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Book Review: Snowfall in Burracombe by Lilian Harry


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This is a delightful book and just right for this time of the year. As you know, I love all things ‘village’ so this book was perfect for me.

‘In the village of Burracombe, nothing stays secret for long and behind the peaceful, rural charm, there’s always a scandal to uncover, a newcomer to the village to set tongues wagging, a happy occasion to celebrate or friends to help their neighbours through the tough times.

It’s December 1953. As the village prepares for the festivities, for many people a happy Christmas is by no means certain. For Stella Simmons, recovering from a car crash, the winter wedding that she and her sweetheart had planned seems impossible.

Elsewhere in the village, Jackie Tozer is dreaming of America and Hilary Napier, who thought the war had robbed her of her chance of happiness, has to ask herself if she could ever imagine leaving her life at the big house for the sake of love and adventure.  The darkest time of the year finds everyone asking questions with no easy answer.

As snow falls softly on the village, and everyone wishes for peace and joy, Burracombe proves once again that there’s a always a surprise around the corner.’

so say the jacket cover! Lilian Harry has written numerous books, but this is the first one of hers that I have read! I enjoyed it very much and would recommend it to you. I counted 60 characters in all. Far too many for me to remember so after reading the first chapter, I started making a list.  I wrote down the character’s name, who they were and who they were married to or in a relationship with. Perhaps if I had read other books in the series, I would know by now, who is who, but I didn’t. I found this book in a charity shop and pounced on it! Do you make lists of characters when you are reading?

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I have just completed two more doggie blankets for the Battersea Dogs and Cats home. I hope I can get them off in the post in time. I expect they won’t mind if they’re late arriving. There is a blue one and a purple one. I’m using up my stash nicely!

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Have you noticed how busy the delivery men are? It must be a very stressful time of the year for them. I hope they all get a bonus like the bankers!!! This year, here in England, we adopted the Black Friday nonsense. I say nonsense, not because it is a waste of time. If you can buy a TV at a very reduced price, then good for you, but I don’t like what I see on the television with regard to the behaviour of many of the shoppers. Frankly, it was disgusting. I would much rather we adopted the Thanksgiving Day that you have over in America. Following on from Black Friday is Cyber Monday and yes, we have that too now. Those two days of sales have caused havoc with UPS etc.

Tomorrow is the 12th so I’ll be posting my Christmas cards and putting up the Christmas Tree. I’m looking forward to doing that.

What will you be doing tomorrow?

What am I making this week?


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Well it’s nearly Sunday again and Sunday is gardening day here in the cottage. Today we had some much welcomed rain. In fact we had today half the total rainfall for the whole of September. Amazing!

The picture above shows the fifth dog blanket I am making for Battersea Dogs’ Home. This one is going to be in different shades of blue and is made in an ever popular blanket stitch. The home likes this because the dogs can’t get their paws caught up in it.

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My new quilt is finished and now on my bed, ready for the cold nights ahead, which we have been promised!

Lucky me! Larry is making me a tabard on his weaving loom. Here is the pattern from the weaving book…

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and here it is in the making…

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I can’t wait to see how it comes out.

On my spinning wheel is some of the white Polworth fleece and I’m already making a jerkin with some of it, see below. Millie likes it because it is so warm so she is usually to be found curled up underneath while I’m knitting.

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So another busy week and tomorrow we’ll be in the garden.

ps there is a little good news about my son. He has found someone to share a flat with, albeit on the sofa! and he is training for a job in customer service with a well known bank. I have hope !

Oma

Millie’s little mishap!


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Poor Millie had a nasty experience the other night. We have no idea what happened, but when we came down in the morning, the cat-flap was cracked and broken and Millie was looking bewildered. We think another cat may have tried to come in or it might even have been a fox.

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So after breakfast, Larry had to go to the DIY store and get another cat-flap! Needless to say it was not the same as the previous one; the screw holes were in the wrong place so then he had an extra job, replacing the old screws with new ones in a slightly different place.

When Millie saw the new cat-flap, she was not amused.  It is a different colour (white) and she looked at it suspiciously and has so far refused to use it. Oh my (sigh), why is life so difficult sometimes?

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Oma.

We have a new member of the family.


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Please meet’ Sausage’. He is the latest member of our family to join the cottage. He is the result of my latest crafty effort and he is a sausage dog (in case you didn’t guess).

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He likes to hide behind the washing basket…

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and sneak up on the cat …

He has a very stripey body …

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But we all love him 🙂

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Millie likes the radio.


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Millie is my six year old calico cat. She likes to sit on the window sill and listen to the radio.  Isn’t that cute?

Since the New Year began, we’ve had so much rain and high winds, that it’s been difficult to get out much. I don’t know about you, but I’ve become a bit lazy! I enjoyed Christmas a lot and got used to the routine of eating what I fancied and slouching around watching lovely cosy films on TV. I’m in the fortunate position of not having to go back to work because I’m retired so at long last, I can enjoy life without worrying about that annual return to the workplace. I do miss my jobs, but I love being at home so much that the days just fly by.

I’ve been spinning. This is my latest spinning project: a lovely lavender roving in Merino, which is a delight to spin with and will be fun to knit with later on.

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Have you got any new aims for 2014? I don’t make resolutions, but I do have aims. This year’s aim is to study the Druids. In my Wiccan world I try to study something different every year so that gradually I get more knowledgeable as the years go by. The Druids have always fascinated me so I look forward to reading more about them and perhaps sharing some of it with you.

I so enjoy blogging with all of you. I’m looking forward to following you through this New Year and trust that it will be a good one for all of you.

Oma

Are you ready yet?


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Well, we’re nearly there aren’t we! Not long now. my Christmas cards are posted, the tree is decorated, the cake made and this afternoon I shall decorate it.

p.m. I’ve half-decorated the cake! I put the marzipan on it, but decided to leave the icing till tomorrow because I don’t trust the cat to leave it alone. In the cottage here, Millie likes dairy produce so I know she will love the butter icing I’m going to put on top. If I cover it over, she will remove the cling film and I don’t have a tin big enough to hide the cake in. Oh my, the lengths we have to go to when we have a pet.

Thank goodness for Millie because I am still missing Patch very much. I now have her picture in my bedroom so I can still say goodnight and good morning, but I badly miss her soft little paws and the sweet expressions she had for me when I came down in the morning. I suppose I miss Patch most because I didn’t say goodbye. I thought I’d be bringing her home minus a tooth so it was a shock to leave her at the vet’s and know that I would never see her again.

Christmas is very much a time for missing people, isn’t it! I think back to when I was a child and the lovely Christmases we had at home. There were only three of us – I have no siblings and the dog, of course. There was a fire-place in the main bedroom, which my dad lit on special days. Looking back that seems very dangerous to me now, but at the time, it was normal. We had a fireplace in all the rooms, but it was too expensive to keep them all lit all the time and unnecessary too, of course.

I had a sack with presents in it and Father Christmas left it at the foot of my bed. When I woke on Christmas morning, I took the sack into my parents’ bedroom and opened the presents with them. My dad liked to have morning tea in bed with cakes! So with the fire glowing and tea and cakes to enjoy, I could open my presents with glee. My favourite was always a Rupert annual. I’ve always loved reading and the the illustrations in the Rupert Annuals are superb. To this day I still enjoy looking at them and reading them to my grandson.

So now, back to my kitchen. What are you doing this afternoon?

Oma

Baby Sam update – 4 months old (nearly)


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Just look at my newest grandson…. hasn’t he grown? This is my latest picture of him, which I’m proud to show you. He’s got such a winning smile and he’s a real little ‘buster’ isn’t he? – so different to Dylan, my eldest grandson, who is nearly three. Sam’s weaning at the moment and as you can see from the picture, he’s enjoying his food very much! He’s got his parents well trained!! and likes to be carried around all the time to enjoy different views of the house and garden whenever he feels like it.

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Here in the cottage we’ve all got colds and feel miserable. It doesn’t seem fair after all the hard work we’ve been doing lately, but there it is, we’re sick; sneezing and coughing and groaning, day and night.

In between the bouts of fever and sneezing, I’ve been unpacking the last box today. In it were all my scrapbooks from America and all the ‘stuff’ that goes with it. I’ve been putting off that box because I knew it would be nigh on impossible to find room here for all of it and I didn’t want to start chucking things out. I unpacked the box and got rid of the rubbish and then repacked it for another day. I will get to it, I will, I will, I will.

Millie is so pleased to be with her ‘daddy’ again and takes advantage of a cuddle whenever she can…

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So I’m back to my sniffing and snuffling, hoping to be feeling a bit better tomorrow…

Oma