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Sunday, 11 December 2016

Not Many More Sleeps! 🎄🎄

I love Quotations - quotations about love, kindness, thankfulness, to name but a few, so I thought I would share a few of my favourite Christmas quotations. This first one is my very favourite, and it was spoken by none other than that happy fellow (!)...the Grinch, from How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss.  (Talking of quotations, you will find some lovely ones in my new Featured Post today. I'm sure you will really enjoy them. Just click on the link at the top of the right hand side bar). 

"Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a Store?  What if Christmas....perhaps....means a little bit more?"

 
 

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year,". Charles Dickens. 

"My idea of Christmas whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple ... loving  others.  Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?"  Bob Hope. 

"He who has not Christmas in his heart, will never find it under a tree."  Roy L. Smith.

Did you know that the custom of sending Christmas Cards was started right here in the U.K. in 1843. The very first Christmas Card had three panels - the two side panels showed people caring for the poor, and the central panel showed a family enjoying their Christmas dinner. 

 

Christmas Cards didn't appear in America until the late 1840's, but, because of printing costs, they were very expensive and not many people could afford them. It wasn't until 1915 that John C Hall, and two of his brothers, created Hallmark Cards, who we all know today as one of the largest card makers around. Here are a just a few of the pretty Christmas stamps that have been produced each year, here in the United Kingdom. 

 
 

I must admit, I have always loved browsing through cards, and I love sending them, even if it is only to let people know that I am thinking of them. I just think it's lovely to take the time to do this. In this electronic age, I still get a thrill from receiving a card or letter in the post! 

 

So, once again this year, I will be waiting for the Christmas Cards to pop through the letterbox and enjoy trying to guess who each one is from, by the writing on the envelope.

 

 Meanwhile, here is a little card from me to you, wherever you may be in the world. 

 
The above images are all courtesy of Pinterest.com

I thought I would finish today by sharing a photo, taken by me, of an old fashioned Christmas at the magnificent Saltram House, a National Trust property very close to where I live. The new header photo at the top of my Blog today, was taken last week at Dartington Gardens. 

 

Toodle pip for now 🎄








Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

 

Here we are then, in the season of Advent, leading up to Christmas, and I hope you are all decking your halls with boughs of holly! 

My trees and decorations are all up, and I just love all the pretty fairy lights all around, especially on these shorter Winter days over here in England. Two of my grandchildren are aged 8 and 6, and they only live five minutes away. This is so lovely for me as I get to share in all the excitement of the lead up to Christmas. 

I have always loved Christmas and have fond memories of when I was a child. Mind you, there wasn't the commercialism back then. Every Christmas Eve, my dad and I used to go to the Market to collect the goose for Christmas Day, and we would also buy my mum's Christmas present at the same time. Happy times my friends 🎄🎄.

I just love anything with a vintage theme, and this includes Christmas Cards, so I thought I would share a few with you today. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
All pics courtesy of Pinterest.com

Don't you just love how the ladies are all decked out in their gorgeous gowns as they prepare for Christmas?! Love it!

I'm foregoing my Sunday Solace feature just leading up to Christmas, and will start it again in the New Year. 

A glimpse of my house all ready!  Although we haven't got a thing on our American friends, who really go to town when it comes to decorating! 🎄🎄

 

Wishing you all a peaceful week ahead as the preparations get under way.  There is also a new Featured Post up today.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

My Hometown Of Plymouth - Britain's Ocean City

My hometown City of Plymouth is known as Britain's Ocean City. It is a vibrant waterfront city which is surrounded by water, and with the hills of Dartmoor close by. 

 
The magnificent Plymouth Sound with the art-deco lido, where I learnt to swim, some fifty years ago. Seems like only yesterday 😂😂.

Today I thought I would take you on a tour of the historic Barbican, with its cobbled streets and Elizabethan buildings. To me, it has always seemed remarkable that these buildings are still standing after the continuous bombing, known as the Plymouth  Blitz, during the Second World War. The city suffered  a series of bombing raids, which flattened many parts of my home city. My parents were involved in one of those  raids. In March 1941, my dad was returning home on a short Leave from the Army.  As darkness fell, he turned the corner of the street where they lived, and the house was gone, reduced to a pile of rubble, and my poor mum was buried underneath. Neighbours were scrabbling at the bricks with their hands,  desperately trying to get to her. Fortunately, she survived,  but her back was badly damaged and she suffered for the rest of her life with severe back problems.  After the Blitz, very little of Plymouth remained, and the whole City had to be rebuilt. During the 59 bombing attacks, 1,172 civilians were killed and 4,448 were injured. King George the sixth is pictured  here visiting the devastated City. 

 
Image courtesy of Daily Mail archives. 

But now it's time to continue with the tour. I hope you will enjoy these photos, which were taken on a glorious Summer's day earlier this year. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The quality of the following  photo isn't particularly good (I took it from Plymouth Hoe looking out to the Sound) but I thought the old with the new was pretty cool 😊.

 

I do feel very blessed living in this little corner of heavenly Devon!  On that note, I'll love you and leave you until the next time. 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Sunday Solace

 
Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Good morning, good afternoon or good evening, depending on when you are reading this Post, which I'm writing here in ye merry olde England. First of all today, I would like to thank everyone who took the trouble to read my last Post, which was about the American tradition of Thanksgiving. I was quite overwhelmed by the response!  

We have had very strong winds over here for the past few days, so the leaves are almost down from the trees,  as the autumnal colours fade away for another year, and Winter approaches. Although I love the longer days of Summer, what a wonderful backdrop of stunning colour Autumn provides us with. I thought I would just show a few more pics to remind us.  These photos were all taken at Dartington Gardens, which is only a twenty minute drive away from where I live. The gardens there look wonderful at any time of the year...

 

 

 

 

 
 
 For my Sunday Solace feature today, I thought I would bring you some inspirational quotes - quotes that I have always loved. I do hope you will enjoy them.....

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt by the heart." (Helen Keller)

"Keep your face always towards the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you." (Walt Whitman).

"What we think, we become."  (Buddha).

"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light." (Aristotle Onassis).

"Try to be a rainbow in somebody's cloud."  (Maya Angelou).

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." (Aesop) 

Just in case you're interested, my Featured Post (click on the link on the right hand sidebar of this Post) now takes us up the beautiful River Dart to the Summer residence of Agatha Christie, the famous crime writer. I think you will enjoy this one. There are some lovely photos of heavenly Devon!

Well, it's time for me to leave you once again. I hope all is well with you and that you have a good week ahead. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Wishing We Had Thanksgiving ....

Hello....it's me....

 

Can you guess what I'm going to talk about today from the above picture?  Well, tomorrow in America, it's Thanksgiving - a day when families and friends come together ... to be THANKFUL, and I thought I would like to honour their tradition in my Post today. 


 

Thanksgiving originated as a Harvest Festival and the very first Thanksgiving was held in 1621, when the Pilgrims celebrated their first Harvest in the New World. This feast lasted three days and was attended by 90 Native Americans and 50 Pilgrims. It's interesting to me that the Pilgrims set sail from Plymouth, which is my home City.  They set sail on the 6th September 1620 and landed in Massachusetts after an arduous two month journey. This small group of people became known as the Pilgrim Fathers, the founding fathers of America. 

 
The commemoration stone on The historic Barbican here in Plymouth. 

 
The Mayflower Steps. 

I would like to finish by wishing ALL  my American friends a very Happy Thanksgiving and to say THANK YOU to them for being in my life. I have found the American people to be generous hearted, kind, thoughtful, caring, encouraging and supportive. 

 

So my friends, enjoy the companionship and the feasting tomorrow. I will raise a glass to you all! 

 
The Thanksgiving pics today are courtesy of Pinterest.

The following photo is of my two friends, Diane and Marcy, from Green Bay in Wisconsin, as they were preparing a Thanksgiving Feast for me when I was there in September, just so that I could have the experience! 😊

 

Friday, 18 November 2016

Sunday Solace


 
Picture courtesy of Pinterest 

Once a year, here in Ivybridge, a Quiz Evening is held to raise money for Children's Hospice South West.  This fund raising event was held on Thursday.  It is always such a fun evening and, because the venue doesn't charge,  and a local businessman sponsors the cost of the food for a very tasty supper, every single penny goes to the Charity.  This year, the magnificent amount of £800 was raised. 

The motto of the Charity is "making the most of short and precious lives across the South West".  The nearest Hospice to us is Little Harbour, just across  the border into Cornwall.  Little Harbour really is a home from home.  A place where each family member can find time and space to feel 'normal' for the duration of their visit. This includes mum, dad, grandma, grandad and brothers and sisters.  People often think of Hospices as sad places, whereas, in actual fact, they can be just the opposite.  

You may wonder why I'm writing about the Hospice in this Sunday Solace feature.  Well, the little piece I'm using today, is actually on one of the walls of the Hospice, and here it is .... 

The Starfish Story .... Adapted from the original by Loren Eiseley ....

"An old man was walking along the beach one morning, after a storm. In the distance, he could see someone moving like a dancer.  As he came closer, he saw it was a young woman who was picking up starfish and gently throwing them into the ocean.  

"Young lady, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"  "The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in, they will die," she said. "But young lady, do you not realize that there are many miles of beach, and thousands of starfish?.  You cannot possibly make a difference."

The young woman listened politely, then bent down , picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea.

"It made a difference to that one', she said. "

Perhaps there's a moral for all of us in there somewhere. If we all just do small, good things, then perhaps we, ourselves, can make a difference. 

This is my own starfish, painted by my blogging and Facebook friend, Eva. 

 

If you click on the column Featured Post on the right hand side, you will be able to read about a visit to the home of Doc Martin in Cornwall, with some lovely photos. 


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Visit To A National Trust Property

 
 
Knightshayes Court, Devon. 

For those of you who have never heard of the National Trust, it is a  country-wide Organization, which looks after the upkeep of wonderful country houses and their magnificent gardens. I have been a member for a great number of years, as the annual subscriptions help to keep these properties in a good state. They also look after miles of coastline around the British Isles. 

 
Killerton House in Devon

The ladies from the local Art Society were going on their annual outing to Coleton Fishacre, one of the many National Trust properties in Devon.  Thirty ladies of varying shapes and sizes congregated in the local coach park waiting for the bus to arrive.  It was already fifteen minutes late, and a rumble of discontent spread along the line. Thank goodness it wasn't raining!  The temperature, even at 9 am was in the mid sixties, and the sun was shining down.

Suddenly the coach could be seen chugging up the steep hill, and the mood of the assembled throng immediately changed, as they started to chatter excitedly. Once everyone was safely on board, the driver headed off to their destination. Soon, he turned off the main road, onto the winding lanes of the Devon countryside. They drove through the pretty town of Dartmouth, travelling across the River Dart on an ancient little ferry, continuing along the narrow lanes to the little hamlet of Kingswear. 

 
The pretty little town of Dartmouth in South Devon.  

Suddenly the sea mist lifted and there was the house in all its glory.   Coleton Fishacre was built between the years of 1923-6 for Rupert D'Oyle Carte, whose father, Richard, had been the impressario behind the operettas of Gilbert & Sullivan.  Rupert had developed the business empire he had inherited, which included the very posh and upmarket Savoy and Claridges Hotels in London. 

 
Coleton Fishacre

Rupert D'Oyly Carte, and his wife, Dorothy, actually found the site for their new house from the sea, whilst sailing their yacht between the quaint small towns of Dartmouth and Brixham. The interior of the house really does invoke the modernity of the Jazz Age, and it would be just perfect for a weekend in the country. 

 
Interior shot, courtesy of The National Trust. 

All the ladies agreed that the house was absolutely perfect. The Architect who designed the property, Oswald Milne, was an assistant to the famous Sir Edwin Lutyens.  A particularly appealing feature of the property is that you have quite stunning views of the garden from every room in the house. Although the house does speak of elegance from a by-gone age, the ladies agreed that they could all imagine themselves living there and, on a beautiful Summer's evening, wafting out onto the terrace with a drink in hand. 

 

The garden itself is quite magical as, like several in the South West of England, it descends from open views around the house, down through increasingly jungle-like vegetation, until you get spectacular views of the sea beyond. 

 
The gazebo look-out  at Coleton. You can just see the steps leading down to the sea. 

 
How about this for a view ?!

I hope this has given you a little insight into the beautiful houses and gardens owned by The National Trust.  So then, another blog post hits the road. I hope to see you again soon, and, as always, thank you for dropping in!