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The Gallery – Week 73 – Shoes

I had to put this as my first picture. KayCee was bored last Friday so as part of our 2 week activity plan I wrote her a list of things to find and photograph while Aiden and I worked on his forensics kit. One of the things she had to photograph was shoes. I wrote the list before I got the email telling me what the next theme of The Gallery was so you can imagine how pleased I was when I checked KayCee’s photos and the ones of her shoes wasn’t too blurry! 🙂

She takes better pictures with my camera phone because it has anti-shake. She’s still trying to hold her digital camera steady enough to get good pictures but practice will make perfect 🙂

The following picture was taken by Ella on the first morning back to school. She obviously likes her new shoes….
My first instinct was to take a picture of the shoe storage box but it’s just not a pretty sight so I decided not to subject you all to having to look at it!
I then thought that maybe I’d take a picture of one pair of shoes from each member of the family, until the following caught my eye…..
These belong to one of kayCee’s Bratz dolls and I remembered how I always wished they’d make clothes and shoes in my size like they made for my Sindy doll because she always had such lovely things.
I wonder if KayCee wishes the same about her Bratz clothes? (Although I have to say, I have never, nor will I ever like the name Bratz….give me Barbie or Sindy any day!)
I then got inspired to find more tiny pairs of shoes but alas, it wasn’t to be. I’m not sure why, but I could only find one of each shoe. Maybe all the other dolls have only one leg each or they have to hop in one shoe everywhere when they come to life at night……..

either way, I’m not buying them new shoes, they should learn to look after them…. I have enough shoe expenses with the 3 big ones!

Now head on over to check out everyone else’s Gallery Photos 🙂
I almost forgot to mention, on the topic of shoes, that I now need to check Ella’s shoes every time she puts a pair on due to the fact that she went to Derbyshire last Friday, until Sunday in 1 trainer and 1 sandal. She got quite annoyed with everyone asking her why she had odd shoes on! She couldn’t understand what everyone’s problem was. She wanted to wear odd shoes, so she did. She makes my heart smile 🙂

Flashback Friday

Happiness. Joy. Nostalgia. A whole range of emotions well up in me when I see this photo.
We all look so happy and that’s how I remember Christmases when I was little. Mum and Dad made all our childhood Christmases wonderful.
I remember sitting with them in the evening; the big light would be switched off and the coloured tree lights would twinkle and look magical to me. The way the light glinted off the baubles was so pretty.
There was a certain smell too. We never had a real tree and when Mum would open the box to get the tree out, there would be a plasticy, dusty sort of smell which sounds horrible but wasn’t at all!
My stomach would start to clench with excitement as the garlands and balloons went up. It would bubble up bigger and bigger in my belly until I thought I’d burst with every new bauble Mum unwrapped. I’d try to stifle little giggles that were doing their best to escape the more excited I got.

We stored the baubles and tinsel in an old chest which also had its own Christmas smell and I loved watching Mum unwrap each bauble from the toilet roll she’d carefully wrapped them in when she’d taken them down the previous January.
Baubles were fragile back then. I don’t remember having the tough plastic ones we have now, although I could be mistaken. All I remember is having to handle them very gently, on the rare occasions I was allowed to help. I liked the feel of the rough glitter against the smoothness of the glass and thought they were all so pretty. I’d watch Mum tying cotton to make a loop on the ones that had lost their hooks. It would seem to take forever but she never seemed rushed or stressed. I think that decorating for Christmas was one of her favourite things to do; it definitely is now! She decorates every room in her house and it looks like Santa’s grotto every year. The kids love it 🙂

The garlands weren’t shiny foil ones like we have now. We had paper ones, you can just see them in the photo. I’d forgotten all about them. We had the crepe paper ones that you twisted as you stretched them around the room and the ones that opened up into bell and star shapes.
We always had balloons and mistletoe, which I think hung above the door.
Dad would kiss Mum if they passed under it at the same time. It would make me smile when I saw him pass under it on purpose so he could grab a kiss. He’d look at me and wink and I’d giggle at him.
Mum would protest and say, ‘gerroff you soft sod’ but she’d be smiling and I knew she liked it as much as Dad!

I seem to remember the tree being up on a sideboard and having sweets and chocolates under it but I could be mixing up memories of later Christmases in our next house.

Mum had a glass trolley that she put drinks and snacks on, like mixed nuts in shells, chocolate (Cadbury’s Roses were a must!) and salted peanuts. Dad would let me have a sip of his snowball and when I was a little bigger, he’d make me one of my own. I felt all grown up and even now, we have to have snowballs at Christmas.
That first taste sends me hurtling back to my childhood and makes me feel all Christmasey! The same thing happens when we have satsumas because growing up, as far as I can remember, we only had them at Christmas. We tend not to eat much citrus fruit even now so I wonder if it will be the same for my kids when they’re grown and they eat satsumas at Christmas 🙂

We didn’t always have much money but we always had a huge pile of presents. When I was older, my brothers, sister and I would sleep in the same bedroom on Christmas Eve and when the first one woke up, they’d wake the rest up. One of us, usually John because I’d make him he offered, would tiptoe downstairs into the living room to see if Santa had been and if he had, we’d go and wake up Dad.
Most of the time though, we’d find Dad still down there watching T.V. because even though it felt like we’d been in bed all night, it had only been a couple of hours or so!
If Dad was still down there and Santa had been, he’d be asleep when we went in and we’d have to wake him up to tell him. He’d be all surprised that he’d slept through Santa’s visit!

As long as Santa had been, Dad would never send us back to bed, even though it wasn’t unusual for us to get up at 3.30am or earlier.
We’d be allowed to eat chocolate from our selection boxes for breakfast and Dad would start releasing toys from their complicated packaging, putting them together and generally playing with us 🙂
Mum would have pork pie, bread and butter and Branston pickle (can’t remember if she had anything else with it) for breakfast because that’s what she had when she was little. I have to admit, that’s one tradition I didn’t really take to. Not because I don’t like pork pie and pickle, but because I was usually too full of chocolate!
Mum would then be in and out all morning cooking dinner while Dad played with us and after dinner, Dad would fall asleep for a couple of hours on the sofa!
In the afternoon, we’d get more presents from Grandparents, aunts and uncles who came to visit. Silly Santa always got confused and left some of our presents at Nan-Nan’s.
The T.V. would be on all day and we’d watch Mary Poppins and all the other movies they played every year!

Christmas is still my most favourite time of the year.
I still love Christmas T.V., even with all the repeats and I look forward to the Christmas edition of the T.V. guide coming out. I sit with a chocolate bar, a cup of coffee and a pen and circle everything I plan to watch over the Christmas period 🙂

Once September comes around and the kids are back at school, I start my Christmas planning.

I have the drinks trolley now that Mum had when I was little; it belonged to my Mama before she gave it to my Mum so it’s very special to me. When the trolley comes out and gets filled with goodies, (Advocaat, lime cordial, lemonade, Baileys, Cadbury’s Roses , mixed nuts in shells, dry roasted peanuts, salted peanuts) we know it’s officially Christmas in our house.

I started a new tradition when Aiden was born. He was born in 2000 so I bought him a wooden teddy tree decoration that has 2000 printed on its tummy. I’ve bought him and the girls a different one every year since they’ve been born.
I thought it would be lovely for them to decorate their own trees with decorations from their childhood when they get their own homes.

I wonder if Mum knows how much I appreciate her giving me the trolley and how much it means to me to bring it out every year. This year, I’ll let her know how special she made Christmas for us and how her traditions have stayed with me. Because of the warm fuzzy feelings I get when I think back to my Christmases, I try extra specially hard every year to make Christmas magical for my kids.
I hope seeing the trolley being filled with goodies each year will bring back special childhood memories for my three when they’re grown and have families of their own.

Thank you, Mum and Dad, for wonderful Childhood Christmases 🙂 I love you xxx

The Gallery – Week 72 – Animals

I like a challenge and I enjoyed this one immensely 🙂

I’m pleased I stumbled across The Gallery because I love taking photos and I’m always trying to improve my limited skills! I only have my camera phone but from what I’ve read, it’s quite good and can do lots of things I never knew about.

I decided to do some investigating and found that I can change the settings to take better pictures of things like ladybirds and ants so guess what I’ve been doing all morning……yep, chasing bugs around the garden, trying to get them to sit still and smile for the camera. They seem a little camera shy if you ask me but I did manage to grab a few good shots before they realised what I was doing. You have to be sneaky when it comes to bugs, you know!

Here’s my entry for this week’s gallery.
This spider was sitting on the blanket on the chair outside. I’m so pleased I noticed it sitting down!

Just after I got the spider, a bird came for some food and stayed still long enough to have his picture taken. I think he was posing really!

I look forward to checking out all the other entries over the coming week 🙂

The Gallery – Week 71

World Photography Day

My beautiful babies, all laughing and smiling together after their showers. One to treasure forever 🙂

After I took my photos, they all had a go at being photographers and had great fun arranging us for the ‘perfect’ shot! A lot of fun was had by all.
Their photos will follow in a separate post 🙂

Check out all the entries into this week’s Gallery

The Gallery – Black & White

I wouldn’t say I’m good at photography; I would say that I’d love to be good at photography so when I saw a couple of new posts on Mumsnet bloggers network, titled ‘The Gallery’ I was intrigued.
I checked out the links then clicked through to the blog, Sticky Fingers which started The Gallery and decided I had to join in 🙂

This week’s theme is Black & White.

These are my dad’s parents, Mama Heather and Grandad Geoff. Sadly, they’re no longer with us.
I love these photos and have used them in a tutorial for paint shop pro, back when paint shop pro was my obsession! (the tutorial is for an old version of PSP though….I stopped writing at version 10 and they’re now on version 13!).
I used them to show how to remove the scratches as part of an online learning group for paint shop pro but I decided to use the originals here because I think the scratches give the photos more character 🙂

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