Sunday, 27 December 2020

The Distancing Diaries - 25th, 26th & 27th December, 2020

Hello, friends! I hope that despite the circumstances you've managed to have yourselves a very happy Xmas. 

On Xmas Day Jon was up first, while he was in the kitchen I snuck downstairs and brought the presents I'd bought him back upstairs and we opened them in bed, drank tea and read for a while. It was a gorgeous day, bitterly cold but blindingly sunny.

From me to Jon: Nordic socks, a set of hand blown chai glasses, fountain pen and ink cartridges, a hand-painted Indian postcard, a 1940s biscuit tin from Kashmir, a vintage Indian glazed clock cabinet.


From Jon to me: Posh ayurvedic incense, handmade Fair Isle socks and an antique statuette of a Hindu solider.

We opened our other presents in the lounge listening to 6Music, ate a slice of toast and had a thoroughly lazy morning. I read the Sarah Jane Adams book Lynn and Philip had bought me for my birthday and Jon watched a Carry On film before kicking off the dinner preparation. 

At midday we cracked open the wine to help the proceedings along and we toasted absent friends - both our real-life and virtual ones!

Xmas Day: Jon wears Gabicci, I'm in a silk maxi dress made in Delhi in the 1970s

Tony arrived at 1pm and we ate at 2pm accompanied by Jon's special music mix - which, I'm sure you'll not to be surprised to learn didn't include a single Xmas song. The boys had chicken with pigs in blankets and I had a nut roast.After lunch we opened presents and chatted until 7pm when Tony walked back home (he was due in work in the morning ready for the Boxing Day sale). We washed up and cleared everything away. We wouldn't be eating again.

We started to watch Wasteland, a grim Czech crime thriller, but all the excitement of having company (and seven hours of boozing!) had us admitting defeat at 9.30pm and we went to bed.


On Boxing Day Jon was up first, he brought mugs of tea back to bed after seeing to The Lads and we read until 8.30am. As it was Saturday (and in our world, just a normal day) I stripped and changed the bed, loaded the washing machine and joined Jon downstairs in the kitchen for a slice of toast - we'd considered the usual Saturday morning sausage sandwich but after such a big dinner yesterday, decided against it. We were expecting a violent storm later so went for a long walk before it hit, wandering around the old industrial quarter, an abandoned 17th Century burial ground and through the narrow alleyways of Georgian Walsall, passing Blue Coat Infants School where Jon and I were in the same class for a while. I was considered gifted back then and put in a higher year (not sure what went wrong!)

Back at home we had a bowl of noodles and watched another film based on a Le Carre novel, The Little Drummer Girl (neither this or the BBC 2018 drama are a patch on the book although Florence Pugh's hippie wardrobe was a million times better than Diane Keaton's '80s wet look perm, stilettos and shoulder pads) then spent the rest of the afternoon reading an excellent Nordic Noir.

After cheese, crisps, olives and crackers we poured ourselves a large rum and coke and watched Monsoon, a quasi-film documentary set in Vietnam on the BBC i-player. I broke the habit of a lifetime and watched something with Celebrity and Christmas Special in the title - the festive edition of The Great British Sewing Bee - I'm not quite sure why. We watched another episode of Wasteland, grim and bleak being far more our thing, and retired to bed. Storm Ella had arrived and the sound of torrential rain and gale force winds kept Jon awake until the early hours.

On Sunday I was up first, watered the houseplants and brought tea back to bed, finishing the book I'd started yesterday. Breakfast was banana porridge. After the overnight storms the glorious sunshine came as a most welcome surprise as did the lack of damage after a cursory inspection of the garden.

At 10am swathed in layers aplenty & armed with a flask and some mince pies, we got in the car and headed over the border to Staffordshire (also in Tier 3) for a wander around the splendid Biddulph Grange on the outskirts of Stoke On Trent, a series of themed Victorian gardens established by James Bateman who, from 1841, spent more than twenty years collecting plants from all over the world. We last visited in July, 2020 (HERE).


Connected by a series of subterranean tunnels, each leads you to another part of the world.....


 From a Himalayan mountainside,



To a Scottish glen.


To Imperial China.











You'll wander past crumbling castle walls...


And the other-worldly Stumpery,



Past an Italianate villa....


Before finding yourself in Ancient Egypt.




Strolling alone through the Arboretum beneath the giant Sequoias with the winter sunshine shimmering through the trees it's hard to imagine that there's a worldwide pandemic raging.







We even found Santa's grotto, hijacked by a deranged bloke in a Swedish Army parka and a pompom hat.



After mince pies and mugs of tea we headed back down the road to Walsall where we spent the rest of the afternoon doing very little. 

Thank you so much for all the kind comments and messages, I've loved hearing what you've been up to over Xmas and look forward to catching up with Blogland tomorrow. Right now there's a glass of rum and a film waiting for me in the lounge!

72 comments:

  1. What a lovely time you've had, Vix, and beautiful gifts to boot! Amazing garden and such a tonic during lockdown. I enjoyed my solo Christmas. Family FaceTimed so I had company at different points of the day. Spent all day in my jammies watching trashy television and drinking Black Russians. Not a bad way to spend a day! Going for a drink in my neighbour's garden tomorrow which will be very nice. Good to have some company though I am perfectly fine on my own. Very strange Christmas. I look forward to being able to meet family and friends without restrictions and pop in and out of each other's houses. How much will we appreciate that? As Joni said, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone". Can't wait for it coming back!

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    1. We had a lovely time, Catmac and I'm delighted that you enjoyed your solo Xmas, too. Fancy finding some new PJs tucked away that you could lounge about in quaffing cocktails and watching TV!
      Won't it be lovely to be able to meet up with people again? It was very strange having Tony in the house, it's been almost a year since any of our friends last set foot in there.
      Hope you have fun drinking with the neighbours - I wish we were allowed to do that! xxx

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  2. PS You are very gifted! A bright spark with many talents and kind too.

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  3. Having only visited Biddulph Grange in the spring it's fabulous to see it at other times of the year. It's where I learnt that Forget-me-nots come in pink and white aswell as blue! We're in tier 4 here, but your NT visit has prompted me to check if our local NT Nymans is open. I had expected it to not be, but am delighted to find it's open so our slots are booked. Hurrah! Arilx

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    1. I'd love to see Biddulph in the Spring, I was excited to see signs of the bulbs peeping out of the frozen ground.
      Thank goodness your local National Trust property is still open. What would we do without them? xxx

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  4. Loved your day trip!! Your photos are excellent Vix. Great gift exchange you and Jon had, super presents. I love incense also, burn it every day, my favorite is patchouli ever since the 60's, but there are a lot of beautiful scents!!Smell of incense can take me back in time! Rain here, but its fine, keeps the air fresh! We stayed home for Christmas and talked to friends and relatives on the phone, just all trying to stay safe and well. Since we are home so much now, I am wishing for a little snow this winter, just a tad, it does not really snow much here on the coast of Washington, but once in a while we will get some. Of course up in our mountains there has been snow and is breathtaking, however we won't be traveling in that direction for a while! Both of my sisters live near Mt. Rainier and have the spectacular view of it, they live 7 miles from each other. I lived on top of Green Mountain here in Washington for 10 years and we had plenty of snow there, too, that is why I only wish for a "tad" here!! Happy New Year 2021 to you and Jon, Vix

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    1. Hello Chrystal! Thanks for joining us on our day out!
      We're obsessed with incense, too. We've always got some on the go and in the olden days when we used to have visitors people always commented on the smell.
      We've got snow today - I'll try and send some your way. It's not so much of a disruption when none of us are going anywhere, is it?
      I'm loving the sound of your sisters being able to see Mount Ranier and how amazing it must have been to live on Green Mountain, too (I Googled them both!)
      Sending you lots of love for a happier and healthier 2021! xxx

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  5. Oh your Sunday weather was so so much nicer than ours! We had lashings of rain and hail for most of the day and it finally turned to snow in the evening. We've just got back from wandering around the village taking photos of 'a winter wonderland' - it felt really good to get out - cabin fever was setting in!

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    1. Oh no, your Sunday sounded very miserable. we weren't expecting our day to be sunny and it was such a joy to see those almost Mediterranean blue skies overhead. xxx

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  6. Glad you had company on Christmas Day. Sounds like you have had a lovely time.
    That was a good plan to get out and about. Biddulph looks lovely. I like your welsh wool cape. I’ve got a few bits for your stockroom I’ll send them down next week. It’ll get me out the house.
    I’m never bored but I’ve even tidied all the presents away. They are normally on the floor for weeks.
    I’ve got a couple of good non fiction books to drool over while Storm Bella clears off somewhere else.
    Take care you two. Let’s see what this week brings xxx

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    1. We did have a lovely time although it was really strange to have a guest!
      Biddulph is a fabulous place, a bit like wandering across a film set with all the different locations.
      That's so kind of you! I was amazed that I sold a few things on ebay on Xmas Day, the rails in the stockroom are really starting to thin out. I don't know what we'll do if the festivals go ahead, run around like nutters shopping I expect!
      Have a lovely cosy day reading. I loved Sarah Jane Adams'book, it was exciting to hear her talk of a really obscure punk band I didn't think anyone else but Jon & I would remember and to discover that she's been to many of the same places in India as us! xxx

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  7. Hello Vix, I too watched the sewing Bee, and although it was a bit of light relief, I was a little disappointed they couldn’t find celebrities that could sew (surely they must exist???). That’s a cracking stumpery at Biddulph and I especially love the photo of you in your red coat in China! I think it is so lovely that you and Jon were in the same class. Do you have any school pictures together? (I remember now that I too was moved around classes (both up & down) at primary school – in my case due to class sizes, and I've consistently remained multi-talentless ever since!). Glad you had a good Christmas and thank you for sharing your awesome pressies. Lulu xXx

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    1. Hello Lulu! That's what frustrated me about sewing Bee. When they did a celebrity one for Children In Need they had quite a few experienced sewers like Jenny Eclair and Kinky Melon's mate, Hairy Biker, Dave.
      I'm not sure if there's any photos of Jon and I together at infant school although I might have a school nativity photo somewhere which I think we were both in!
      Biddulph is amazing, it's like a film set. I love how the wealthy spent their cash back then on plants and garden design rather than Botox and handbags! xxx

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  8. Hi Vix borrowed not my hubby’s IPad again, yes, I was the nit called Unknown yesterday who forgot to sign off as Brummie Sue to let you know it was me! fool. Still having big probs with my WiFi. Anyhow loved your latest post and hearing about your Christmas, it all looked so good.We’ve had a great time too, just the two of us with enough to eat a bit to drink and a nice warm house. I love being with all your other followers on here and you have done so much to keep all our spirits up this year, thank you. Keep Warm and Well,soon be New Year’s Eve. Brummie Sue. Xx.

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    1. Hello Sue! I thought it was you, I recognise your writing style. I'm glad you enjoyed your day but what a pain about the internet connection, we're lost without it!
      Warm and cosy with enough to eat and drink, what more do we need? Can't say I'm a fan of today's snow, the sky looks like it might have another load of the white stuff to chuck at us in the next few hours.
      I'm always happy to see your comments, don't you wish we could all meet up? It's such a joy to hear what others are doing around the world. xxx

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  9. What a couple lovely days. You are good gift givers. Merry week ahead as the year winds down.

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    1. It's been lovely, Sam and it sounds like your Xmas was fabulous, too! x

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  10. must be the year for socks. I got 4 pairs! And 5 jigsaw puzzles. That's for the heads up on that book, I'll have to look for it. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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    1. Yay! You can't beat a pair of socks (or three!) Five jigsaw puzzles? that's impressive, I know what you'll be doing for the next month or so!
      Happy New Year back at you! xxx

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  11. Loved the colorful gifts, all the tea in bed, and the ling walks and beautiful garden! Rather slow here and cold! Table games and good books fill the time between naps and meal prep, consumption and cleanup.­čą┤ It's time for me to get a life!

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    1. Your life sounds pretty good to me, Rebecca! It's lovely to hear from you. xxx

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  12. Hi Vix. Merry Christmas from Maryland. I have been following your blog for several years and have never commented but I have to say I have looked forward to your posts this year most of all. I lost my Dad in March and 2020 just continued to become unspeakable from there including my husband’s suicide attempt and the death of my cat. I don’t know how to tell you how much your blog has given me solice through these awful months. Honestly, I think your detailing your day to day has given me a blueprint to get from one day to the next. I apologize for the heaviness in this comment but I want to thank you and send some love from over the pond.


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    1. Hello to you, dear lady in Maryland. I'm so very sorry to hear about what you've been through, just one of those awful events would be bad enough but to have to cope with all three in what has been such a horrible year must be unbearable.
      My heart goes out to you and I'm sure, after reading your comment, all my readers will be feeling the same way. I'm joining them in sending you a virtual hug and lots of love and positivity.
      My dreadful year was 2010 and facing each day as it came was how I eventually got through it, battered, bruised but eventually stronger.
      Whenever you feel like commenting again I'll be delighted to hear from you.
      Much love, Vix xxxx

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    2. Oh Anon, what an awful year you have had. Blogland and it's wonderful community have been of solace to so many, and I for one am so pleased that Vix has helped you through some dark days. Her posts are little blasts of colour and fun in an otherwise dreary and sad landscape aren't they.

      Sending much love from snowy North Wales to Maryland. xx

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    3. Oh Maryland - what a grim time you've had. We've all escaped to Vixland for some joy and colour in 2020. Sending you light, positive vibes and hand-holding; will wave to you from the comments from now on!

      Big love xxx

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    4. More hugs to you, from Minnesota. We are all fortunate to have bloggers like Vix to bring cheer and a break from heaviness-this year in particular. I hope your 2021 is a year to refill your tank with love, joy, and hope.

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    5. Everyone thank you so much!! Your replies mean everything in these sad days. I am wishing Vix and all of us a better, calmer and lovely 2021! Xoxo

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    6. I'm so glad our comments have brought you some cheer. Never feel like you're alone, we're all here for you. Sending you much love for a better and brighter 2021. xxx

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    7. Just also wanted to send Unknown in Maryland best wishes. I'm sorry you've had a horrid year. Well done to you for finding what solace and joy you can in such bleak times. Vix's blog really does bring joy, colour and joie de vivre!

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  13. That sounds like a perfectly lovely Christmas. I am looking forward to reading all your posts in 2021. Stay safe and warm.

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    1. I hope yours was just as special, Cherie. xxx

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  14. Belated Seasons Greetings Vix , glad to see you and Jon enjoyed your Christmas and had some company to share the day with. The Christmas lunch looked delicious .
    Those gardens look wonderful with their different plantings and nods to faraway lands. You in red cape look stunning on the Chinese balcony.
    Wishing you and Jon all best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year. xx

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    1. Much love to you and yours, dear Jill! xxx

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  15. What lovely Christmas presents, and that day out looks cold but amazing. Did you have the place virtually to yourselves or did you just cleverly avoid capturing any other humans in shot?

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    1. It's been so cold here, I was surprised at how much snow we had overnight, too.
      The car park at Biddulph was packed and we could hear the odd voice as we walked around but the National Trust are really good with their one way systems and it really did feel like we had the place to ourselves. last time we went there were a family in matching fleeces swigging pop out of cans on the Chinese bridge, it didn't half spoil the photos! xxx

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  16. It's lovely that your neighbour was able to join you for Christmas Day. What a pain having to work on Boxing Day, though, I bet you don't miss that!

    Lovely presents you both got and what a lovely outfit your Christmas Day one was; I loved the belt it was so unusual.

    I had no idea NT places would be open on Boxing Day and I need to book a few visits while OH still is on holiday...Biddulph Grange looks fascinating and I hope the deranged bloke in Santa's Grotto was returned to his community! The Stumpery was both beautiful and weird...

    I've read that Karin Fossum book and enjoyed it; I'm reading Antonia White's biography at the moment and finding it hard going; as she seems not to have been a very likeable person. At least I'm finding it hard to warm to her. We're currently gripped by 'The Twelve' and have only 4 episodes left to watch.

    Have a wonderful New year
    xxx

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    1. It was lovely to have a dinner guest, it gave Jon the perfect excuse to buy a party pack of pigs in blankets!
      Isn't it wonderful that the National Trust are doing their best to keep as many properties as they possibly can open? You'll have to see if they've got any spaces left for this week. We loved how quiet it was.
      Isn't Karin Fossum a great writer? She kept taking me by surprise with clever plot twists. I find it a real struggle to read biographies at the best of times let alone when the subject isn't likable.
      Happy New Year to you and yours, Vronni. Here's to a happy and healthy 2021! xxx

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  17. Your Christmas sounds lovely, just the right mix of indulgence and exercise! You even found somewhere open to visit. We are now in tier 4, which might as well be full lockdown. We've done lots of dog walks though. We used to go into town after Christmas for coffee and browse the bookshops and fopp for records. Your garden visit looks really interesting, so many landscapes in one garden.
    I love you in the red cape.
    Have a great week. xxx

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    1. I hope your Xmas was lovely despite the challenges. I checked and the National Trust are keeping their Tier 4 gardens open, maybe there's a Ziggy friendly one near you?
      We always used to meet friends have have tea in 'Spoons on Boxing Day which we missed this year. We are so going to appreciate normality when it returns, aren't we? xxx

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  18. glorious garden and perfect weather for a festive day out!!
    love your red cape!
    the dinner with tony sounds yum and cosy - btw.: all my festive recipes start with *pour 1 glass of wine into the cook* actually ;-D
    lovely pressies!
    xxxxx

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    1. All the best meals start with a large glass of wine! xxx

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  19. Really nice that you could have your friend round for dinner (even more so for him as he didn't need to cook for one!) and that you crammed so much in to the last few days - even including a day out! Love your silk Christmas day dress. The Indian postcard you gave Jon looks interesting. I haven't seen the British Sewing Bee but intend to get it on catch up - we just watched Black Narcissus which has been remade - it's good - with some really lovely scenery of Nepal - we assumed it was fake but it does say on the credits location Nepal - it has sparked my travel bug!

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    1. It was lovely to have a dinner guest, it gave Jon an excuse to buy a pack of pigs-in-blankets, too!
      I did put that silk dress in the stockroom and then had a word with myself.
      I thought you'd like that postcard, they're used vintage plain ones covered in Hindi script and hand-painted over the top - such an interesting upcycling idea.
      I was in two minds about Black Narcissus, it's one of my favourite films and I was scared the series might ruin it for me. The Sewing Bee was a bit annoying as nobody could really sew, I wish they'd have chosen celebrities who could! xxx

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  20. Your celebrations were perfect, Vix. And your new socks are just gorgeous. They look almost too beautiful to wear. I say almost because cosy toes are, after all, essential. X

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    1. Jon keeps asking why I haven't worn my socks and I've told him that I'm scared to spoil them! xxx

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  21. Hi Vix
    Just heard Jon on the radio and thought 'I must message Vix' Thank you for your beautiful xmas card, so good to hear from you. Your Xmas sounds so relaxing and better than mine (work as usual!) but lije you, I'm no fan of it. I watched Sewing Bee too! Really surprised at lack of damage here in Sussex too. Been watching lots of French drama on C4 Walter Presents to compensate for not being there this year
    Sending lots of love and best wishes for 2021

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    1. Hello Fi! Yay - bring on the royalties!
      It's lovely to hear from you and I'm sorry you were working. I wished Sewing Bee had found some celebs who could sew, they seemed a nice crowd but all those cock-ups made me cringe. xxx

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  22. Are stumperies as common as grottoes in the gardens of stately homes? Are the stumps painted black, like a grand collage by Louise Nevelson, or left to weather? "Other-worldly" certainly describes the appearance of this example: Jon appears to be participating in an episode of Doctor Who.
    This post gave me a giggle, dear Vix. "Socks for Christmas" is as traditional a gift as silly sweaters; however, the socks exchanged by you and Jon are anything but boringly predictable. You two have mastered the art of gliding between the lines of propriety that limit so many!

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    1. Hello Beth! The stumpery at Biddulph Grange is the first ever to have been built in Britain in 1856. Until we visited four years ago I'd never sen one before but apparently Prince Charles is a fan and had one built at Highgrove.
      They are left to weather and naturally collect moss and lichen, aren't they a wonderful creation?
      I think we must have reached that age when we really appreciate a good pair of socks. xxx

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  23. Looks like you have had a very enjoyable few days.I've done nothing much different from my usual apart from being a bit more lazy after dog walking-"Seasonal Greetings"to you both Vix as a lady said to me on Boxing Day(a day on which I never know how to greet another dogwalker)x

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    1. Hello Flis! I like "Season's Greetings" I always buy cards that say that rather than "Happy Xmas".
      You're entitled to be a bit lazy after your dog walks especially tackling this harsh weather. xxx

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    2. Season's Greetings Vix-Thankyou for that,I'm always getting things wrong- strangely I don't think I've ever heard anyone say it before x

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    3. I don't think I've ever heard anyone using it as a greeting before, I might have to start, it sounds rather posh!
      Seasons Greetings to you, too dear Flis. xxx

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  24. Lovely to see that you enjoyed a fab lunch with a friend!, and wine and presents and fun!. And looking so fabulous in your silk maxi dress!.
    I miss having visitors at home, but enjoy that we've not been compelled to cook for so many people, and we could have for dinner whatever we fancied (a salad!).
    Love this gardens, particularly those photos of you in the chinese bridge, so delightful red background to enhance your red cape!. Looking gorgeous!
    Felices Fiestas! & besos

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    1. It's rather nice not being under pressure to cook, entertain or dress up and go out, isn't it? I loved having a guest but the longer this goes on for the more I'm enjoying being a hermit! xxx

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  25. Sounds like you had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas. I'm loving the presents you got each other are fabulous, and your Christmas lunch - both the chicken and the nut roast - looks mouthwateringly delicious. Your silk maxi dress is a true stunner!
    We dressed up for Christmas day, rather than stay in our pj's all day, and as it was a gloriously sunny day, we went for an invigorating walk in the afternoon, followed by our usual Christmas dinner. Nothing fancy, but using my parents' best dinner service for the occasion!
    I'm glad to hear Storm Bella had packed up her bags in time for your visit to Biddulph Grange on Sunday. What an amazing place. Santa's grotto being hijacked by that deranged bloke made me chuckle! As for your outfit worn for exploring: you look a treat in that wonderful cape, fur hat and your trademark yellow wellies! xxx

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    1. It was a lovely day, thanks Ann! I'm glad that you, Jos and Phoebe did, too. Jon saved himself a piece of chicken for Boxing day but guess who ended up ending it? Oh yes, those naughty boys who won't give him a minute's peace if there's something tasty in the fridge!
      I love that you used the best dinner service! xxx

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  26. I've been on a break from work since last Wednesday and I have no idea what day it is anymore. Looks like you had a nice Christmas. I wish I could have accompanied you to your visit to Biddulph Grange. I love the mini "world tour" it provides.

    Christmas was very quiet with just Sylvester and I, but it often is just the two of us, so not much different here. We are in another lockdown as of Boxing Day, so there's no place to go, no people to see. Strange times indeed.

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    1. I have to keep reminding myself what day it is then wonder why, it's not like we've got any plans!
      I hope you and Sylvester had a lovely day. We are going enjoy normality so much when it finally returns, aren't we? I was excited to sit in the car when Jon went to the Post Office this morning, that's what my life has become! xxx

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  27. How beautiful everything is there. Of course things are beautiful here too, but yours just looks beyond. I don't like to wear new socks, as I just want to look at them. I am in a pair of black bib overalls I bought at a teen age store. I love bibs and would wear them all the time if possible. Just bibs striped socks, a turtle neck and some clogs.

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    1. I'm loving the sound of your outfit! xxx

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  28. Wonderful presents. I'm glad to read all went well. My Christmas was nice. I love your outfits! The outfit you wore to wander those Victorian gardens is fantastic. The red coat-cape is magnificent.

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    1. I'm glad you had a lovely Xmas, Ivana! xxx

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  29. Glad to hear the storm didn't leave you with garden damage-from the reports it sounded like it was horrible in some spots.
    Socks make such wonderful gifts, and those Fair Isle ones are just beautiful. They look warm too.

    Glad you were able to make the most of the holiday doing things you enjoy.

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    1. Storms and snow, never a dull moment here!
      I love getting socks as a present, good ones are so expensive so they're a real treat. xxx

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  30. Glad you had a nice and safe Xmas. The Xmas lunch made my mouth water!!!! Damn I missed it so this year. KFC was ok, but we agreed it just wasnt right. Paul and the kids went out lucky bag shopping and came back with armfuls of bargains. I did miss that this year.
    But we are now getting ready for Sapporo. The kids love it even if there is no major displays this year. I loved the grounds you visited. We have lots of magical parks like that. I go for another health check today. Fingers crossed it will be ok!!! i want it to be so bad. .
    We didn’t buy each other lots of things I didn’t see the point just what we needed and I box of highland toffee for me!! Take care and keep safe

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    1. Hello Allie! Huey Morgan was talking about why KFC on Xmas day in Japan was such a big thing, so interesting!
      I'm looking forward to hearing all about Sapporo. I love having a trip to look forward to, Jon's been looking today for a Summer getaway.
      Keeping every crossed for you for a clean bill of health! xxx

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  31. I did a double take as my mum bought CBC the exact same set of Nordic socks as you gave Jon! They are very cosy. She made me a thick pair of welly socks which I'm pleased with.
    Your silk dress is so vibrant and brilliant! You look a vision.
    I, too, enjoyed a lazy Christmas. How lovely to have Tony round. Company!!!!
    The NT place looks an absolute vision! My goodness, what a variety of styles! You look excellent in your red cape!!

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  32. I remember that garden from the last time you visited! The 'Chinese' bridge really sticks in the mind.

    It sounds like you had a lovely cosy Christmas. Good food, good tunes and even a little company - perfect!

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  33. What a fabulous Christmas you had! I also had (and gave!) a bounty of socks this year - it seems like a fitting symbol for such an odd year. I love that wonderful fur hat on you, Vix, and love all your wonderful layers.

    Gorgeous gardens, and all those themed areas are astounding!

    Frank looks deeply furious.

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  34. I really do like and admire how you do Christmas your way. Andy is very traditional but I'd love to shake things up a bit, just once I'd like to go abroad for Christmas. Or not eat a roast with all the trimmings, or not eat a single mince pie!!
    Thanks for sharing your day (and all the other days of the year).
    xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix