Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Saturday, 28 December 2013

A Review of 2013 at Sweetbriar Dreams


How can I sum up this year?  I think the first thing that comes to mind is 'discovery'.  I have been 'riding the wave' a term I say to quite a lot of people, meaning just going with the flow and seeing where I land.  Sometimes it is a good place, sometimes it is a place that I am not entirely comfortable with, but for me this has helped me carve out what I want to do in 2014.  My blogging journey has been one of the good places that I have landed, where I have found so many wonderful, like minded people on this particular 'wave'.  My blog has gone through many changes this year, with twists and turns, but I think I have finally found my voice and how I like to write along with the visual input as I tell the story.  

I have had lots of fun  today looking back on this year and re-discovering the different events.  Each month was so different.  
The days we went out on either locally or a little bit further afield were always fun and educational.  One risk I took during 2013 was taking my two teenagers to Greenwich, London for the first time.  Our visits to London were numerous this year but I skirted around Greenwich as I felt that I would not do my Grandad justice by bringing the place to life with the history he imparted to me as a child.  This ended up to be a great success with my kids falling in love with this quieter part of London and begging to be taken again and again.  2014 will be full of weekends here as I bring the stories to life as we walk around the streets, some still standing and then through the London Docklands where so much has disappeared and been re-generated.
From looking back at 2013, my crafts obviously took a back seat!  The wallpaper is waiting patiently in my dolls house and the amount of unfinished crochet projects is quite embarrassing!
Our garden was beautiful this year, even though a bit slow in waking up from its winter slumber.  The flowers all bloomed in the glorious summer, giving a spectacular show throughout the months.
However, the produce from the greenhouse was pretty poor, in fact quite pathetic!  But, the fruit crops this year were huge!  Along with the lavender which was tenderly cared for by the bees.
The wildlife was more abundant in the garden, with the bees arriving quite late but then being so busy that they actually slept on the lavender at night!  So much life this year.
2013 also has allowed me to plan ahead for the journey of writing 'the' book on my Grandad's research and stories.  The pens and note books are ready for notes, my fingers are itching to tap away at the keyboard, the papers, maps, photos and books are ready and waiting and I have an idea of how to start the initial lines of the book, I am excited to start to see how this flows.  

So what do I have planned for 2014?  Well, 2013 was 'discovery', 2014 is going to be 'change'. Change is a good thing and should be embraced fully.  I am one that loves change, things start off as a mess but then after re-organisation and diligence, everything falls into place for the better.  I plan on changing things in a lot of ways next year so I can concentrate on the things that really matter to me  (such as the book) and not focus too much on things that I do not agree with and that hinder my progress in my life.  There have been times where I have not felt comfortable with situations around me and where they are totally against my own morals, so these things have to change.  Hard words I suppose but 2013 has made me discover who I really am and what I want to do.  

One thing that won't change is my love for reading your blogs and discovering new ones. It's a catch up at the end of the week with friends over a coffee and a chat.  Around the world in 80 minutes... usually longer!!  I love the evenings when settling down to read what has happened in blogland.

So as I close the door on 2013, may I wish you all a wonderful 2014.  Thank you all for your generous and kind comments and visits during this year and encouraging me to continue by following me with all the various methods that there are now (I've just discovered Feedly - great for Kindles!... a gift from hubby!).  I look forward to reading and seeing what you get up to next year.

Happy New Year!

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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Advent Calendar Door 24 - The Night Before Christmas

December 24th

My twenty fourth Advent calendar door has now opened revealing the night before Christmas.

The night before Christmas and all through the house...the presents are wrapped, the stockings are primed and ready, the food has been prepared, the table has been staged and the house is full of inviting and delicious smells.  I don't know how I got to this point but I have, and now it is time to shut the door on this Advent journey.
I am going to take a little break after this month of daily posts and I would like to thank you all for coming along on this different Advent journey and leaving such wonderful comments.  I am so sorry that I haven't had time to answer you all but you have kept me going.  I also hope you haven't put on too much weight with eating chocolates along the way!!

I wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas.  I hope all goes well for you all and you have time to enjoy the fruits of your labours and that there are no major dramas along the way.

Merry Christmas.
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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Advent Calendar Door 22 - Remembering

December 22nd

My twenty second Advent calendar door has now opened revealing a time to remember. There are some anniversaries that pass by after a while but today is one that I will never forget.  It is the anniversary of my Grandad Tom's passing who was my inspiration, my safety, my thirst of knowledge and history, my trips to Greenwich and the Docklands.  Sometimes it isn't until the person has gone that you realise just how much of an impact they had on you.  I am surrounded by his papers, his CD's, his books, his research.  Each piece is a gem and as I head towards 2014, my inspiration has finally come back to me to take the plunge and write.  Write the book he never got around to completing and re-live his life once more.  His smile will encourage me and his voice on the CD's will bring me back to the times when I sat on the floor next to his chair listening to the stories of the Docklands.

Remember those you love.

Enjoy your day.
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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Advent Calendar Door 21 - The Surprise of Gifts

December 21st

My twenty first Advent calendar door has now opened revealing gifts from overseas.  Isn't it lovely to receive lovely things through the post whether cards from old friends and family or parcels from overseas!  This was just one of the beautiful gifts that came to my door from the lovely Julie at Julie's Lifestyle.  We agreed to do an ornament swap a little while ago and I really enjoyed putting together some hand made items for her.  So, for today, there are a few more photos to show the beautiful gifts she sent me.

The plaid wrapping was just a delight to the eye, hiding away the gorgeous gifts inside.
Firstly, there was a New York bauble showing the infamous skyline.  This is now hanging above my window in the kitchen to remind me warmly of my friend across the pond.
Then Julie had hand made crocheted decorations to continue the festive mood.
This perfect pocket will be used for my mobile, smelling beautifully of this cute soap.  I really love Julie's crochet and the colour of the wool. She is so talented.
Back in October I remarked at how much I loved the pumpkins Julie had made and she was so lovely to send me one!
Those who have been reading my summer posts will know just how much I love lavender and Julie didn't disappoint.  The sweet smell took me right back to those days watching the bees on the lavender.  Just fantastic!
And then to make sure I am cooking with the Christmas spirit a fantastic cheery pot stand, oven glove and some essential hand cream.
Thank you Julie for these amazing gifts.  I love every single one of them and they make me smile by looking and catching the scent of them.  Please go and visit her on her blog, her recipes, tours of New York and of course her crochet are always a joy to read and see.

Now, what will be behind the door tomorrow?!

Enjoy your day.
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Friday, 20 December 2013

Advent Calender Door 20 - Expectation

December 20th

My twentieth Advent calendar door has now opened revealing expectation.  Expectation of the coming week's events, expectation of time away from work (my break starts today!), expectation of seeing friends and family and expectation of happy services and that oh so sweet sit down on Christmas Eve when you can do no more until Christmas Day.

There is also the expectation of snow on the way (no, there isn't any at the Cathedral yet - this shot was taken earlier on in the year!).  I know some of you are already enjoying the white stuff and I do hope you are keeping warm, and for those who are enjoying the hot sun of summer I do hope the above shot is enough to cool you nicely.

Thank you for your lovely comments, I will catch up on my replies, but it's been quite a week!

Enjoy your day.
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Thursday, 19 December 2013

Advent Calendar Door 19 - Oh Christmas Tree

December 19th

My nineteenth Advent calendar door has now opened revealing Peterborough's Cathedral Square at dusk with the Guild Hall, pop up Christmas huts and of course the Christmas Tree.

I am now enjoying late night gift shopping which fills me with a lot more excitement than the bumping and haste of during the day.  This has become a regular ritual each year, dinner has been eaten, the relaying of what has happened during the day spoken, a change into more comfortable clothes and then back go on the gloves and coats and out we go again, this time as a family into the night.  One of the main things we enjoy is to go into a coffee bar and order hot chocolate with all the trimmings, just to warm up a little you understand, and then walk around the shops at a more leisurely pace.  This pace is just perfect for me at the moment as my tiredness from the beginning of the week is settling in.

Today is the Business and Shopper's Carol Service at Peterborough Cathedral, so this will be a nice time to have a sing song with those who I work with and the busy shoppers.

Enjoy your day!
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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Advent Calendar Door 18 - The Joy of Post

December 18th

My eighteenth Advent calendar door has now opened revealing a typical UK post box.  The joy of letter boxes rattling with cards containing personal messages is wonderful.  Remember, the last posting dates for the UK is today for second class and Friday for first.

Enjoy your day, and your card writing!
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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Advent Calendar Door 17 - Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

December 17th

My seventeenth Advent calendar door has now opened revealing an old photo from last year's Christmas Fayre at Peterborough Cathedral.  It still makes me chuckle to see the bag of chestnuts having a crafty cigarette!.  I love the smell of chestnuts and they remind me of the happy memories of Oxford Street in London each year at Christmas.  The moment of walking up the stairs from the London Underground to join the throng of the Christmas shoppers and smelling that warming aroma and the shouts of 'Hot Chestnuts'.  So good to eat and so good as hand warmers!  Happy, happy memories that rise to the surface at this time of year.

Enjoy your day... how are the lists going?
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Monday, 16 December 2013

Advent Calendar Door 16 - A Busy Week

December 16th

My sixteenth Advent calendar door has now opened revealing a beautiful stained glass window in a local church in Spalding.  How I would love to be sitting in there right now, with a mince pie and cup of tea contemplating life, but my week in work is going to be hectic, hurried and painful (oh my poor feet!) and at the end of just today I won't know which way is up!

Enjoy a happy and peaceful day thinking of those you love.

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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Advent Calendar Door 15 - Time Ticks By

December 15th

My fifteenth Advent calendar door has now opened revealing the art of patience with the time ticking away.  The Grandmother clock ticks silently in the corner, and I swear the big hand is running around faster than usual but for the children around me, the anticipation is just too much and it isn't quick enough.  It is cold outside and beautifully crisp which is perfect weather to sit indoors all cosy and begin the card writing and cross off the lists.  There is something really satisfying as I put a line through things that have been done and everything doesn't seem as urgent as before.  Don't get me wrong, I still have LOADS to do, but preparation and looking back at what you have achieved is beautifully sweet.

So, the third Advent candle has been lit and here is a reminder of the doors opened so far...

I hope you have had some joy  and preparation time this weekend. 

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Saturday, 14 December 2013

Advent Calendar Door 14 - The Decorations

December 14th

My fourteenth Advent calendar door has now opened revealing one of my favourite decorations on the tree.  I love the gold of his hat and the ribbon I have wrapping itself around. He will be watching over me tomorrow as I start to write my cards and go through my lists.  I hope your preparations are going to plan and you are managing to get something comforting out of your endeavours as we ride this Advent wave.

Thank you for your lovely comments, I'm afraid time is against me with the daily posts to reply back but I do appreciate and smile with every single one.  The tick box that I had at the bottom of the posts each day has a cheeky little gremlin so I have removed it, so I am sorry if you have been ticking this each day.

Enjoy your day... and the shops!
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Friday, 13 December 2013

Advent Calendar Door 13 - Guiding Light

December 13th

My thirteenth Advent calendar door has now opened (Friday 13th!!) revealing a guide of light to the entrance to Peterborough Cathedral. Compared to the rest of Peterborough, this has to be the quietest and most calming place to be... at the moment!  With the Coca Cola lorry descending on the City today, I am sure the Cathedral green and square will be full to brimming for most of the day and into the evening.

Thank you for your lovely comments, I'm afraid time is against me with the daily posts to reply back but I do appreciate and smile with every single one.  Don't forget to tick the box below to let me know that you are keeping with me on this journey.

Enjoy your day.
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