Happy New Year and Here’s to a Great 2019

Hello everyone! How are you! Happy New Year to you all and I hope you had a lovely time over Christmas and New Year. Decided to start this blog off with a picture of a frozen spider’s web taken last week on a particularly frosty morning in our front garden. I think it’s beautiful so had to capture it.

Here’s another pic to show you the extent of the spiders’ webs on our hedge:

Stunning, aren’t they?

So how was your festive season? I had a great time. I had my family over for Christmas dinner on the 25th and had a really lovely day with them. I decided early doors that I wasn’t going to get myself all stressed about cooking dinner for nine, so at the beginning of November I went on to that very nice website called Marks & Spencer, placed my order and picked it up early on Christmas Eve. My order was all bung in the oven or already prepared, so it was a doddle to cook it on Christmas Day. Of course, things went a little awry (having worked in PR for many, many years you soon learn that despite all your best efforts, something with inevitably not go to plan): my roasted parsnips were a bit of a disaster. I had bought two trays of them: the first I burnt and cooked too quickly, the second were undercooked. So, nobody had parsnips on Christmas Day, but there was plenty to eat anyway, so it didn’t matter. We played family games after, with my young niece playing the quiz master (she is nine and very strict about sticking to rules… totally hilarious). By the end of the day, having drank copious amounts of wine and eating too much, I was exhausted but really happy. It was a lovely day and thanks to my family for sharing it.

My parents stayed over, so the next morning, having been woken up early by my dog Casper and theirs, Winnie (Casper’s best friend) – they do love to jump on you when you are in bed, they are like a tag team – I got up and made a fry up breakfast. I get my meat from our local post office/general store and they get it from a butcher’s in Alexandria. It’s the best bacon and square sausage I’ve ever tasted. We also had tattie (potato) scones, black pudding and fried eggs. Just what I needed to soak up the alcohol. After an hour or two watching Maigret on telly, we took the dogs a walk down the banks of the River Clyde. It was a dry, mild day and the dogs loved it. I love going for a walk in the countryside, it just makes you feel so good.

For New Year’s Day, me, the kids and my dogs were over at my mum and dad’s for lunch. Once again, the family was there and can I just say one thing: my mum makes the best soup and the best steak pie in the world. Dinner was amazing as made-from-scratch-home-cooked meals always are, and I felt a tad guilty having gotten Mr Marks and Mr Spencer to make my Christmas dinner. Mum had made a meringue and chocolate pots for afters. I had the former…delicious! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Anyway, me and the kids stayed over and the following morning, after a bumper breakfast courtesy of mum (who is one of life’s feeders… not that I am complaining, far from it!), me, mum, dad, the boy, Millie, Casper and Winnie took a walk up The Pad. We left Bonya at home with my daughter (she didn’t want to come…teenager, nuff said) as I don’t think she would have coped well with the frosty walk. Anyway, the Neilston Pad (Neilston is where I’m from originally, it’s a very old mill village) is an extinct volcano or volcanic plug (I can never remember) very close to where my parents live. We have been walking it since we were kids – me and mum used to run it when we were into running 5ks in the 90s – and I love being up there. When I was a kid there wasn’t a lot of forestry, but in the 90s the Council turned it into a local nature walk, they planted loads of trees and put in a proper pathway and it’s just lovely. There’s a small loch where you see loads of different birds, the forest and at different points you can see for miles (mainly a nicotine-stained Glasgow – that’s pollution for you). That morning it was frosty, but pleasant up there and the three dogs just loved it. My son, who had originally not wanted to go, spent a happy time breaking up ice in the many frozen puddles and collecting enormous sticks. He always says he doesn’t like walking, but he always seems to really enjoy himself. I was going to put up a picture of the Pad, but I can’t find one that does it any justice. If you are ever over that way, I would suggest having a walk up there (you’ll need proper footwear as it’s often muddy). It’s great and a very much loved local landmark.

Just wanted to share with you some of my new Christmas decorations. I decided to theme my kitchen as A Christmas Carol, so above and following are some pics of the little Lemax Christmas village I bought this year. I do love miniature things and this one is A Christmas Carol themed. Above you can see some ladies and gents (some carolling and that lady in the foreground is pointing, to what I don’t know 🙂 ). Below:

Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim.
A horse drawn sleigh.
Shakespeare even made an entrance.

What’s not pictured, because I forgot to take a pic, are Mr and Mrs Fezziwig. I don’t have the Lemax characters for them, but I did manage to get tiny little salt and pepper shakers of them both which fit in with my village.

Right, enough of miniature love, an on with the blog. What else has been going on? Well, I’ve just been enjoying not having to rush around all the time. For instance, this morning, I spent a happy hour eating toast, drinking tea and reading in bed with my beloved doggy trio beside me (Bonya snoring loudly as always). Today, I am going to finish taking down all the decorations (the house is already looking depressingly bare), do the housework and nip out for cakes for tomorrow as my friends are coming to tea and buns (:-D).

Maybe later, I’ll get time to do a little editing of my next book, but knowing me (who hates the editing stage) I will find some excuse not to do it. I will be getting back into the full swing of things next week. I have an assessment to hand in for my degree course and my next book will ever get out if I don’t work on it.

Right, that’s enough for now, gotta get on with the day. Wishing you all a fabulous 2019!

Dawn xxxx

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