A Yuletide Message

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see…”


Hello Everyone, Christmas already…

I don’t believe it!! Quite scary, nearly a year in the new house and new country. I am sure some of you also feel like this year has flown. I hope so, or am I just running away with life? Sadly, not all good things happened in 2016. Over events like this we have no control. We lost many famous people this year and above all one special honorary family member so dear to all my family’s hearts. He will be sorely missed this Christmas in Cape Town, but with us in spirit.

Thank You…

Thank you to all of you that have emailed me from time to time, sent watsapps and rang to up date us on what is happening in your lives. Everything moves on.  We do love to know how things are back home, so to speak.  I have an email or two still to answer.  Gossip please!!


For the First Time..

2016 has been a year of first times for us, especially for me. Change is good for the soul and it is one of my pet “flogs” to encourage others to embrace when the mood is low. BUT.. and there is a but.. when you get to our age and every other day is a ‘new time’, it sometimes takes a lot of courage and confidence to go out there and get things done, alone. Daunting!

Oh, but a first Christmas at Homefield, that won’t be daunting at all, I can do this with my eyes closed. And the exciting thing is that I have a brand new empty slate to design on; no previous years plans to follow or maintain. The New Design Christmas! And I do love a challenge. As last year we were in the throes of packing, this will be our first ‘close to normal’ Christmas for many years, since 2012!  The Finlay Christmas- it was so special!!

Family time this year..

Phil and I wish you all a lovely time over Christmas and the New Year. One special wish I have for you all…. is one I would like for myself too; try to relax and make it a “go with the flow” time, rather than a “must do this, must do that” time. Take time to sit and think, and, also, to share stories of the past with each other from Christmas’s past. Remember the good times with loved ones not with us any more. Make your few days together with friends and family count this year. Happy Christmas!

Light up..


Now the Christmas tree lights, that’s always an issue… always the man’s job in the home. It has been in my lifetime. The untangling, bulb replacement and safety testing?!!! Back in the old days there were small explosions from time to time, it was normal; the ‘Elf an Safety boys weren’t around much then. Repairs were done to make them light up,  no matter what. New plugs wired in, lots of tape and more tape; and I even remember strange tasks been performed with matchsticks! And miraculously, the lights were up!! Phil still feels he needs to be involved here as instructor, and believes I haven’t a clue. Mr Health and Safety is his other name!


And Christmas is his time, always has been since the day we met in 2006. Phil watches the dates on the calendar and keeps me up to speed with planning ahead. He loves to choose food from the store catalogue’s and always picks his old traditional favourites. Some days it hurts like mad to live with this man, knowing the way we were; even more so for him, watching him still grapple for understanding over what he has become, trapped, frustrated and angry inside. I have to leave the room so that he doesn’t know how I feel. An emotional time, Christmas, it always gets to me in December, when I stand in one of the big stores, peoples shopping all around and Christmas music playing, I’m thinking; then the tears come. But onwards and upwards!

Has Nothing changed..

One thing that certainly has not changed is the kitchen battlefield when it comes to his boiled eggs. I only fought that war once in 2006 and then it was over to him to sort out his picky preferences which were extra specific, hard to believe all for a mere egg! But now it is down to me to get it right. It’s the timing, the exact chopping and chipping and the bread for the dipping processes. I try. The best praise I ever get is a sad shake of the head, or a mumble, “S’alright.” All in a day, hey!

On Starlings and crows


It seems the starlings are not the only bird species in Ireland to swarm in great numbers during winter when the European blowin’s add to starling numbers. The crows around here are gathering in huge murders, because that is what a flock of crows is called. A Murder. Or is it? No one is quite sure why. Crows are scavengers. A difference of opinion says that it is a flock of crows, and a murder of crows is a relatively new collective expression for effect and does not date back to 15th century. Then again, since crows have recently been demonstrated to be capable of advanced reasoning and even tool-making, maybe they actually did plot a few murders back in the 15th century.

And my, my, if you stand in our garden and they descend onto the roofs and telephone wires and trees in their hundreds, with all that raucous noise, I get to thinking that they may be planning a murder and it could be mine! Inside quick!

On weather and weather..


Wow! it has been a cold start to December; all started the last week of November. Ice on the car in the morning— but not having much effect on the retired people! After snapping these pics I got to thinking….Do Spiders migrate to warmer climates, or crawl into little spaces and wait for the warmth to wake them up? In fact Spiders do not feel the cold. They live for between one to three years. And spiders don’t die during winter months, outside or inside; after their mating season in Autumn, they do things slower and slower as it gets colder until they are dormant during winter.


Frosted webs.


What a lovely idea….


Recently I read a post on facebook about sharing the love over Christmas, and this is very close to my heart. I believe that at this time of year we should think of others less fortunate than ourselves. All over the UK in towns and cities people are tying unwanted scarves, and some that they have knitted or made especially, to trees and telephone poles, for the homeless people or those in need to take home. Some have messages on them; I am not lost, take me if you need me. God bless you! What a wonderful idea, in this cold time. I am going to try it in Carlow!

What else am I up to..

Currently while not preparing for Christmas I have a new hobby, designing home décor and planning room layouts. Trying to improve my talents and earn high scores. It is relaxing and rewarding too.

Garden talk


2017- Happy New Year

I leave you with a little thought on New Year resolutions. There may be practical resolutions; useful or essential changes that you would like to make to your life next year; all good. One that I have been promising to do for two years is defo going to happen in 2017.

Find a pretty pot or jar with a lid. Pretty, only so that it looks good where ever you put it. Into this jar you place writings (folded up bits of paper) of all the good and happy stuff that happens all year round. Lest we forget!  Little things or big important positives (positives only!) Then in a years time, on New Year’s Eve, you open the pot and read through them all, rejoicing in how blessed you were in 2017.

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!



One comment

  1. Maree · December 5, 2016

    A wonderful read as always Betty. You are an inspiration! I will try and email soon with an update on our lives and apologies for not having done so already. Somehow or other your famous parties often come up in conversation so you and Phil are always fondly thought of. Thank you for your Christmas card and John and I wish you a great Christmas and send our very best wishes for the New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

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