Weekly Blog No 88 – UK Garden Centre’s

Today I was feeling a little better so I seized the opportunity to venture out to buy some gifts. Mr Zebrakat & I went to a local garden centre as they are a mecca for unusual gifts. Gone are the days of garden centres just offering trees and plants.

We started to walk around and I spotted this cute little bird house resembling a British post box.


Then we spotted a scarecrow looking very familiar to Worzel Gummidge. ¬†Worzel Gummidge was a children’s programme in the late 70s about a scarecrow that comes to live and his girlfriend Aunt Sally.

We maneuvered our way around the garden centre in the garden ornaments and came across these cute animals.

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Around the corner was the Christmas section, starting to develop with Santa and other associated Christmas theme animals.

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The next section was gifts but I can’t show this section because I don’t want to spoil the surprises for the individuals. However I did buy this book ¬†“Mary Berry” cook book for myself to try out some recipes.

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Following the gift section you navigate your way through the food section, where we brought a few goodies.

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The blackcurrant jam was bought for nostalgic reasons, I believe my grandma used to make blackcurrant jam in Ireland.

The last stop was the¬†caf√©, which has always a good experience with its various food & drink choice.¬†Mr Zebrakat had a full English breakfast priced at ¬£4.75, not only was it overpriced but it was luke warm and didn’t come with toast. We shan’t eat there again as it was a massive disappointment.

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Do you have a great place to shop for gifts, let me know.

Weekly Blog No 61 – Christmas Decorations

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This year it has become apparent that putting up your Christmas decorations in the UK is getting earlier and earlier. It seems the annual ritual is more in line with the town or city switch on of Christmas lights, which is towards the end of November. Years ago people would put up their decorations approximately 2 weeks before Christmas, oh no not nowadays. Are you that person?

I haven’t put up a tree or decorations as yet, for number of reasons.

  • I don’t have a tree, it was sold prior to me moving back to the UK. It was a tree fitted with lights so the electrical fitting is not suitable for the UK.
  • My Christmas decorations are hidden in a mountain of boxes, known has cupboard jungle. Gone are the days your Christmas decorations either in the loft/basement.
  • Do I put decorations up in my rental accommodation or wait until next year when we have our own house.

Here’s my Christmas tree from last year, sitting in my front lobby/hall.

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Decorating for Christmas early wouldn’t work for me because I’m one of those people who can’t live with clutter. I¬†consider personally 4 weeks to be more than adequate for Christmas decorations as 8 weeks plus is far to long. Following the New Year I am already considering stripping the mantle piece of Christmas things.

Christmas decorations through the decades

Its time to take a trip down memory lane with and Christmas decorations used over last few decades in the UK. I can only assume that other countries had the same trends or similar decorations.

Lets start with paper chain garlands, they were very popular when I was a child. I do remember making them at school with sticky back paper. I’m sure there is a few of us that remember them too.

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Balloons were used in the corners of rooms or at other key points. Gone are the days of blowing up balloons or even using balloons for decorating at Christmas. From paper chains to paper garlands, they were steamed from one wall to another and looped on the way. Balloons were used to hide the drawing pins holding up the garlands when pinned to ceilings or walls.

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If you didn’t used balloons, you may of had paper bells etc (lets call them dangles) in various colours.

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Christmas decorations were starting to develop into other materials, foil.

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Christmas tree decorations

Christmas tree decorations has also changed through the decades. Years ago as a child I remember getting the Christmas baubles out of cardboard sectioned boxes wrapped in tissue paper not like plastic cases that are purchased today.

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Christmas baubles have generally remained round shaped but have been decorated differently over the years. Here are some photos of different styles over the decades.

Christmas art
I think most of us made our parents a Santa or Christmas related picture using tissue paper and glue. This picture will bring back a few memories of your school days at Christmas time.

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I’m sure this weeks blog will bring back a few memories for us all, in one way another. Its good to see that we have maintained some basic Christmas traditions in form of a Christmas tree.¬†I think its the older generation that tend to recycle their Christmas decorations from year after year. I feel the younger generation change theirs more frequently following current trends. I wonder how many of us have¬†Christmas¬†decorations more that 10 years old.

Are you a recycler, trendsetter or a bit of both?

Weekly Blog No 24 – Christmas Lights/Decorations Around the World.

Sorry I’ve been a bit lapsed recently, I’ve had constant medical visits & procedures , which has led to a diagnosis of another tumor on the liver. I’m totally fine , just dealing with the symptoms and preparing for Christmas.

Enjoy the photos of Christmas lights I’ve picked for a wordless blog.

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Berlin

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New York

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London

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Toronto

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Paris

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Rome

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Singapore

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Washington