Tuesday, 23 December 2014


Do you keep your old Christmas cards? I do.
I'm sure you've heard the rumour that the tradition of sending actual printed greetings cards is dying out - stamps are too costly, cards are a waste of trees, virtual cards are more fun, only old people send them etc. etc.
Sometimes I look through my Christmas card collection and have a sentimental wallow, remembering the past. It's not quite the same with e-cards.
Mr N's cards are always chosen with care and...
come with words to warm my heart - and a different message every year!
Some were sent from overseas.
This patchwork card came from Japan, handmade by Japanese pensioners. My old school friend in Yokohama teaches English to senior citizens.
I love this hand drawn card, made by an elderly lady artist I once knew. She had serious mental health problems but loved to create little watercolours and line drawings - see the lonely old man in his muffler on a bare wood chair, while his beloved pets have the cosiest places and a present each!
What a cruel Santa!
Aged 10, Master N's confidence in his own brilliance was a little misplaced!
A last card from Dad.
If I'm still around when "proper" cards disappear, I shall put up some favourites from the collection - come to think of it, why am I waiting?

Tuesday, 9 December 2014


...feathers, was that I couldn't resist them!
Finely carved in mahogany, they just happened to be attached to the rather nice antique mahogany secretaire bookcase I found recently. It was to be the perfect early Christmas present for Mr N who has been longing to have his own desk in our overcrowded sitting room! The purchase was made, the object delivered - what next?
Three days of heaving, shifting, cursing and despair, that's what. To make space for it we had to cut another bookcase in half in order to get it out of the room and around an awkward bend in the stairs, in the hope that we might reassemble it at a later date, in another crowded room. When we'd stripped the walls of pictures and argued about the perfect location for this princely piece, we realised that we'd uncovered a nasty stain on the wall - not damp, thank goodness - but still requiring urgent attention.

Nearly done, but not without some rather symbolic difficulties, I have to say.
Remember this one, with his dissolute ways, who later became Geo IV ?
"I never can, or shall, look at him without a shudder."
 His own mother, Queen Victoria, said that!

And what about this one?
Those three words, "Prince of Wales", should have warned me - trouble ahead!