Sunday, 15 December 2013

Simply a Moment - December

7.45 Sunday. I reluctantly crawl out of bed, shivering, that's not good. I only shiver when I am ill. Joints aching, leg itching. Ah, looks like I am not as healthy as I hoped today. This feels like flu but without the woolly head and runny nose. I decide to wallow in my misery for a while, but first I have to let my chickens out.
On wobbly legs I make my way down the steps into the back garden. They are peering at me through the wire, silently wishing me to hurry up! I open the gate and they stroll out slowly, keeping one beady eye on me while they examine the floor to see if any tasty morsels have dropped out of the sky since yesterday. Goldie stands really close to my feet and waits for me to move. She is convinced that one day there will be a fat juicy worm under them and she is ready! Amber spreads her wings and flaps them, just like we do when we stretch in the morning. Koala whinges, she has the most moaning voice I have ever heard on a chicken and she keeps up a continuous burbling moan the whole time she is awake.
They make me smile as they begin their day of preening and snoozing interspersed with scratching the earth from what was my flower bed. I take myself back up into the house and prepare to spend my day under the bettermaker quilt.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Teeny tiny boxes for sweeties!

On Saturday, Annette and Andrea arranged that they would come in on Sunday and clean my house. I was becoming overwhelmed by the work that was needed and the stay in hospital had just made things worse. Andrea asked me if I knew how to make little boxes because Boo wanted to give home made fudge to some of her teachers and little boxes would be needed.

I turned to my blogging community, knowing that amongst all you crafty people there would be someone to help.

I was right. This is what I found Exactly, perfectly right! I printed out the whole thing and took it upstairs to my craft room and played with some scrap paper. I sent a quick picture to Andrea and it was decided that when Boo had finished helping to clean we would go into the craft room and she could decorate her little boxes
This is the result.

I just love them. I don't have an oval punch to make the handles like the destructions tell me so I used a scalloped circle punch that works just as well. Just big enough to hold four squares of home made fudge - wrapped in cellophane or cling film of course - and so easy to decorate with die cuts or flowers. The very best thing about these teeny tiny boxes? they take about five minutes to make as long as you have a scoring board, a sharp scissors and a glue stick.
One of the best things I have found just go take a look and then have a go

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Why the Mohican chased us - The Caravan Holiday part two

My cousin Eve is two years older than me and when we were teenagers she seemed to me to be very daring, quite the rebel.
On our Caravan holiday we were told that the site was five minutes from the sea. It took us at least 20 minutes of brisk walking so we think the person who told Aunty this big lie must have had a car.

I don't remember it raining at all on this holiday but I think it must have done because this was Porthcawl and it was Miners fortnight and it always rains then.
For those of you who don't live in the UK - Miners fortnight was so called because all the coal mines shut down for the last week in July and the first week in August and most of the families would have been saving for the previous 12 months so that they could go to the seaside. Sometimes whole streets would pack their bags and go to a caravan site for a week. So the valleys were empty and Porthcawl was full.

Where was I?

OH yes. Every day Aunty would send Uncle to the shop where he would buy two sliced loaves and half a pound of butter. He would then be told to "keep an eye on that lot" while Aunty and Aunty Mu and Aunty V spread the butter and then opened several jars of fish paste - these had been in the boxes of food that we had been packed around on the journey down. These sandwiches plus a packet of crisps each and several bottles of fruit squash would be distributed amongst half a dozen bags.
The Baby was strapped into the pushchair, everyone was warned not to forget their towels and the deck chairs and like a camel train we would set off for a day on the beach.

It was only the second day of the holiday when we saw him. Remember that this was 1960/1 and there weren't many people with a mohican hair cut in those days. Eve was never a quiet person and she seemed even louder that day "OOOOOH look at him! Look Mam, he's had his head shaved!"
The boy turned his head and stared at her. We all did that thing where you immediately look down at your feet and scurry really quickly. We had to shove Eve with the deck chairs and the bags because we didn't have a spare hand. The Baby leaned precariously out of the pushchair and said OOOOH very loudly and then laughed.

It must have been this that spurred Eve on because she turned and looked straight at this chap and shouted "hey up, where's Hawk-eye?". His head came up and he began to run at us. Aunty screamed "Bill! Bill! Tell him!" as she accelerated away with the baby bouncing in the push chair. Eve, May Charlie and I all shrieked and ran like the wind, passing the Aunties and poor Uncle Bill who was keeping between us and the very irate mohican.
We reached the beach in moments and felt much safer because there were several burly miners with their families already there. we found our spot on the sand - not easy with Aunty because she obviously had a special colour of sand in mind - and spread the blanket and put down the chairs and the bags. The mohican glowered at us and then stomped off across the beach. We all turned and looked at Eve.

"What?" she asked innocently "What did I do now?" we chased her down the beach and into the water.

We spent the rest of the holiday keeping a look out for the mohican and his pals and making sure we avoided them at all times.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Story telling Sunday - The holiday in the caravans

This Story is brought to you through the invention of Sian at FromHighintheSky. It started three years ago as a lead up to Christmas and then became a monthly thing. I have tried to join in every time because I saw it as a way of recording those family stories that used to be handed down by telling and retelling at family gatherings. The last of my father's siblings passed away in the early part of the year so they won't be around to gather us in and tell the old stories. I am a part of the Older generation now so my stories have to be recorded and passed on.
I told you about the time I went on holiday with Aunty Mary and my cousins here and described the ritual we witnessed before we left. I didn't tell you about the actual holiday.
Me that summer, sulking because I wanted to be somewhere else
This was going to be a posh one. A two week holiday in two caravans in a caravan site two minutes from the beach at Nottage, a small village just outside Porthcawl. So there was Aunty Mary, Uncle Bill, Cousins Eve May and Charlie and of course the Baby. Also joining us would be Aunty V and cousin T  and during the middle weekend Aunty Mu with Aunty K and Uncle R. A pretty normal gathering for a family holiday.
We were told that the caravans were fairly modern and we were lucky to get them so cheaply. Please bear in mind that this was 1960/61 so we didn't expect electric light or shower rooms in the caravans they just were too far out of our price range then.
We arrived at the site Me Eve May and Charlie in the back of the car, squashed into the blankets and sleeping bags and pillows with boxes of food on our laps. It was normally only a two hour journey, but everyone was heading that way because it was miners fortnight so it actually took about five hours to get through Cardiff and then into the traffic jam for Porthcawl.
We stopped at the shed by the gateway and collected the keys to the caravans and the man showed Uncle Bill which ones were ours. The definition of fairly modern had been stretched a bit. They were so obviously pre-war but it was still exciting to be on holiday. Aunty said we girls were to sleep in the smaller caravan with Aunty V, and Cousin T. She said Charlie and The Baby would be in the bigger caravan with Aunty Mu Aunty Mary and Uncle Bill.

We loved it! we discovered that the two minutes from the beach was actually a 25 minute walk as long as you swung your arms and really stepped out. Eve got badly sunburned on her chest - Oh OH I remember she always called them her Lotties! I have no idea why. Anyway because of the shape of her bathing suit she burnt the exposed tops of her "Lotties". We applies calomine lotion but by bedtime she was itching a lot.
She decided that if she slept in my sleeping bag we could zip her into it and she wouldn't be able to move her hands up to her chest to scratch.
Now this sleeping bag had an extra bag attached to the top where a pillow could be put and it wouldn't slide away from you during the night.
We zipped Eve into the bag and she tried and failed to get her hands to a scratching position. We were delighted. Then, just after Aunty V had turned out the gas lights and we were settling down there was a noise outside the caravan. I sat up and peered our under the curtains, Eve was sharing the double bed with me and she too raised herself, with difficulty, not having hands to lean on.

"OH!" I said," look at that behind you"
Eve screamed, threw herself backwards and kicked with all her might. Her feet went through the wall of the caravan with a mighty crack. This made her scream again and bounce frantically up and down on her back. Aunty V is shouting "What's wrong? What's wrong?" Cousin T who was only little was crying, Cousin May who had been asleep was calling for her mother and me, well I am gasping with laughter and trying to stop Eve from killing herself as she tries to get out of the sleeping bag to run from whatever is behind her.
Uncle Bill arrives at the door and gradually every caravan in the site has the door open to see what is happening.

It turns out that while I was pointing to the pillow that had come up behind Eve's head and being amused, she thought I said "Oh look a bat behind you" and thought it was a vampire.
We did eventually get to sleep and Uncle Bill used that sticky paper parcel tape that you had to wet with a sponge to fix the wall in the caravan.

Next time I'll tell you about the last of the Mohicans and how we did the route from the beach to the caravan in minutes because he chased us. I might even tell you what happened when Uncle R asked us if we could run.