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Monday, 30 November 2015

IndieBrag Christmas Blog Hop 4th December

I've joined in the indieBRAG 

My house - built in 1769
Q: What is a Christmas tradition you and your family have?
A: We always decorate the house on the 12th December – twelve days of Christmas before the event and twelve after. It is also my husband’s birthday on the 13th December, so it is good to have the house all nice and sparkly for that day!

husband Ron enjoying the cosy log burner!
Q: What is or was your favourite stocking gift(s)?
A : The chocolate-filled selection box. When I was young they always seemed to be enormous with lots of chocolate bars – they aren’t now though. :-(
Have I got older or are the boxers smaller?
Q: Is there a humorous gift that you received?
A: Not that I received – but gave. When my daughter was about five I wrapped a fluffy growly-tiger up for a stocking-filler. There was I sneaking into her room in the early hours of Christmas morning to put the filled stocking at the end of her bed… I managed to squash it and the wrapped tiger started growling! Fortunately my daughter didn’t wake up!

Q: What is your favourite Christmas story? 
A: Oh the pantomime stories – Cinderella! Although I often do wonder......

Q: Have you ever taken a Christmas vacation somewhere? If so, where to and please share your experiences and what you enjoyed about it? 
A;Yes before I was married I often used to go away with friends. Usually we went to the Lake District (Cumbria, north-west England). I think one of the funniest moments was squeezing a very large turkey into a very small oven, and one of the nicest, walking to the nearby village pub along a disused railway on a cold, crisp bright-blue sky day for a Christmas lunchtime drink. 

Q: What are some of you favourite books you have received at Christmas time? 
A: Gosh there have been so many! Last year I got Sharon Penman’s latest, and this year I am hoping (are you listening Santa?) for a new dictionary – mine is falling apart!

Q: Egg Nog or Cocoa? 
A: Cocoa. With a nice nip of rum or Tia Maria in it!

Q: What is your favourite part of Christmas day?
A: Going up to our stables at the end of the garden to give the horses their Christmas breakfast and if the weather is not too cold or wet, waving everyone off on the Christmas Day Ride (and meeting them at the village pub!)

Q: Do you go all out on Christmas decorations? What is your favourite? 
A: Oh yes! I love a sparkly house! The tree is the best – a real one of course, covered in tinsel and bits and bobs that glitter and shimmer. We don't put a fairy or a star on the top - our tree is finished-off with an owl! There are lots of little bits that hangon the tree that have special memories - one is a little red toy mouse that sits in the branches – I have had him for almost forty years! His name is Chris Mouse.

Q: What is your favourite Christmas movie and why? 
A: A Wonderful Life is a fabulous movie – but my favourite isn’t a Christmas movie at all …. One Boxing Day several years ago I wasn’t feeling too well so my husband took my daughter off to do the horses (we lived in London then and they were in a nearby livery yard) while I stayed at home with my feet up. There was nothing on TV so I watched a DVD my daughter had given me. Last of the Mohicans…. I love that movie, and whenever  I watch it I’m reminded of Christmas and something my daughter said to me: “At Christmas, when you all stop talking and just sit and listen, the sound you can hear is love.”

Thank you for sharing Christmas with me!

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The previous stop  on the tour: 
And the next stop : 

and here's the full tour:

Tuesday, December 1 :  G.Egore Pitir 
Wednesday, December 2 : J.D.R. Hawkins :  Martin Crosbie   
Thursday, December 3 : R.A.R. Clouston  
Friday, December 4 : Helen Hollick    
Saturday, December 5 : Judy RidgleyKaren Lobello   Judy Voigt   
Sunday, December 6 : David Penny
Monday, December 7 : J.B. Hawker  
Tuesday, December 8 : Vinnie Hansen   : N.W. Moors  
Wednesday, December 9 : Cheri Gillard   
Thursday, December 10 : Derek Birks  
Friday, December 11 : Emily Kaplan   : Lorraine Devon Wilke   
Saturday, December 12 : Valerie Biel  : Charlene Newcomb 
Sunday, December 13 : Martha Kennedy  : Annie Daylon
Monday, December 14 : Debrah Martin     :  Helena Schrader     
Tuesday, December 15 : Maggie Pill    :  Cassi Clark 
Wednesday, December 16 : Pauline Barclay  :  Karen Aminadra
Thursday, December 17 : Alison Morton  
Friday, December 18 : Amber Foxx  : Malcolm Noble  
Saturday, December 19 : Anna Belfrage  
Sunday, December 20 : Janet Leigh : Maria Grace   
Monday, December 21 : Joe Perrone Jr.     
Tuesday, December 22 : Prue Batten  : Diana Wicker
Wednesday, December 23 : V.L. Thurman     
Monday, December 28 : Lisa Brunette    
Tuesday, December 29 : Carrie Beckort  
Wednesday, December 30 : Jackie Weger
Thursday, December 31 : Anna Castle

What's next for me? 
Follow the Holiday History Tour 
and collect some fab fiction for 99c/99p !


  1. Helen,
    I loved reading all your Christmas favourites. So vivid and charming. Hope this year is equally pleasing. Merry Christmas.

    1. Thanks Bob - hopefully you might get to visit us next year - though the Christmas decorations won't be up then!

  2. Oh Helen, how lovley! I have re-read this several times to get it all. I especially love your daughter's quote and will steal it to post if you don't mind.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family-

  3. Your house is just the best!! Your lovely memories have put me in a good mood this morning. Thank you!!

    1. Thanks Valerie - one of the first things I said when house hunting and we walked into what is now 'our' sitting room was 'Oh I can just imagine Christmas here!"

  4. Lovely Christmas traditions, Helen! I love your daughter's quote! Your home looks so warm and inviting. Perfect for the holidays. xx

    1. Thanks Stephanie - one day you will have to come and visit!

    2. You know you will always be made welcome :-)

  5. I like it that you stick with the cocoa! Nice post - and may there be more than one selection box in the stocking this year :) We put oranges in them...

    1. Well the cocoa is only after the home-brewed damson gin has gone!

  6. Helen, so NICE to read about Christmas in the England setting! For an American, it has such a romantic and "old time" feeling. My daughter studied abroad in London and can't wait to get back. My husband and I went to London and we have relatives there, so your stories ignites a deep yearning for the wonderful land of the UK. Thanks for telling us about it! Happy Christmas!

    1. Cheri - you might like my Devon Diary - we moved from London to Devn 3 years ago. Follow this link: Leaning on the Gate

  7. Helen, it's so good to come across an experience that I'm more familiar with, being in the wilds of Wales. The weather's so bleak here at times that sparkle is mandatory at this time of year! I love your descriptions and if, like me, you're Choco-maniac, then I have just the recipe book for you by Rosen Trevithick on how to make your own!

    Thanks so much for reminding me of what Christmas means to us in this little corner of the globe.

    1. What a lovely message - thank you Mr Reilly! At least here at 'Windfall Farm' even when the weather is bleak the views are fabulous (and hasn't it been grey, dull and bleak these last weeks! Will it ever stop raining?) But yes Sparklies, and bright and shiny tinsel is something to look forward to! Chocolate...oh drool. Made my day when someone said dark chocolate is good for you... :-) Thanks for dropping by my blog, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Thanks for sharing your Christmas, Helen. It's so sparkly that I'm worried my upcoming post is a bit bleak.

    1. I'm sure it'll be fine...I'll pop across with some spare sparkle just to make sure! *laugh*

  9. I so enjoyed reading about your English Christmas traditions. And great photos! Very charming. And, of course, I loved what your daughter said to you. She's correct! The quiet moments of Christmas are the best. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for dropping by - of course most of the quiet moments happen after Christmas Day dinner has been finished and, stuffed like turkeys, everyone falls asleep round the log fire!

  10. My wife and I live right near Chimney Rock, NC, and Dupont State Forest where many of the scenes were filmed for the movie The Last of the Mohicans. It's beautiful country. I hike in Dupont Forest all the time. Cheers!

    1. It looks beautiful in the movie - another reason why it is my favourite!

  11. Ahhh Christmas in Britain Iwould love to be there. Your blog s as close as I'll ever get And it was wonderful. Especially going to the stable with horsie treats. I used to do that too. I miss it so much

    1. Thanks Judy - though not so nice on a day like today - bitter cold, very strong and blustery wind and tipping it down with rain - and getting dark although its only 4pm :-( Still, nice and cosy indoors!

  12. I've been sick the past few days, so stopping by late. Thanks for sharing your wonderful traditions with us! And I agree - sparkly is the way to go!

    1. Oh wish you better Carrie - don't over-do things too soon! Thanks for dropping by and yes Sparkly is the word!

  13. Oh Helen - The chocolate boxes are definitely smaller! Horseback riding on Christmas morning sounds like a marvelous way to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside. Happy Christmas to you!

    1. Glad its not just my imagination about the chocolate boxes!

  14. A wonderful post and a fabulous home that looks so festive. Merry Christmas Helen to you and your family.

  15. What a delightful looking, cozy house. And the Christmas Ride--how wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for dropping by - believe me with all the rain we've had here in Devon recently 'Cozy' is very welcoming to come home to!

  16. I'm late to the Christmas party, lol. Just amusing myself trawling your blog while I'm poorly, but your post has made me feel all festive. Christmas is, after all, not that far off.


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