Saturday, 8 December 2012

Mon Beau Sapin...

Hi everyone! Last time I showed you the little choir people I made for our church's first Christmas tree festival. Thought you'd like to see them in place, along with some of the other trees. Local schools, churches, businesses and societies were invited to decorate a tree - 27 in all. I haven't got pictures of them all, but here's a selection....

Church choir tree.

Closer up.

Tree by a local Primary school.

Submitted by local Catholic Primary school; the tear drops have prayers on them for the healing of the world.

From a nearby church. They copied pages from a music hymn book and shrunk them - why didn't I think of that?!

Angels from the realms of glory....

A simple but effective idea from the church run playgroup - artificial flowers dipped in glitter.

Our church Prayer Shawl group meet weekly to knit, crochet, weave and sew items, praying as they are made, to bring comfort to those in need. 

Angels and stained glass biscuits from our Footsteps (Sunday School) and Messy Church groups.

Angelic close-up.

A hole was cut in the centre of the shortbread biscuits, crushed boiled sweets filled the hole and these then melted during the cooking.

The scouts made their own tree, as well as the decorations.

The body of this life sized angel (Or, rather, human sized - surely angels can be whatever size they want?) is made from lots and lots of paper bun cases. 

Another Primary school's tree. Brought back many happy memories of past Christmases in schools in which I have taught. Who can forget those happy, excited children whose faces and hands had more glitter and sequins than the things they were making...

The east end of our church. These two trees will stay up till Epiphany; the rest were taken down after the festival.

The bellringers' tree. 

And, finally, visitors were invited to write a prayer request on a star and tie it to this tree.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Take Me Home, Country Roads

Had a lovely drive out the other week (14th November) in the country lanes around the Norfolk villages of Shernborne and Anmer, and thought I'd share some pictures with you. It was a really still day, not a breath of wind. Just beautiful!

My eye was drawn to a flash of bright pink in the otherwise bare hedgerow - a Mallow!

Beautiful Autumnal tree - Beech or Oak I would guess.

So peaceful.....

Deserted road....

...which was just as well, since it was too narrow for two cars to pass each other!

Gateway to a field. There were hares in this field, but too far off for my little camera to pick up.

All of a sudden there was a great cacophony of noise overhead, as hundreds of geese flew in.

They landed in a field and, after a little chat to each other, settled down to eat. I wish I'd had my binoculars so I could tell you what sort of geese they were.

And finally, to finish the post, a few random photos....

Goodness, my doormat is awfully bumpy!

Ah, it's Bramble, waiting to pounce on his sister when she comes down the stairs!

Our church is having a Christmas Tree Festival. I made these for our Church Choir tree, in the colours we wear. Everyone drew their own faces. (A few were missing at this stage, including our conductor and organist.)

This is me! Do you think it's a good likeness?

Advent blessings to you all!!!!   x x x

Monday, 12 November 2012

Pumpkin Soup

I have never in my life tasted pumpkin. I know, I know, as a half-American that's a shocking confession. As a child I had never even seen a pumpkin, not even at Hallowe'en. I don't remember any fuss about Hallowe'en in rural Norfolk in the 1970s. In fact, I think I first heard about it all via Charlie Brown books and tv - definitely an American thing!

Anyway, this year I bought some cute mini-pumpkins, called Munchkin Pumpkins, for display along with the large carved one. It seemed a shame to just put them in the compost bin so, after first making sure they were edible, I looked on the internet for a really easy pumpkin soup recipe. This is the one I found, from the BBC Good Food site. All you need is pumpkins, onions,  vegetable stock, double cream and seasoning.

So, first you peel, de-seed and chop the pumpkins.
The peeling was a bit tricky - maybe it would have been easier if the pumpkins had been fresher?

Next, chop the onions.

Gently fry the onions till softened but not coloured.

Add the pumpkin pieces and cook till starts to soften.

Pour in the vegetable stock (I used Oxo), season and bring to boil. Simmer for about 10 mins till pumpkin very soft.

Add the double cream and bring back to boil.

Now use a blender to puree. I love my hand cranked one!

Ta da! Delicious soup!

So simple and soooooooooo tasty.

On reflection I think next time I would do the pureeing before adding the cream, since it was too liquidy at that point. (What I actually did was strain off the excess liquid, puree the rest, then add the liquid again.)

I'm sure lots of you have your own pumpkin recipes to tell me about!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Ubi Caritas...

A year ago my husband, Keith Charles Hawkins, was released from the terrible addiction that had made a nightmare of all our lives. He turned to the addiction to cope with his fears and stresses, but I hope, pray and believe he is free from those now, healed and forgiven. Here are some pictures from his life:

Chubby bubby!

Batman outfit - a present to celebrate his new baby brother's birth.

What a beautiful little boy!

1970s school cricket team. Keith played many sports for his school and his county.

Running man - with hairy chest!!!

With new girlfriend...

Officially engaged.

Wedding day.

Proud dad.

Love my toddler.

Daddy/daughter pointing competition.

On the doorstep together.

One of several trips to Disneyland, Paris.

A Master Mason in 2000, we raised lots of money for the local hospital at our Ladies' night.

In his work suit.

My handsome man.

Till we meet again.....   x x x x