Saturday, 8 December 2012

Oh ChristmasTree - -

- - thank you Prince Albert - for bringing this tradition from Germany to the UK when you married our Queen Victoria. You will ever know how much pleasure you have given me over the years of my life. There are no truer words than "in the eyes of children every Christmas Tree is 30 feet tall" and we are always children at heart - however old the outer skin becomes!
Thanks to for this image

Once upon a time - there was a small girl called L- - - - -, who was perhaps a little what they would nowadays call "hyperactive" and a very great chatterbox. She could always find something to talk about - so much so, that to her loving mummy - felt that the only time she stopped talking was when she was asleep - and she didn't seem to do a great deal of that!!
She was soon to be 4 years old - a small loving, dark-haired little girl - excitable, not very good at concentrating and completely unable NOT to talk!! This particular December - her birthday month,  the Royal Ballet were dancing The Nutcracker in the big theatre in the city just 12 miles from her home - and as her mummy loved to go to the ballet - tickets were purchased for a Matinee performance when L- - - -  celebrated her own special day the day before Christmas Eve.
Mummy - with Granny to accompany her took L- - - - off to the city for the day. A trip to the best Department store in town was planned for a visit to the Man in Red in his magical grotto - then lunch before the theatre outing. The slightly apprehensive adults found their seats as the small girl chattered incessantly - asking questions, exclaiming at the numbers of people in the seats ( did I mention the theatre was almost full - very few seats empty!!), bouncing about on her seat, excitement - always very close to the surface with L - - - - making her giddy; so that mummy and granny began to wonder if they had made a huge mistake bringing this excitable little girl to such an event!
But mummy wanted her to see not only the magic to be found in a theatre, at the ballet - but in this particular story - to mummy's mind one of the most magical Christmas tales. Slowly the house lights darkened - the theatre quietened and children everywher settled into their seats - all except L - - - -. who of course was bobbing up and down like a yo-yo - softly the dark space was filled with music as the orchestra's playing swelled into the opening notes of the overture.
L - - - -sat down abrubtly - silenced by the swelling music and the lights playing across the curtains on the stage as they slowly opened to reveal the beautiful, fantastical set that was everyone arriving at Clara's party. She sat transfixed as this delightful ballet played out in front of her - telling her the wonderful story of the enchanted Prince - Nutcracker - and Dr Drosselmeyer, and Clara and the Mouse King and Sugar Plum Fairy - - particularly the Christmas Tree scene - it silenced her completely - - when it grew before her eyes to disappear into the top of the Proscenium arch.
Mummy was stunned - marvelling that this performance had lit "candle eyes"in her small daughter - the child sat totally still and completely silent up to the interval - when of course ice cream was enjoyed by all 3 - and also by the fact that L - - - - was waiting excited - but QUIET - and expectantly for the lights to go down again - to be silenced again and transported once more into the magical world of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet.

We were never able to re create the magic of that afternoon - as the Ballet Company didn't return - but oh I am so glad they came that once - it is one of my most wonderful Christmas memories - and I never, ever hear any snippet of the Nutcracker Suite without being transported back in time to that afternoon - 30 years ago this year. I know if I lived anywhere near a place that performed that ballet every Christmas I would want to go - and make it a family outing Christmas tradition - if only to try to re capture the magic of that day - and I have never been able to forget her small face as the Christmas tree grew, and grew, and grew on that stage!

Thanks for dropping in
'til later

Bannaghtyn J xx

Thursday, 6 December 2012

December Days - December 6th - Christmas Cosiness - -

- -
Flickering flames and candlelight,
Cold nose and a bright red cheek.
Tingling fingers, frosty night,
Spicy baking's all we seek.

Crackling coals and scented pine,
Carols and mince pies.
Steaming chocolate, sweet mulled wine,
Shining, starbright eyes.

Hot baths, bright berries red,
New pyjamas, snuggle rugs.
Favourite stories, time for bed!
Love & laughter, big bear hugs

Thanks for stopping by,

'til later
bannaghtyn, J xx

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

December Days - December 5th - Written down -

- - Shimelle's prompt today is about written communication - usually I have a Christmas letter written to go in all the cards I send to close friends and family who live across the water from us - sadly - I have no heart for that kind of letter - this year there will not be one. I am not sure I can even contemplate cards! So - what to write about? It was this line in Shimelle's prompt that spoke loudest to me - Write to - - - - - or someone you know you will miss dearly this Christmas - - - and so it shall be. I suspect what I write will not be for general consumption - even in my album - it will be hidden away. I know it will be written with tears in my eyes - - -

Thanks for stopping by

Bannaghtyn, J xx

Monday, 3 December 2012

December days - 3rd December Starting a new tradition - - -

- - - for the festive season? As you may know dear reader - this year for me and my family is not going to be the easiest of festive seasons to get through - but I am really trying to find as many ways to find some pleasure - however small, in what was always a favourite time of year for me - as I can, and tidying a book shelf yesterday I came across my replacement copy of this novel. Norah Lofts has always been a writer whose books I have enjoyed but this particular book has long been favourite with me, as this time it is her take on the most wonderful story of all - The Nativity. This year I am going to re read it through Advent - and perhaps hopefully, make it a new tradition - to be re read at this time each year - so if you too like to read something appropriate to either the place you are in or the time of the year - - - then for this season might I tempt you to ask - like me, and Norah Lofts , "How Far to Bethlehem?"
Thanks for stopping by
'til later
Bannaghtyn J xx

Sunday, 2 December 2012

December Days - 2nd December - Storytelling Sunday - -

- - with the lovely Sian at High in the Sky. The last one of the year Sian tells me - I have been very remiss in participating, being absent from blogworld a large part of this year - but as I am trying my very hardest to find some small pleasures as I fumble my way through this December I think a short story will not go amiss, and I can always add it to my December Days album, can't I? - shall we step back in time?
22nd November 19- - the night was very cold - in the hearth the fire glows warmly and flames lick the back of the chimney. The two little girls knelt on the hearthrug  - eyes lit like candles in anticipation. Neither of them was quite sure what mummy had in mind - but the air of expectation was dancing round the room so powerfully you could almost see it. On top of the sewing table at the side of mummy's chair is a tray with an old tea towel covering it's contents and a newspaper.
"Let's see what we have shall we? " smiled the young woman at the two excited little girls and she lifting the cloth to reveal an old tarnished mirror, a roll of cotton wool, silver glass glitter in a small tube, a tube of Bostik, and a small collection of  Christmas cake decorations - a small Plaster of Paris snowman, a pair of skaters, few sprigs of holly - (plastic of course), a Santa, 3 or 4 miniature Christmas Trees, a tiny plaster cottage, a small "Rudolph" and a miniature sleigh.
"Ooooh - mummy!" said the older child - "we can make a snowy scene!"
And so they did - much fun was had making that pond for the skaters, surrounded by a cotton wool snow lanscape - whilst the glitter got EVERYWHERE!!!  It would have been so much less mess with the glitter glue available today - but nowhere near as much fun!!

Thanks for stopping by
'til later
Bannaghtyn J xx

Saturday, 1 December 2012

December Days - - 1st December

- - -an unexpectedly lovely start to the December I was/am dreading. As is usual on Saturday - the Artisan and I took flowers to Ben - and both of us - (also as usual) left with tears in our eyes and to combat that - we decided a drive into town and maybe wander a little might prove a good enough distraction. A gentle amble up the main street led us to M&S - where we not only found the perfect wreath for Ben - but my very dear friends C------- & S----- browsing the festive section - and shopping! Since the plan was for the Artisan to go off to the Climbing Wall and leave me to wander at will - I joined C & S for "kaffee und kuchen" and to share memories of our several previous Xmas trips to Bruges & Munich Markets and such! 
It has turned out to be delightful day for me - we have shopped til we dropped! each managing to find something we genuinely were looking for and also the odd unexpected treasure that really couldn't be left on the shelf! I so appreciate these dear ladies - both such very good friends to us in what has not been a happy year for our family. So I do have something really nice to remember to start this years December Album - and for that I am truly grateful.
It gave me the boost I needed to pluck up my courage and get out my previous years' Christmas Albums since I first joined in with Journal Your Christmas class with Shimelle. I cannot deny that I found it very emotional - and there were more albums than I realised - so that I was surprised when I put them all together on the chest to take this photo. They aren't all JYC - but my mix of the class and December Daily and special trips. But along with the occasionally damp eyes I have found myself also smiling as I flipped through the pages - so maybe I can regain some of my pleasure in the festive season - I know I have to try anyway - otherwise I am lost.
For those of my readers who have given me such kind words in comments - I really do appreciate them all - far, far more than you realise - you are amazing - so thank you!
Thanks for dropping in
'til later

Bannaghtyn J x


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