Christmas Socks

Christmas Day begins, when everyone has surfaced, with opening of Santa’s presents.

Ever since Flo herself was a baby, Jackie made her a Christmas fairy dress each year of her childhood.

Today was Ellie’s first. Flo carried her around, then placed her in my former counselling chair

in my former counselling chair.

Her parents then helped her

open her stocking presents.

One gift from my Santa haul was New Forest 222, “The guidebook that covers every square mile of the New Forest”. I, and Mrs Claus were both surprised when I opened the book at random and found an acknowledgement of information from This had been provided by Alan in his comment concerning the cattle trough.

After watching The King’s Speech we opened our main presents.

Jackie was delighted by her representation of Nugget and trowel on a back support cushion given by Flo and Dillon;

our grandson-in-law enjoyed the flat caps we gave him.

When all the giving seemed to be over, I was led to my desk where I was given a blanket draping a mid-Victorian swivel captain’s chair from Dillon, Flo, and Jackie combined. Becky made the photograph of me in situ.

Later Becky, Flo, and Dillon all sported their Christmas socks while watching cartoons.

Somehow, Jackie produced a splendid roast Turkey dinner with all the trimmings, timed to perfection. Afterwards we enjoyed excellent Christmas pudding with Ambrosia custard. I don’t have the time or inclination after my share of the Prosecco, to itemise every item, so readers will need to study

this image featuring Flo, Ellie, Dillon, and Becky if they would appreciate any more detail.

Early Films


Yesterday was Matthew’s birthday, and he, Tess, and Poppy will be flying to New Zealand on Christmas Day. That is why Jackie drove us to Upper Dicker and back. I just had time yesterday to publish a taster in the form of a picture of the sunset from one of the flat windows.

Train crossing

Although Berwick is a very small station with few trains passing through, we always seem to have to wait at the level crossing just a few miles from our destination. This time was no exception. We sat patiently behind this young man as the transport trundled past. We were caught again on the way back home.


The Birthday Boy and his family were pleasantly surprised. After Becky and Ian joined us, Matthew opened his birthday presents and we all unwrapped our Christmas gifts from each other.


Several people noticed a deep pink sunset, so I nipped into a bedroom and poked my camera through a window.

Later, Tess ordered the delivery of a truly excellent Indian takeaway meal. We shared plentiful pilau rice, onion bhajis, vegetable samosas, and naans. My main choice was lamb naga, and Mat gave me the whole green chillis from his jalfrezi. Peroni and a good Chateauneuf du Pape were imbibed. Poppy chose orange juice.

As always, we turned to reminiscing. Knowing that Shane is my all time favourite film, Mat told me he had just seen this masterpiece from the 1950s and agreed that it was an excellent production.. Our son had not known why I had enjoyed it so much, so I enlightened him. He then told us of his earliest remembered film,


and why it was also a favourite. This was because I had collected him from school and taken him to see it. The singer on this clip is the late great Roger Miller.


Coincidentally, one of my favourite songs is by this performer.

Becky’s early memory was the 1975 Disney film ‘One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing’. I don’t appear to have had an input to this. It was, however, very topical, because Poppy really likes dinosaurs and we had given her a toy one which she had immediately identified as a triceratops, which was more than I could have done.

This afternoon I enjoyed studying the Victoria & Albert Museum’s 2016 production of The Twelve Days of Christmas, beautifully illustrated by Liz Catchpole, who has incorporated William Morris’s designs. This was one of the presents given to me by Mat and Tess.

Here I feature the decorated front board and two of the spread sheets of the text.

For our dinner this evening, Jackie produced succulent pork chops topped with sage and onion stuffing, pork sausages, new potatoes, firm Brussels sprouts, and crisp carrots, with meaty gravy. I drank Somontano Pyrene 2011.


Second Milestone Of 1992


I was born when my mother was nineteen. Later in the year she reached her twentieth birthday, and on 2nd of October 1992, her three score years and ten.

Today I scanned some colour negatives from 4th of October 1992 made at Mum’s 70th birthday party.

Danni, Louisa, Mum, Jacqueline 4.10.92Mum, Elizabeth (Louisa) 4.10.92Mum and Danni 4.10.92Mum and Chris 4.10.92

Two little girls in the form of Louisa and Danni clung to their Grandma for the present opening. Jacqueline stands by in the first picture; Elizabeth is in the background of the second; and Chris appears to be showing his Mum where to go.

Mum, Jessica, Jacqueline 4.10.92

Here, Jessica and Jacqueline watch the birthday girl open my present.

Mum, James, Elizabeth, Mark, Jack junior, Sam, Danni 4.10.92Mum, James, Sam, Elizabeth, Mark, Jack junior 4.10.92

Che was Mum’s first great-grandchild. His father, James, uncle, Mark, and cousins, Jack junior and Sam look on with awe as she unwraps a print I produced from a photograph I had taken at her previous birthday party when Louisa and Danni were introduced to the latest family member,

Danni, Mum, Sam, Che 4.10.92

who was also shown his earlier image.

Elizabeth 4.10.92

Here are Elizabeth,

and James in individual shots;

and Becky doing a passable imitation of Stan Laurel.

Sam, Adam, Jessica, and Danni look on

while the children’s grandmother prepares to slay her cake.

This morning, Ann of Kitchen Makers visited to measure up for a quotation for a new kitchen.

Immediately after lunch I set off for Luci’s in Clapham. We will check over documents this evening; I will stay overnight; and the next day we will sign probate paperwork for Wolf’s will.