Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas for us this year was about enjoying each others company as family.

Rick and James have come to share two weeks with us over the Christmas period and we have really enjoyed them being here.

Linda started off the day by baking us Christmas mince pies and we had a tipple of Drambuie to go along with our early taste treat.

A little break and then it was on with ham, eggs and fried bread for breakfast. Our leg of ham had been specially cooked for us and was extra delicious. To fry some to have with our eggs was very special - yum.

That was enough eating for a while but inevitably Christmas luncheon needed to be served.

Again Linda treated us with a very special Beef Wellington cooked to perfection.

We were fortunate to able to have new potatoes dug from our garden this morning as well as fresh carrots and beans from the local market.

Rick and James provided a bottle of Cabernet Franc which was very nice to top off the meal.

We finished up with some pavlova roulade and fresh strawberries marinated in cointreau.

This year we had a new centrepiece for our table. A silver plated candelabra combined with a flower bowl, a lovely op shop find that has now become part of our Christmas festivities. Bright pink carpet roses from our garden provided a lovely finishing touch.

We have had a lovely, peaceful Christmas and we hope it is the same for you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Gift of Flowers

On Saturday we had friends around for a pre-Christmas lunch.

One of them, Moira, brought us the most beautiful bouquet of roses from her garden.

They seem like the old worlde varieties and have given us much pleasure as we have watched them open up over the last few days.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

More about poppies

From under one of our lemon trees we have this one poppy plant shoot up each year.

It is the richest red in colour, looks dark and luxurious and if you don't take a photo within the first 24 hours of it opening up you will have missed it at its best.

It is one flower you have to make the most of it when it shows its face because it does not stay for long.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Only A Cat..........

She could have sat on my lap. There was plenty of room, really.

However, a cat is a cat and as I had my legs up on the footstool, CiCi decided she would much rather find a spot between my lower legs and supported by my feet on the footstool.

She must have felt quite snug but did not appreciate me taking her photo.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A New Camera

One of my sons gave me some cash for my birthday so I decided it was time to treat myself to a new camera.

My Kodak camera has served me well for five years or more but in this day of ever developing technology I felt it was time for an upgrade.

The Nikon S3100 is half the thickness and has a much larger preview screen, so those two elements alone make it well worthwhile.

I decided to go for a wander in our garden and take some photos of what's in bloom.

This calibrachoa continues to give us pleasure year after year and this year has some exceptional flowers, in quantity and colour.

We are trying to build up the variety of poppies in our garden and this year we have quite a few here and there.

This one was only planted this year and has an amazing amount of buds ready to bloom into scarlet red flowers.

These calendulas have added so much colour to the garden just outside our kitchen.

A great addition as they will be happy to come back year after year.

We have two large pots like this at the entrance to our home.

Linda's efforts have paid off. She planted them both with pansies and lobelias and they are looking so good and we hope they will last for some time to come.

These grandmothers bonnets are a new favourite of mine.

Planted last year, this plant has taken on new strength this year and rewarded us with an abundance of blooms.

We have planted more of these little wonders in another part of the garden and hope they do as well as these ones.

I am very happy with the camera, never mind that I would not have a clue how to use the software that came with it. I managed to work my way around that, fortunately.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Cottage Garden Posy

The other day we had our Sweet Peas quilting group again. It was the first time they had been to our house in a while so it was lovely to regroup and to hear the chatter as we all caught up with each other.

One of the ladies, Andreena, brought us a lovely large posy of flowers from her garden - roses, lavender, carnations and more. It was really nice.

This yellow rose was part of the collection and I felt that the spiral of the centre of the flower was worth capturing - amazing.

Friday, December 02, 2011

A Funeral, A Wedding and then a Birthday

It seemed to me that having a birthday so close to significant other family events was maybe a bit much but such is life.

I have often pondered the words from The Lion King in recent times:-

It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life

Yesterday marked my 63rd birthday. I was greeted by my sister, Linda, with a lovely early morning cup of tea and the suggestion that we eat out for breakfast. Yes, please, that would be nice.

We went to our favourite cafe of the moment, Picolos, and had a lovely cooked breakfast.

Well wishes came by way of phone calls, text messages, birthday cards and the new way to send birthday greetings, I have found, Facebook - thank you everybody.

Cooked breakfast was lovely but there was more to come. Linda cooks a pretty smashing beef stroganoff and so that was on offer as well. The beautiful roses came from our garden and the platter the meal was served off was one from our Mother's kitchen - it must be more than 50 years old.

The 'mad' cat was a gift from a quilting friend of ours, Margaret. She is very creative and thought that rather than send us a sympathy card, she would make us a 'care' cat each and so this one is mine. They look so mad they do bring a smile to your face.

Thanks to The Lion King for reminding us about the Circle of Life.