interesting to see the differences in the two paintings. Well I am off to work soon so got to do a few things first. Sue x

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Don't know what to do with myself sort of day

There is so much I ought to be doing, I am convinced of that, but d'you know what? I am not doing any of it!! I have no inspiration to scrap; no strength to clean and no desire to cook!!! What should I do and where is this lackadaisical day coming from???? Only 7 more days to go and I am worried that I have forgotten something major.............but what?! Is it that Becci ought to be coming home soon and this year Tim is going to hers; have I been so well prepared that there is actually nothing left to be done until we hit next week? I don't know! Peter finally got his addresses together so that we could post his cards this morning, and then we dashed in Enkhuizen for the sherry bottles! Christmas for me is synonymous with HARVEY'S BRISTOL CREAM and MINCE PIES! Nothing more memorable than these together with carols on the radio or television and a cosy snuggle on the settee! I love watching Songs of Praise in december as they have the carol services etc but we are going to be out this sunday so it will have to be recorded. I spotted the nicest PARSNIPS on the market today - best ever that I have seen here in Holland. I must remember to get all the veg from the market next wednesday morning....and the turkey from the butchers etc. So much to cram in one day - that is Christmas Eve for me. A lovely day of shopping for the last minute food items and starting to cook the food for the coming hectic two days. Once a woman starts with her christmas traditions, it is impossible to give them up until one's offspring suggest that one goes to them instead!! Whenever I try to do something different Tim calls me back and says ' but you always do it on Christmas Eve!' I have made something extra special for Becci this year. Have you seen The Polar Express? Then if I tell you that I have got her 'the bell' and wrapped it up in a box I have made, along with a letter for her from Father Christmas, you will know what I mean. I've got one for Tim too, but I will hold on to that until he is older and will have a tree or children of his own. It is only when one is grown up that you realise what an impact it has had on you; the way Christmas was handed down to you by your parents etc. The traditions and routines, the magic and the stories, the films or books and all the other images of Father Christmas and his reindeers - suspending belief for such a short time as time itself stands still. Powerful stuff!! And I love it!!!! I can't wait to have our own grandchildren to share this magic with and re-live this all over again through their eyes and hearts. Oh, a tip for anyone making pastry for mince pies: I always make mine using lard and butter but I mix it with orange juice after I have added the peel into the mix. No Sugar, and it is perfect pastry! It is a little bit crumbly but sweet enough and the orange flavour is delicious!!! Try it!! Sue x

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

We discovered paradise yesterday!!!!!

These wonderful photos were taken in a florists yesterday in Niedorp. We were trying to find a boerderij ( farm) that Willem had told us was there, full of super english-style decorations etc. He had told me the rough route and we came across this place and no other, so we are assuming this is where he meant!!! It was indeed beautiful in there. Loes got a fantastic wreath and other presents etc and I got 2 very special little bells..........can't say more at the moment but it is going to be my project of the day!!! We had a really nice time, just exploring that area and stopping at any shops we decided were inviting us in!! A few other baubles etc and a nice day together. What more can a girl want?!!
Suze x

Home decorations

A close up of our tree! These lovely word ornaments are from the shop in Hoogkarspel and look great in the tree! The chandelier was a gift from Loes!
Our berry wreath on the table.
Berry wreath with the Poinsetta in the middle.
Larger photo of the tree. Loes told me how to take better shots indoors with the lights etc and it works so well! thanks!!!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

It's getting closer!

And am I ready?? NO!!! There seems to be so much more to do but yet I am not sure what!! I think it is that I am not 110% sure of what I want to cook and when..........because I just enjoy looking through all my magazines!! I still haven't found the icicles or the christmas tree topper; no idea. I have to look in my chest again this morning maybe.. see if it is there. It is really misty here. Loes and I are supposed to be going to the christmas decoration farm ( strange way of describing it I know!) so I hope it clears soon. Peter is already off to Venlo so I imagine that is going slowly. Tim is having a late start to school, but he finally cleaned his room last night much to his father's delight and my relief! Those two can certainly brew up a storm in a teacup!! Sometimes I think it is just pre-Christmas emotions running higher than usual, so I try to chill and relax about stuff I really don't need to worry about, and let the rest take care of itself! My shoulders are very painful now so I think it is time to think more about having the injection...I am not thrilled by the prospect but cannot go on feeling in so much pain. Anyone got any suggestions otherwise for me?????? Feeling a bit sicky this morning and not too good really - tummyache and only hoping that I haven't got another bug from anywhere!!! I am getting so much pleasure from following Ali Edwards blog and her christmas album style is wonderful. I think 2009 might be the year I do more on the computer with scrapping.....don't get over excited Ineke, my friend!! I am only thinking about typing and printing more words and text nothing on your creative lines!!!!! At the moment my SCRAPWORDS for 2009 are: SIMPLE CLEAN CLEAR TELLING I want to choose 10 creative words to inspire my 2009 projects - that is my scrapping resolution that will go in my small mini album for the year. Anyone else doing the same? I have seen so many people following the latest trends instead of staying with their own creative style and trying to work on that more, that certain styles gain more attention than others. It is a shame, and it takes strength not to follow the crowd but that is what I want to focus on myself. So be strong and have faith in your own creative talents people! Take inspiration from others but incorporate more of yourself than of others in your work next year and it will be GREAT!! Sue xx

Friday, 12 December 2008

christmas tree

We have a red and silver tree this year! It looks lovely when it gets dark and all the lights are twinkling! I have done nothing more to decorate the house this week due to working so much but Amienke called this evening to say that she has got a lot of 'green' that we can pick up, so I hope to do some more this coming week. I feel so behind!!! And I have to do so much more! Sunday I will do the marzipan on the cake so that it has time to dry before the weekend when it needs icing. Monday housework and writing the last cards I hope! Tuesday out with Loes and physio, and then two clear days at the moment to get the greenery etc and take presents around; friday to Schagen to work and have a little time in the shopping centre as I need to get some small surprises still for the dinner table presents. Since I have just ordered something from Scrapbook.com that I hope will arrive next week, I guess I can wrap a bit of that up for myself........... Last night I really enjoyed singing and it has led me to make the decision that in 2009 I would love a keyboard as my birthday present and then lessons to learn to really play it well. I learnt piano as a child so I think I know the basics still, and I can read notes etc. We were only with 4 of us last night but we still tried to learn 2 parts for 3 christmas carols. We have decided to have a drink together next Thursday to celebrate Christmas before we go home which is super. I like the other choir I am in too, but this is so personal and friendly as we are so few, and I actually really like that! Maybe we don't need anyone else to join us?!!!!! Tim is training at basketball again for which I am very pleased about. He has got some problems with his knee and the physio is going to treat him finally so that is also good news. I think it has become a 'crutch' for other problems/issues he has, so to clear it up would mean that he has to face up to those other issues and deal with them. Hard I know, but worth it in the end. bye for this evening, Sue x

Thursday, 11 December 2008

no time.............

I am working every day this week and it reminds me why I don't do this on a regualr basis!! I am getting ready tired!!!! I enjoy the work whilst I am doing it and it will be better next year when I have given up my homework supervision job etc. but I seem to leave the house early and get back late wanting only to sleep!!! I shouldn't complain, I know, as I am lucky to have this job, but I am not cut out for it anymore - the hours I mean!!! I am definitely going to keep next week free apart from one afternoon which I have agreed to work... I know, softy! Loes and I are going to see whether we can track down a lovely christmas 'farm' on Tuesday and then I have my physio, which this week has led to a really painful neck and upper back, so I am in more pain now that ever!! I am sure it will pass, but right now it hurts! The cards are slowly coming in the post, and the game I ordered for Tim is on its way early so he will be surprised! I am going to see the cat portrait this evening on my way home.......so can't wait to see it! I am reading Ali Edwards blog daily too, as I love her christmas daily album style and as I am doing a mini-version myself, it is very inspirational. I will take it with me on Saturday to the SCRAPFEVER DT day in Blaricum, providing I have printed some of the photos out by then! I have to take more....that is the key!! Since it is meant to reflect what I see around me this month, I must try to vary the photos more, and take unexpected ones too...so many things to think about all at the same time!! I have to get ready for another days work right now, so have a great one yourselves! Sue xx

Monday, 8 December 2008

getting closer!

Christmas is creeping closer every day! Especially now I have decorated the tree with Tim and started hanging the decorations etc. One problem.....can't find them !!!!! Well, not the ones I want! I bought some gorgeous glass icicles a couple of years ago in the Lakes, and usually hang them in our kitchen window, but they are nowhere to be found!!! I am wracking my brains trying to think where I put them..................but no luck yet! It is so frustrating isn't it?! But the tree went up ok. Had to buy new lights as of course last years ones didn't work. 200 lights in our little tree is super! We have gone for a red and silver look this year. And wonder upon wonder, Xander didn't seem at all interested in the tree ( as yet). Perhaps he is older and wiser now and less interested in shiny round baubles!!!! I think actually, the hot water bottle under his rug is where he most wants to be all day and night. And he doesn't want to give up his place to Genghis now does he?!!! I am happy with the christmas cake. It is baked and ready for icing but I was rung today to work an extra day this week so that is now Every Day!! and that is really too much for me, but they were desperate so what can I say? My reward is that Loes and I are going to try and find the mysterious farm in Nieuwe Niedorp that Willem says is all in English style........next Tuesday that is. I have to still make the mince pies but I am taking ready-made to the forum day as not that many of us will be going it seems. I think it is a pity but people are so busy this month that it is understandable I suppose. I will enjoy meeting other members as I am not that good at 'chatting' on the forum; I never know what to say! And I think I am quite a private person who doesn't mind sending out this type of message to an 'unknown world' but can't quite do it closer to home. Odd I guess............ I am going singing shortly. Last rehersal before Sunday when the choir is singing at mass. I hope to go along and listen to them, rather than sing with them for the first time. I don't know all the music out of my head and I prefer to see what they sound like from the audience this time. It will be quite interesting to sit through a service in Dutch for the first time. Well, not much more to say, recording Claudia this evening so that I can see Erin and Austin's 'highlights' as they are now out of the competition. I do so want Rachel and Vincent to win! My friend Jackie is routing for Tom so I think it will be a very close call simply down to who is the people's favourite! Did you see Cliff Richard this weekend on Songs of Praise? He is aging now but has been around all my life, so he is kinda special for that reason if for no other! This coming Sunday is their big carol service from the Albert Hall so that I don't want to miss!! My december homesickness needs to be catered to as usual! Going on rather so will go! cheers, Sue x

Saturday, 6 December 2008

4000 visitors!!

A huge thank you to everyone who is visiting my blog - we have reached 4000 visits which is frankly AMAZING!!!! Just noticed the count and wanted to say I appreciate you all. xxx

what was I doing at 4am this morning?!!!

SCRAPPING!!!! My husband was snoring his head off and I was just lying there wide awake which is kind of time wasted in my eyes, so I got up and went into my little room and painted some magnolias and made 4 tags a la Tim Holtz style cum my own. I have finished one off but the other 3 need thinking about! I have to be up at 6am anyway to get my son off to work on time, make his lunch etc and see to the cats, so what is an extra hour or two anyway.....! We celebrated Sinterklaas yesterday - we only had a nice dinner together, no presents as we save that for Christmas, but it was nice. This weekend we are getting the decorations out and deciding the colour scheme etc and what will go where. Always with a sherry in hand and the carol CD in the background! I am so in the mood!!! Nearly all cards made ready for posting, last parcels etc, and then it is the baking that takes over. Love it! Tim is going to stay with his sister in England between Christmas and New Year so maybe Peter and I will go to Germany for a couple of nights, especially if there is snow there. He likes Sauerland but I think that is a very long drive from here so a bit closer to home would be better. But nothing definite planned. What are all of you doing? Who is coming next weekend to the Scrapfever day in Blaricum? I hope everyone turns up and we have a great time there. I have persuaded Peter to drive me there as I cannot see well enough to drive in the dark. I have that night blindness problem actually. It is a pain but I don't know anyone else who is going from this part of the country so no choice! Well, time for my shower and the day can start properly from now on. Boys are off to work so we have the rest of the day to ourselves and to await STRICTLY's quarter final this evening!!!!! I do so want Rachel and Vincent to win!!! bye, Sue x

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Take a look!

www.timholtz.typepad.com Tim is creating his 12 tags of Christmas again this year, and they are fabulous!!! I hope you all rush over to his site and find them, and start creating your own as I plan to do too!! I love all the detailing in his work and how he adds layers to the paper to such great effect. I have to find time to try it out this weekend! When you have seen what he is making, you will feel the same, I promise!!! cheers, Sue x

the hunt is on!!!

The things we do first thing in the morning!! My friend is searching for the Wii Fit game for her son and it is sold out everywhere she tries. I got a mail from her this morning saying that her last hope was also gone, so I sat here and googled!! And low and behold, I think I found one for her!!! She is busy trying to order it now, at her house, and they promise a delivery time of tomorrow so our fingers are crossed that this one arrives on time! I remember years ago my neighbours ringing around all the shops whilst I was working because Becci wanted this dog on a lead that would waddle along behind her - but from Father Christmas! And he cannot disappoint a child can he now?...So when they had found one and reserved it for me, I had to drive miles to the shop to pick it up after work!! She was so nosey when it came to finding her presents that I always had to hide them at our neighbours house until late on Christmas Eve when I felt it was safe to fetch them for under the tree! Since she gets her desire to know what she has got for Christmas from me.....yes, I am just the same!...I could completely understand her feelings. Half the pleasure for me is knowing what is in that package and imagining what I am going to do with it before I even get hold of it! Same as going out and buying presents: I love deciding what someone will love, and trying my best to find something suitable for them. I don't see the point in giving for the sake of giving something; it has to be meaningful. Well, now I have to go to work, so can't wait to hear this afternoon whether she has got it or not!! cheers, Sue x

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Our hotel in Denmark

I took these photos early in the morning when Peter was still snoring soundly in bed!! It was impossible to sleep given the noise he was making so I got up and went for a wander around the hotel and park. There was no snow but it was jolly cold!!! I am not sure exactly where we were - but it was about a 3/4hour drive from the airport in the direction of the German border! It was pouring with rain when we arrived but on the Sunday it was better. Anyway, that is that for another year! I enjoyed seeing the wives of his colleagues again - they are really nice women.
I hope to get some cards made today as I seem to be falling behind in my schedule!!! Ann is coming to help me clean the house as I cannot do that right now with my shoulder problem, and for a chat of course! So lots to do today folks!
Have a good one where ever you are!
Sue x

Monday, 1 December 2008

happy monday!

The First day of December - time to soak the fruits for our Christmas Cakes! I am making one large one to be cut into four smaller ones as I want to give them away to friends this year. It is the Whiskey Cake - yummy! One week in the fridge before I make the cake itself so it is slowly fermenting away now........smells wonderful! I am quite tired after the weekend away in Denmark. I have got photos of where we stayed etc but now yet got them from the camera. I have been busy copying my Cd's onto itunes so that I can get them on my Christmas present when I get it: Peter has bought me an ipod touch for Christmas!!! I didn't know I had so many I wanted to copy - it takes a while but seems to work ok. Has to be easy for me to do it! My list-making 'tick' is coming in handy for the month - writing down everything and doing a sort of daily planner really helps me get organised. Without it I get bogged down in the details and grind to a holt! We had to vote for the 5 people who can go through to the next round of the DT call at Scrapfever, and I am delighted that there were enough entries to make it worthwhile. It was hard choosing the 5 I liked the most, but I have made my choice and I can't wait to see what the others have voted for too!! And then the next round will be exciting as well as there are so many different styles of scrapping out there. And there is room for every one of them! That's the fun! Well, I am rambling on about something and nothing here so I think I can't put off making preparations for dinner any longer! Before I go, have you seen the 12 tags of Christmas Tim Holtz is repeating this year? Take a look over at his blog and you will see the first one is up. I think I will have a go at making my own as it is great to experiment etc. I have made almost all the cards I want to do, and written nearly all the others, posted some parcels but have still one or two to do....so I can afford to do some scrapping in my spare time! Only problem being my shoulder, which is as painful as ever and stops me doing too much of anything really. The housework needs doing as it is getting behind here but thank goodness Ann is going to help me out this week! What would I do without her?!! Enjoy the frenzy of the last few days before Sinterklaas here in Holland - the shops are heaving and the kids in our street are already hyper! so it is a countdown to Friday for one and all here! cheers, Sue x

Friday, 28 November 2008

back home!

Back home from our shopping trip, just off to the hairdressers and tomorrow to Denmark for the weekend and my husbands Christmas do!!! No time for much more blogging but will just say a huge thank you to Linda for helping me with my background problems!! Only the banner to change now..................!!!! cheers, Suzanne x

Monday, 24 November 2008

Sara's snowman!!!

Our neighbour's little girl made her first snowman this morning! Here is the finished result, and then the photos show how she got on with it!! I think he is rather cute, don't you?!!!
I took this photo through our fence when she wasn't aware that I was watching her.
I like this one a lot - carefully preparing the first lump of snow for its body.............. I still adore watching THE SNOWMAN by Rayond Briggs. Lights down low, early evening and some crumpets by the fire - perfect! Takes me right back to when the children were small enough to love it too.This afternoon the sun is shining a bit but it remains cold enough to snow again so I hope it does!! There is nothing quite like 'the sound of falling snow", is there?!!!!
Sue x

Sunday, 23 November 2008


Hi everyone, is there a very clever blogger out there who can tell me why I can't change my background into a christmassy one please??? AS far as I can tell, I am doing everything right but it still doesn't change and I am getting very frustrated I can tell you!! It would be super if someone could tell me what I am doing wrong...................cheer me up no end!! thanks, sue x

Saturday, 22 November 2008

First snow!!

At the moment we are enjoying the first snow of the winter! It is more like small hailstones to be honest but every now and then it is REAL snow! Nice really - gives one hope for a white Christmas! Not much else to say - just wanted to share the snow! Sue

Friday, 21 November 2008

I've been busy!!

This first card is for my husband this Christmas - an exploding card! They are fun to make but do require accurate cutting and folding!
This one is quite sweet too. I am LOVING using my new Threading Water punch!! You just have to get one! The silver star is one I got from Xenos last year and have embossed with silver powder.
Aah, I have made this one for my son to give his girlfriend!!!
Wanted to do something different so have used the trees and the stamp to get this 'forest' on a card!
The name cards for our Christmas dinner table!!!
Since the weather is so dreadful today there is nothing else to do but scrap! With the pain in my shoulder any larger activities are excruciatingly painful, so dusting/hoovering/ironing/polishing are ALL OUT OF THE QUESTION!!!! Aren't I the lucky one?! I am off to start my physio shortly so just getting this on the blog before I go!

What ever happened to a good cuppa?????

Yesterday Loes and I treated ourselves to a HIGH TEA in a town local to us ( which shall not be named here). We went to a Tea Rooms, which boasted the fact that it was English. Well, there is little to be said other than don't go there yourselves! It was not good, very expensive and absolutely NOT english!!! My view is that we were not the only dis-satisfied customers and that if things don't improve, they will soon close. Yes, it was that poor. Unfortunately the owner was not too happy with our comments and didn't seem to want any tips from someone who is actually English....but I feel that if you are going to do something like that, you had better do it well and get a great reputation for excellence than bother at all! So don't be surprised if you hear that Loes and Ann and I are offering a 'Scrap-a-tea' day next spring!!!!!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

He's quit!!!

Ok, so that is rather shocking news! John has decided to go before he was shoved........but do I agree? Yes, and no. I do understand his point of view but I also believe that he would never have won, and now he has set it up for only TWO couples to get to the final instead of THREE which is terribly disappointing for them. I watched the hour long special just now, and it was so machiavellian!!! Judges and dancers alike were voicing their opinions and neither were really honest as far as I could see. So, John, we enjoyed your dancing, it was fun. We are sad that you made this decision for us instead of trusting us to do the right thing in the end, but we do understand. After all....... 'we're british'!!!!!!

John Sargeant - a dancing pig?!!!

What did I read in the Telegraph this morning?!! An item about our beloved John? So, Strictly has caught the attention of the Dutch newspapers at last! Since it is all that is being talked about in the UK at the moment I feel I must add my own view here. And that is complex to say the least! I am in two minds really. Ann and I both love watching the show as many of you know, and we enjoy the better dancers to be sure. However, and this is where it gets complicated, we adore John and Cristina too! We brits are reknowned for our love of an underdog, and we absolutely detest being TOLD WHAT TO DO by anyone, so having judges telling us how to vote will only send us the opposite way! That is what it says in the paper this morning: half the votes are for John only to irritate the judges now. Whether that is true or not, no-one is going to stop us voting for Winnie the Pooh and his lovely partner!! I would love to see Vincent and Rachel win - and I think that Christine and Matthew; Austin and Erin and then Camilla and Tom are the best of the lot. So who knows this weekend...we'll be glued to the set to find out!!!!!!!! It seeems I have got an infection in my shoulder joint and hence all the pain and discomfort I am experiencing. I am having physio this week and it has been suggested that swimming might also help so I will give it a go! With enough painkillers it is better at night, but I am not sleeping well at all. Apparently it is not something that goes away quickly............. Still waiting for our threading water punch......made some cards for the Scrapfever stall at the craft fairs etc. and read a bit..pottered, trying not to overdo it at all.....life is steady to say the least!!! But hey, thanks to the person who helped me solve the problem with publishing the blog! One flick of the switch and I have got it all back again! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

Monday, 17 November 2008

I'm so pleased with my efforts!!!

Just had to show you this!! I was sitting fiddling around with ideas this morning, and decided I wanted to make a menu card for our Christmas Dinner!! Yes, so soon!! So this is what I have made so far - still have to do the inside etc but the front was successful I think. I have stamped the cutlery and embossed it to make it look like a silver canteen set, and then wrapped them with little stars and fixed them on top of a small paper serviette I made using some gorgeous paper! Then I have made a christmas cracker and popped it inside the serviette!! We English love our crackers y'know!! Then I used my nesties to make a sort of frame, stamped the calender on green card and just fused it all together. I have also embossed and stamped the words CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS onto the card front and added a few gems and the 25. I hope you like it as much as I do!!! Suzannexx