Monday, 20 December 2010

5 sleeps to go!

Well it's now officially 5 sleeps till the big day itself and now we have snow as well just to add to the Christmas festivities.  Not before time though I think, as everyone else seems to have had their fair share!  Our latest covering arrived on Saturday and what a covering it was - 5 and a half inches settled in our back garden!  Arnold's loving every minute of it and has been for lots or snowy walks and the kids have been sledging and snowballing!


I made some of Delia's lovely mincemeat a few weeks ago and this has been sitting in the cupboard until now awaiting it's first usage!  Due to the heavy snow and being unable to get to the shop, I decided to give making my own pastry a go too and I'm pleased to say it all turned out very well indeed.  I'm not actually a huge fan of mince pies but even I had to try one of these beauties as the smell was just delish!

We were hoping to go to the German market in Birmingham like we do every year but unfortunately we're now a little limited by the weather.  We will endeavour to pull on our warmest clothes and boots though and brave the elements before the week's out!  Wednesday night also brings our first ever trip to the 'Traditional Festive Night' at the Black Country Museum (again weather permitting!) which we're all thoroughly looking forward to.......for me, the mulled wine in particular ;)

'P' still has all his pressies still to get and is venturing out tonight to see what he can gather.  Just wrapping left for me to do and I know it's a little late but still a few cards to send too!  Absolutely loving these cosy afternoons in by the fire with the snow on the ground.  I keep getting this niggly feeling though that there's something I haven't done.  There seems so much time left till the big day and yet all is calm and not the usual frantic rush - not that I'm complaining!


Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Tuesday's Christmas Treasures - Beautiful Baubles!

This week I thought I'd show you a selection of my favourite Christmas tree decorations.

I've been collecting tree decorations since 'P' and I first moved in together and to match our lounge colour scheme they've always been along the gold and red theme.  Some have been expensive from local garden centres or craft fayres, others have been bargain finds from local stores and many have been broken over the years.

'A' now loves decorating the tree with me and we put all the hanging decorations into groups of the same kind before spreading them out on the tree.  She has her favourites as do I and here is just a few of them.........

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

It's a Most Musical Time of the Year

Well, since the end of the November it's been constant non-stop music (not that I'm complaining!).  As I've already posted, there was the Young Voices concert back on the 25th November and then yesterday we took the school choir to perform for the first time at the Merry Hill Choir Competition (Merry Hill being our local shopping mall for those of you not in the local area).  The competition has been held over 10 days with 10 choirs performing on each day.  We chose to enter the 'Best Newcomer' category this year as it was our first time taking part.

The kids did great job but I definitely think Jo and I were more nervous than them!  Our final choice of songs were Now's the Time, Waiting for Christmas Eve, Mary's Lullaby, When Christmas Comes Around and The World in Union, 3 of which were written by myself and lyrics for 'When Christmas Comes Around' by Jo and I.  We have to wait now for news of whether we've made it to the final as apparently 2 choirs go through from each day.  It would be great if we had but even if we don't it's been a super experience for us and the kids all the same.

Mom and I went to Birmingham Symphony Hall last Monday to see the John Wilson Orchestra and special guests.  This was a fantastic night and I have to say that the John Wilson Orchestra is by far the best orchestra I've heard at Symphony Hall in recent years.  The concert performed was one that was aired last year as part of the Proms season and featured a night of MGM musical numbers.  Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy creator and voice) was one of the special guests with a highlight for me being his 'Stewie' impression whilst singing 'That's Entertainment' as an encore.  All performers were top quality though including Curtis Stigers who I actually thought sounded much better than I remembered him in the original performance on TV.  Another great highlight from the concert was the music from the 'Barn Raising Scene' in 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers'.  At this point the percussionists who were directly in front of us decided to get the audience clapping and actually did their own little dance at the back of the stage!  I really do love to watch John Wilson as a conductor.  He always looks like he's having such a great time and constantly smiles and nods to the other members of the orchestra.  He really looks like a guy who is truly living the dream.

Rehearsals for our Ladies Choir concert 'It's a Man's World' are now on hold over Christmas while we rehearse for the Christmas Carol Service on 19th December.  The concert should have originally been in October but due to various illnesses and injuries (yes, there really were that many!) it has now been postponed until the first weekend in April.  I guess that really does give us no excuse for not being ready!!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Tuesday's 'Christmas' Treasures - Winter Village

As I mentioned, from today throughout December Tuesday's Treasures now becomes Tuesday's 'Christmas' Treasures.

Not much to say about this one as the picture speaks for itself, but my Christmas Treasure this week is my lovely winter village.  I like nothing better than switching on the lights once it gets dark as it just looks so quaint and pretty.

Do you have a Christmas treasure to show?

Friday, 3 December 2010

New Song Lyrics - Hankies Needed!

The other day I received a lovely comment on my 'My Compositions' page from Pete Walmsley at Wiltshire Hotpot.  He said that he had penned a few words to my composition affectionately known as 'Song A' and would I like to see them!   Well the answer was most definitely yes, and Pete sent these over for me to take a look at.

Now although, the verses that Pete had written were lovely, I just couldn't get them to quite fit with the song.  As I explained to Pete this was most probably because he was listening to the whole song with instrumental bits and all and without a copy of the music in front of him he wasn't to know which bits needed words!  Pete's words did however inspire me to write a little ditty myself.  I knew as soon as I wrote the song, the lyrics needed to be sombre as you can just feel it in the music.  So here it is, hankies at the ready as it's a sad one...............

Listen to...... 'I Never Said Goodbye'

'I Never Said Goodbye'

When we look, to the past
I'm sure we thought our time would last
We'd always have another day
A day to say goodbye
Now that day has gone and so
The way I felt, you'll never know
I loved you more than words could say
I hoped you loved me too
Who can say, who's to tell
What you felt in your heart
Now we're apart
Well I guess I'll never know, never know
Life goes by, in a glance
We should have talked while we had the chance
But now you're gone and all I know
(is) I never said goodbye
Music & Lyrics (c) Rachel Griffiths 2010

Thanks again to Pete for 'inspiring' me and I will be intending to use some of Pete's own verses wherever possible in some of my other songs.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

'The Gallery' - 3 Kings

Don't be fooled by the title!  Yes, it's now December but I'm not talking the same 3 kings who travelled to Bethlehem with Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh but more so the ones adorned with hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds and a couple of blokes named Jack!

This weeks theme for the gallery is 'Celebration' so I thought I'd post a picture of my own little celebration.  This was a celebration of my first victory over hubby at poker.  We'd played sooooo many times, sometimes just the two of us and other times as a group but he always managed to wipe the floor with me.  The thing is, I wouldn't say I'm competitive when it comes to playing games with 'P'..........well ok then, yes, I'm VERY competitive so you can imagine my joy the first time I wiped him out at Poker!  As you can see from the picture, I don't think he could quite believe it either.

You may think it a little sad to felt the need to photograph this occasion but victories like this are few and far between............I was determined to preserve the evidence!

[caption id="attachment_431" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Full House - Victory is mine!"][/caption]