Doggie Decorations!

Most of you will know by now, that we have recently welcomed a new addition to our family!

Meet Amber, our Fox Red Labrador!

Now…there was much debate this year about whether we should bother putting up a Christmas Tree. I wasn’t sure how a 17 week old pup would respond to a twinkling tree full of inviting looking baubles.

My daughter Grace convinced me to at least give it a try – with a promise that if the whole affair was a complete disaster, that she would help me pack the tree away again!

Well, I am delighted to announce that almost 2 weeks later, the tree is still standing – and still intact! Granted, there has been a little bit of bauble bopping going on here and there. But on the whole, this Labrador has been extremely well behaved!

I’m also delighted to share with you these delightful decorations that just arrived in the post today, courtesy of the wonderful Etsy based ‘Brown Bear Interiors!’

Aren’t they just the cutest?

Needless to say, I am over the moon with them! For me, Christmas is all about the little things. And these ‘little things’ just about made my day!

How about you, dearest reader friends? Do you have any photos or stories about pets at Christmas time? I’d love to hear from you!

Penhaligon’s Scented Christmas Treasury

I’ll let you into a little secret – today is my birthday! Hooray!

Birthday’s and Christmases throughout childhood, for me, always, ALWAYS meant books! Whether it was a brand new bundle of Notebooks for scribbling down my stories, or the next instalment of the Anne of Green Gables series, it was always such a pleasure to open a gift that kept on giving!

One such book was given to me, by my mum – oooh, many moons ago now. I can’t have been much older than 16, so this book has been on my shelf for over 30 years now! And it still brings joy every time I take it out of it’s hardback case and have a look through.

The ‘Penhaligon’s Scented Treasury of Verse and Prose’ is a wonderful collection of all things Christmas, containing extracts from ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Little Women’, plus all sorts of illustrated Carols and Poems – to name but a few! It even features a traditional Mrs Beeton recipe for Christmas Pudding!

‘Little Women’ remains one of my all time favourite childhood stories!

Penhaligon’s is a British Perfume House, founded in the late 1860’s by William Henry Penhaligon, a Cornish Barber who moved to London and became the Court Barber and Perfumer to Queen Victoria.

It’s no surprise therefore, that one of the unique things about this stunning hard-back book, is that it is delicately perfumed ‘with spicy notes of cloves and cinnamon and small fir cones, it is reminiscent of hot toddies and log fires and guaranteed to add a festive air.’

The scent still lingers to this very day. But what I love best about it, is the beautiful Victorian style illustrations. Here is a sneak peek inside.

The quality of light in this picture, emanating from the tree, is just lovely!
Wonderful Christmas Treats!

This lovely book will remain on my shelf for always – and I’m sure will be loved and treasured for generations to come!

I hope you enjoyed looking at it as much as I did.

Little Grey Rabbit’s Christmas, by Alison Uttley

I would love to share with you a few highlights from one of my all-time favourite Christmas Books. Alison Uttley, was an English Children’s author, who was born and brought up on a farm in Derbyshire at the end of the 19th Century. ‘The yearly tasks of sowing, harvesting and preserving were an important part of her childhood. Feast days and holidays were highlights and Christmas was especially important to the young Alison. Her mother spent many hours baking and preparing food for the festivities.’

This delightful book features the most exquisite illustrations by Margaret Tempest, who worked with Alison Uttley for almost 40 years.

It was first published in 1939 (way before my time), but I’m sure you will agree it still deserves a place on any child’s bookshelf! This book conjurs up a great deal of nostalgia and captures the simple childhood delights of Christmases gone by.

Front cover

It opens with the words:

It had been snowing for hours. Hare stood in the garden of the little house at the end of the woods, watching the snowflakes tumbling down like white feathers from the gray sky.”

“However did you get inside a snowball?” asked Hare. “I didn’t get inside. It got around me,” replied Fuzzypeg.

“It’s a Christmas Tree,” replied Mole. “It’s for all the birds and beasts of the woods and fields.”

What a treasure of a book!

I’d really love to hear about any Vintage Christmas books that you recall from childhood!

Friday Funnies

Book Jokes

Photo by Sam Lion on Pexels.com

When I was a kid, my dad used to tell us these ridiculous ‘book’ jokes.

They involved a made-up book title, followed by an appropriate author!

Here are the ones I can remember… plus a few more that I’ve either made up, or discovered along the way.

Your challenge (should you choose to accept it): Think up some more of your own and then add them in the comments section below!

  1. ‘Piles In The Road’, by G. G. Dunnit
  2. ‘Overboard’, by Eileen Dover
  3. ‘Haunted House’ by Hugo First
  4. ‘Someone’s At The Door’ by Isabella Ringing
  5. ’20/20 Vision’ by Seymour Clearly
  6. ‘Race To The Outhouse’, by Will. E. Makit (with illustrations by Bettie Won’t)
  7. ‘Stray Bullet’ by Rick O’Shea
  8. ‘How To Fit A Carpet In Ten Easy Steps’ by Walter Wall
  9. ‘Stony Broke’ by Len D’Fiver
  10. ‘Baggy Trousers’ by Lucy Lastic
  11. ‘Tying The Knot’ by R. U. Shaw
  12. ‘Cowboy Builders’, by Bodgitt & Leggitt
  13. ‘Blind Date’, by Ron Day-Voo
  14. Dangerous Reptiles, by Al. E. Gator
  15. ‘Hole in the Roof!’ by Lee King
  16. ‘Late For School’ by Misty Bus
  17. ‘If Looks Could Kill’ by I. C. Stare
  18. ‘Chicanes’ by Ben D. Road
  19. ‘The Bull-Fighter’ by Matt Adore
  20. ‘Shocked To The Core!’ By Will I. D. Clare

I know….they’re absolutely dreadful. But they’re really fun to think up. How many can you come up with?

Autumn Snaps, 2021

Being woken every morning, incredibly early, by a hyperactive puppy can be a bit of a shock to the system! But rising earlier than normal, even in these dark November mornings, definitely has it’s advantages…After the initial reluctance to get out of my cosy bed, pull on my clothes, coat and wellington boots and head out the front door, I find myself rewarded with a park that’s practically empty and bathed in soft, morning light.

The pale light of morning breaks through the trees…

All is peaceful and still, apart from the occasional squawking of the Crows and Magpies, who flit and flap about, foraging for seeds and berries. Industrious Squirrels scamper around me, burying their hoards before winter sets in. Darkness gives way to dawn. The stream gurgles. The fresh air invigorates. The senses slowly awaken, drinking in God’s handiwork and silently giving thanks for this fresh start, for this beautiful, breath-taking, brand new day.

Before the rush begins, there is a narrow window of time. Time to think. To breathe. To ponder. To pray.

Blink, and it is gone – never to be recovered.

So instead of complaining, I’m learning to embrace these early morning outings. In fact, they are becoming quite a gift!

All Kinds of Antics

Hi friends, it’s me again, Amber!

This is a picture of me pulling my ‘butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth’ face. I’ve been practicing this face a lot lately. Why?

Because this face gets me out of whole heaps of trouble. Yep. I might be little, but I am BIG trouble! Trouble with a capital ‘T’!

Take the other day for instance. Mum was minding her own business, doing some gardening. I really wanted to help. So I decided to dead-head a few of her favourite flowers. I snapped off a whole head of Hydrangea, and shredded up her prize Sedums.

Next I tried to help with the washing….Mum put the washing in the machine – and I dragged it out again and just sat on it.

What a good and helpful little doggie I am!

And of course, when Emily plays with the sand, I have to play too! Only I like to get right inside the sand-pit. Oooh, that sandy stuff really tickles my snozzle and makes me sneeze! Mum just loves my paw-prints all over her clean floor!

And I just can’t help it – I really love to chew things. Toys, shoes – anything I can get my teeth on. What’s so wrong with that?

It’s a good job I’m such a cutie pie, don’t you think? But just to be on the safe side, I think I’d better keep practicing that face!

Stay tuned for more of my pawsome adventures. x

The Pup With The Yellow Collar

Here’s a little snippet from a Picture Book series I’m currently working on. Can you tell who inspired it?

Once, there were ten tumbling, bumbling, honey-coloured puppies, who needed a forever home. None of the puppies yet had names. Instead, they each wore a different coloured collar, so that people could tell which one of them was which.

At first they were small and snuggly and cosy and dozy. But every day, they grew!

They wobbled and wiggled.

They toppled and tumbled.

They nuzzled and nibbled.

Until soon, they were big enough to chase and race around the garden.

One day, a nice family came to adopt a puppy of their very own. All of the puppies were unique and special so it was very difficult to choose.

Some were big.

Some were small.

Some were sleepy.

One was sassy!

But the pup with yellow collar was funny, licky, snuggly and sweet….

Pebble on the Beach

Last summer, as I was walking around Seagrove Bay on the Isle of Wight, I happened upon the brightly painted pebble that you can see pictured above. It had been left on the beach – quite deliberately – to bring a smile to whoever was fortunate enough to find it. Wasn’t I the lucky one? And what a sweet, sweet idea! An idea worth sharing, I thought, hence the poem below. And when I return to Seagrove Bay, I shall paint a pebble and leave it for someone else to find!

I found this pebble on the beach,
Quite by chance, the other day,
Painted brightly,
Just for fun,
And hidden there along the way.

I saw this pebble lying there,
Whilst walking round the shingly bay,
Coincidence?
A random chance?
A gift to make another's day.

I'll keep this pebble from the beach,
Because it always makes me smile,
Reminding me
That joy is free,
And kindness always so worthwhile.






 

A Spider’s Skill!

How doth the little spider be,
A Master of Geometry?
Oh tell me, tell me, if you know,
Where did she learn to weave quite so?
Please tell me little Spider friend,
How many hours did you spend
Creating such a sight to see,
Such skillful lines of symmetry?
Concentric frame,
Installed at night,
A work of art,
By morning light!



Autumn Glory

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com
It's Autumn once more,
What a sight to behold,
Streets lined with crimson
And laden with gold,
Moon like a saucer,
Days getting shorter,
As summer lays down
To make way for the cold.

Warm woolen knits,
Crackling fires,
Wild geese take flight
Over pink sunset skies,
Off with a flap of migratory wings,
The earth gives birth,
Creation sings!

Season of beauty,
Nature's last fling,
Before winter makes bare
And the earth sleeps til' Spring,
Emblazoned in scarlet,
You take your last breath,
Your most glorious hour,
Was found at your death.