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Diary 2013 December

 

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1 December

Thrush in birdbath  Christmas lights - mirror
This morning we went to the last boot fair of this year. I am glad most of the mud in the parking field had dried up. At the end of the afternoon, I saw this thrush come down for a bath. I was very glad that he stayed long enough for me to get some video. It is a long time since we have had a thrush in the garden and I hope he will be back. Thrushes eat snails and there are loads in my garden, so he should find lots of dinners. I will keep a lookout for him when the weather gets frosty. In the evening we put up most of the Christmas lights. The older ones with the paler colours go on the big mirror.

Christmas lights - door  Christmas lights - window
The brighter LED ones go on the door and the windows, so that they can be seen from further away. The lights for the Christmas tree are draped over the window, and the tree will go up a week before Christmas. Dull afternoons when the light is fading can be gloomy but now I will look forward to switching these on as soon as possible every day.

2 December

Shopping centre giant star
We went Christmas shopping in Bromley. This star is in the main Glades shopping mall and it has lights zooming from the middle to the tips and back again.

Light-up reindeer motif jumper Shop window display with snowball, and fluffy snowball wigs
I really like this light-up jumper, but I think I would prefer a dark blue jumper with light-up stars, or light-up village windows. This shop has chosen a snowball theme for its window displays. The fluffy snowball wigs look really warm and I think they would sell well as hats!

5 December

Yellow Teddy watching the dawn sky The yellow and orange dawn sky
I get a good view of dawns over the countryside from my bedroom window. Today we are helping a friend to tidy their garden before winter gets really cold, so I hope this dawn turns into some sunshine.

6 December

Robin
We are garden tidying again today, and after we had cleared the steps of all the soil that had collected, the robin came down to get the small worms in the corners.

8 December

Ice rink Ice rink - penguin and sledge
Today we visited Ruxley garden centre with Auntie. We all enjoyed watching the ice rink for quite some time, and the energetic music seemed to keep everyone warm somehow! I really like these penguins that have handles for children to hold onto. The yellow sledge shaped one is for children to ride on while the bigger person pushes it along.

Snowy model village
Another view of the model snowy village. Every time, I notice something else that I didn't see before. This time they have put some wooden steps at the side of the display cabinet, so that children can climb up to see it all.

Model village in shape of two book pages Nativity scene set
This snowy scene is done like a book opening, with the scenery coming out of the two pages. This Nativity scene is really well made, and it would look even better if it had a plain dark background, maybe with some stars painted on in silver paint.

Starry garden light ornament Knitted bird decorations
I think this starry clay-pot ornament must have a light inside to shine through the star holes. These knitted bird decorations were very interesting, they look as if you could make them using an existing old patterned jumper sewn into a bird shape. The wings are held on with buttons.

Reindeer Model deer
Here are the real reindeer, this time they were trying to get to sleep, which was a bit difficult with all the people walking past. In the end the front one got up for a drink. This model deer was looking a lot more relaxed about the crowds than a real deer would be. After our morning at Ruxley, we went home to Auntie's and spent the rest of the day helping her wrap up all the presents for her friends.

Autumn leaves Pansies
In the afternoon we swept all the leaves on the paths into the bottom corner of the garden. The ones on the soil are left for the blackbirds to find worms underneath during the winter when the ground is frozen. The only flowers we have now are three large pots of daffodil bulbs with pansies on top.

10 December

Misty park Frosty leaves
Frosty morning - we went through the park really early and the pond and ground was covered in a low foggy mist. The leaves by the pond were all white.

11 December

Frosty field 1 Frosty field 2
Today we went to our friends in the countryside. The fields were covered in frost, but the sun was quickly melting it and the trees were dripping on us as we walked along the path.

Bags of daffodil and crocus bulbs Planted daffodil and crocus bulbs
We helped them plant their bulbs of daffodils and crocuses. You have to sprinkle the soil back on until they are half covered, and then the rest can go on, so that they all stay upright. I am really looking forward to seeing all these flowering next year.

Sunset through trees
After a day in our friends' garden, we enjoyed this lovely sunset over the distant trees and hills.

14 December

Shire horses and Father Christmas's carriage
We went shopping today and here are two shire horses pulling a carriage driven by Father Christmas. He was allowing people to have rides up and down the High Street. Their hooves made a very loud clopping sound on the tarmac. That is my bus right behind him!

Dino with tree branch Lights on the tree
In the afternoon we put up the Christmas tree. All the branches slot into holes marked A to D according to size, and then you have to bend out the squashed branches. The lights go on first.

Box of decorations Box of bows
We have found the best way to store the decorations is in big document boxes and small food containers. Blue Parrot found this box full of bows from all the presents we have received over the years. They fill in all the gaps on the tree after everything else has gone on, especially the empty middle spaces.

Untangling the hooks Finished tree
The gold and silver hooks always get tangled, but I kept shaking the pile and they all fell off in the end. Here is the completed tree, with everything shining and twinkling.

18 December

Planting the fuchsia bush Weedy lumps
This is the last good weather day for helping in our friend's garden. We planted a fuchsia bush which will grow quite large with big red flowers next year. We just had time to turn over the weedy area into lumps and we will let the winter weather break it all down.

20 December

Mottled goldfish Mussels
We went to the garden centre to get some new aquarium fish. My favourites are these mottled goldfish. I think they might be shubunkins. They were very active and swimming around fast. These mussels were completely different, and there was no movement to be seen at all.

Bearded Dragon with locusts Big Bearded Dragon
The pet section also had some Bearded Dragons. This first one was letting the locusts sit on his head, and I think he will just suddenly snap at one and eat it before too long. This big Bearded Dragon became interested in something outside. His vivarium is opposite the shelves of aquarium things for sale, so maybe he saw something there he liked!

21 December

Blackbird eating cotoneaster berries Rainy park
Here is the blackbird outside my kitchen window eating the cotoneaster berries. He just has a few then flies away. We went shopping and got caught in the rain on the way home. The park was very wet and empty, but the ducks, geese and seagulls were very happy with the watery park. They were just resting, as there were no people around with bread bags.

23 December

Watching video Lord of the Dance In bed with the leopard pattern fur throw
As it was cold outside and warm inside, we settled down during the afternoon to watch the "Lord of the Dance" Irish dancing video. It was blowing gales and stormy all day and night, and so we doubled up our special leopard pattern fur throw to make it extra cosy. We listened to the gales all night.

24 December

Dinosaurs in shop window Fallen tree on country road
We went out shopping for some last Christmas things. This shop had lots of dinosaur stuff but we did not see anything that our Dino did not already have. Afterwards we went to our friend's house and along the country road some trees had come down and the paths were full of twigs blown down in the gales.

Fallen apples Fallen rosehips
The last of the hedgerow apples had come down, and outside this garden a lot of the rosehips had blown off and were being squashed as people walked past. We had to go carefully as we walked, as all this was very slippery and squidgy underfoot.

Tree with broken branch Willow tree in pond with split trunk
We came back home through the park. The gale had twisted and ripped this branch off the almond tree. This willow tree branch was already in the water but the gales had twisted it around as well, and we could see it from a long way off as the wood inside is bright and clean.

Park geese pecking crumbs
There are two poorly geese in the park and we found them and gave them a good feed. Then we tipped out all the last bits and crumbs of bread for the others.

Dino with chocolate coins Chocolate coin hanging on tree
In the evening, Dino decided to hang his chocolate coins on the tree. For some reason, he was making sure they were mostly hanging round the back where they would not be noticed by everyone else.

Yellow Teddy with presents under the tree Blue Parrk checking the tree angel
We got all the presents out of their carrier bags and put them under the tree. Most of wrapping paper this year seems to be shiny red and a few gold ones. Blue Parrot went up and rearranged the feathers on the top angel. The angel decoration is quite old with a plaster head, gold paper wings and a carol song sheet.

Brown Teddy with gold bow Brown Teddy with owl decoration
Brown Teddy is keeping an eye on this lovely gold bow. We always save the bows and add them to the tree decorations every year. His favourite decorations this year are the three tiny white owls that are sitting amongst the branches.

Blue Parrot and the round present Dino with the last of the wrapping paper
Parrot has seen a little round present and is spending a lot of time wondering what it is, as most presents are usually squarish. Dino asked if there were any more presents, as there is a bit of wrapping still left on the roll. I think we will have to save it for next year.

Teds in bed on Christmas Eve
We all went to bed a little later than normal. This is Dino, Me, Brown Teddy, Blue Parrot, Gecko and Seagull still awake looking at the Christmas lights still glowing behind the curtains. When soon fell asleep once the Christmas lights were switched off.

25 December

Christmas sky of sun and showers Robin
The day started grey but breezy, but then the sun came out for a while, followed by showers. This robin arrived for his Christmas morning breakfast of bread and suet pellets. He knows exactly which kitchen window to sit outside for quick results.

Vegetable pots Christmas puddings
I have the Christmas dinner organised very early in the morning, with all the vegetables ready in the pots. We will only use one Christmas pudding today, and we will save the other one for next week at New Year.

Dino guarding mince pies, cakes and sweets Laying the table
Dino is checking the stash of mince pies, cakes and sweets very carefully, so that nothing gets missed out by mistake! I laid the table with a red and white cracker at each corner, and the best shiny cutlery in the middle.

Pudding tray in the oven Christmas Dinner
Time to make the Yorkshire Puddings, and this pudding tray is heating up ready for the mixture to go in. At last everything was ready and we all sat down at 2 o'clock.

Christmas Pudding Dino with the sweet bowl
Everyone had a bit of everything - Christmas pudding, mince pie, mint chocolate ice cream and custard. Dino still had room for a sweet or two afterwards, but then he is quite big and very energetic most of the time.

Brown Teddy with the cutlery Wrapping paper
I washed up all the cutlery and Brown Teddy will be drying it off and sorting it out. The best ones go away in the cupboard and the ordinary ones go back in the kitchen drawer. Dino sorted the wrapping into piles, one for paper recycling and one for putting in the bin. He spent a lot of time moving it around and I think he was making sure there were no other sweets or interesting things amongst it all.

Blue Parrot with the colour changing Christmas trees
Blue Parrot spent the evening playing with the colour-changing Christmas trees on the little tray.

Dino counting his chocolate coins Brown Teddy with the fibre optic tree
As it got near bedtime, Dino had a last count of the chocolate coins, and Brown Teddy had an extra few minutes admiring the fibre optic tree up on the shelf.

26 December

Dusting the books Bags of books
I spent the day tidying and dusting the bookshelves. This nylon duster attracts all the dust like a magnet, and at intervals you have to ruffle and shake it outside in the garden, so that the dust blows away. There were quite a few good books that were no longer wanted, and so they all went into carrier bags for the charity shop.

Tooth-shaped cracker paper Strong Man programme on television
Dino helped with the tidying. He found the remains of some paper crackers which reminded him of dinosaur teeth. In the evening we all watched the Strong Man Competition programme. Here is one of the competitors doing the Log Lift.

27 December

Dino with his chocolate coins Blue Parrot with the Malted Milk biscuits
We took the bags of books to the charity shop. Dino stayed at home and rearranged his chocolate coins hanging on the Christmas tree. Eventually he decided to eat them. Parrot discovered the Malted Milk biscuits with little pictures of cows on. He likes crunchy crumbly things and he nibbled his way through quite a few of them. Afterwards he played with all the coloured biros on the notepad.

28 December

Rolls of orange dawn clouds
We went out very early today. At the bus stop we saw this lovely dawn sky. The clouds were arranged in two big rolls of glowing orange. It was sunny all day and the shops were quite crowded because of the January Sales. In the afternoon I helped with looking up some of the shorthand in the dictionary, for the website article.

30 December

Fallen tree over footpath Penguin garden ornaments
We went along to the garden centre. We had to go on the very muddy and slippery verge to get round, a bit too close to the traffic - we decided we would come back on the other side of the road. The penguin ornaments in the garden centre were looking very smart and I have a red hat just like that somewhere at home.

Paint mixing cards Tiles Seed packets in shop
It was nice to see all the colours, after the muddy wintry walk to get here. These are paint mixing cards, tile samples and lots of lovely seed packets to remind us to plan our next year's flowers.

River flowing high River inlet drain
Behind the garden centre is the river, which is now higher and muddier than usual. All the inlet drains along the way are flowing fast. Normally they are very small, you can't always see where they are, and you only know they are there because of the trickling sound.

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