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    Christmas ... just around the corner !!

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    chris c
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by chris c on Sun Oct 22 2017, 23:04

    Looking out the back windows at the Rooks and Jackdaws cavorting in the breeze I remembered a cracking scarecrow the farmer put up a few years back. It was an inflatable Santa with a serrated silver edge to its red coat which flickered and sparkled in the wind while its limbs pumped back and forth in the most hysterical way.

    Never seen another before or since.
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    Jan1
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Tue Oct 24 2017, 18:40

    ... well I noted the date - 24 October -

    Guess what!

    I bought a pack of Christmas Cards today santa  

    The first step towards Christmas 2017 rendeer

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by chris c on Thu Oct 26 2017, 22:50

    I'm torn between buying charity cards and checking the toner levels in my laser printer. Usually I print my own but last year I bought a load from the RSPB.
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Fri Oct 27 2017, 22:38

    The ones I bought were from a hospice charity shop ...
    Of course these days it's also the postage that makes things so much more expensive but it's still nice to send and receive cards ...

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by chris c on Mon Oct 30 2017, 00:37

    I send and receive a few but mostly they get hand delivered. That helps.
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Sat Nov 04 2017, 11:28

    @chris c wrote:I send and receive a few but mostly they get hand delivered. That helps.

    Yes, hand delivered certainly helps.

    Our local churches have a delivery system for their congregations, but of course you need to go to the Church to get the benefit of it.

    I can remember being at school and getting excited when the red Christmas  santa  posting box appeared ... we all posted our cards and couldn't wait until they were given out at the end of each week. Our youngest grand-daughter loves writing and drawing and any card you get from her is very personalised ... which is great!

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Sun Nov 05 2017, 17:57

    Did you know there are now less than 50 days to go until Christmas!
    What a thought.

    One of our sons decided to start his Christmas shopping this weekend - he said the shops were heaving!

    Online shopping does sometimes have a slight edge!

    All the best Jan
    rendeer
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Tue Nov 07 2017, 23:15


    Britain's tallest Christmas tree has been lit ready for the festive season.

    The giant redwood, which is the tallest living Christmas tree in England, is now 37 metres tall and was decorated on Tuesday with 1,800 LED lights at Wakehurst, in Ardingly, West Sussex.

    Arborists and horticultural staff at the formerly known Wakehurst Place started early in the morning and spent seven hours adorning the tree.

    It was planted in the 1890s and was one of the first exotic trees on the estate, which is run by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Pilots are said to use the tree as a beacon when landing their planes at nearby Gatwick airport.

    Iain Parkinson, head of woodlands and conservation, said: "The giant redwood is one of Wakehurst's best loved storm survivors and it is clearly very happy where it is planted as it has had a good level of growth.
    "We lost 20,000 trees in the Great Storm of 1987. This tree has a flexible trunk meaning it swayed in the high wind but wasn't uprooted."

    The tradition of decorating the tree, which has taken place for 25 years, marks the start of preparations of the botanical garden's winter lantern festival, Glow Wild. Some 38,000 tickets have been sold so far.

    The event follows on from the burst of Autumn colour across the estate which attracts thousands of visitors every year. The deep reds, bright yellows and oranges are now beginning to fade but this year have remained longer than usual due to the mild weather.

    Wakehurst said more than 10,000 people visited in the week beginning October 23 alone with numbers up overall 18% over the year to date.
    Glow Wild takes place on Thursday to Sunday from November 30 until December 17.

    https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2017/11/07/uks-tallest-tree-decorated-with-1-800-lights-for-festive-season/

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by chris c on Wed Nov 08 2017, 00:38

    Oh yes, Wakehurst was a regular destination since my childhood and into the nineties. I well remember the havoc from the hurricane.

    Another one I didn't visit for a long time is Westonbirt, which has some magnificent Acer glades in autumn. They look like bonfires from a distance.
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Wed Nov 08 2017, 17:32

    Westonbirt sounds wonderful ...

    "Along the 45 minute illuminated trail, you'll discover a exciting array of beautiful light displays scattered amongst the trees, and find plenty of wintery magic to get involved with along the way...

    After the trail why not visit our Christmas Village, where you'll have the chance to meet Father and Mother Christmas, listen to local choirs perform festive classics, have a ride on our traditional carousel or enjoy a warming meal in our restaurant or merry marquee.

    Entrance is by advance ticket only."

    https://www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-christmas

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Fri Nov 10 2017, 18:35

    I think there are 44 days to go until Christmas santa
    I have actually made a start on Christmas Cards and Christmas present buying Smile

    I think many others may have done too if our visit to a retail park earlier today was anything to go by!!!

    I know it was a Friday but the crowds were amazing, the car park full and in all honesty I was so pleased to get back home and put the kettle on.

    I needed that cuppa cuppa

    Do you think a Monday shop may be quieter and not so busy?

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by chris c on Sat Nov 11 2017, 01:28

    Our Co-Op is also open on Sundays, though by then there are often some empty shelves. I might go down tomorrow, I was going to go today but was otherwise engaged. There seems to be little pattern as to when it is full and when it isn't. Where we used to live the car parks were usually full by 10 am. I'm so glad I don't live there any more.
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Tue Nov 14 2017, 19:34

    What a thought !

    In six weeks time it will be Boxing Day affraid rendeer

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by chris c on Thu Nov 16 2017, 01:27

    Only a month and a bit to the shortest day. It's getting darker from day to day now.
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Thu Nov 16 2017, 23:24

    Yes, it certainly is getting darker much earlier isn't it... can't say I like it.

    On a positive note I saw my first Christmas tree !!!
    Just a little too early I'd say, but perhaps there was a reason for it rendeer
    I remember years ago friends went out to Australia to visit family and they decided to have an early Christmas celebration (in November) with family in the UK and then have a second celebration in Australia ...

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by chris c on Fri Nov 17 2017, 23:15

    Still waiting here, several of the neighbours - with kids - put up loads of lights, plus cut-out reindeer in the gardens etc.

    Contractors put up the lights in the Thoroughfare already but they haven't been switched on yet. Maybe this weekend, I'll have to check the local paper (and prepare for my annual mince pie)
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Sat Nov 18 2017, 11:02

    Maybe I'm just a big kid! LOL!
    I still enjoy seeing peoples Christmas trees twinkling through curtains while I'm out and about during the Christmas Season ...

    Yes, some folks do seem to overdo it with an exceptional  amount of lights, and I often wonder what their electricity bill must be, but nearly always good to see.

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by chris c on Sun Nov 19 2017, 22:40

    Next weekend is the Big Switch On in town, I generally go down and wander around a bit, and snaffle my annual mince pie from my friends in the stationers, then walk vigorously back around Duck Lane listening to the carols. Which reminds me, I should buy my annual Christmas Pudding too. Sometimes I buy more than one, after Christmas when they are sold off at half price, with care I can get away with them one small slice at a time, with lashings of cream, brandy and ground flaxseed, and some added blueberries. Always worth reading the small print though, the contents can vary dramatically.
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Mon Nov 20 2017, 11:41

    I wonder if we may have a white Christmas, there has been a lot of talk about snow ...

    UK set for 'snowiest winter for 27 years'
    Man predicts Big Freeze in the New Year

    The UK is set for the snowiest winter in 27 years - according to an amateur climatologist who claims he can predict the weather months in advance.

    David King, 78, says that snow will hit in January and freezing conditions will continue until March.
    Mr King, a retired Metropolitan Police constable, uses a 1000-year-old moon chart and studies plants, birds, and animal behaviour to forecast the weather.

    He said there will be "no snow of any consequence" before Christmas, but that things will change in January.

    According to the Standard, he said: "The start of the New Year will be a different ball game. It is going to be very cold, there will be a lot of snow and there will be travel problems. In the south it will get down to -5C.
    "It will be the worst snow since 1991."

    A little dubious? Well, Mr King says he's been forecasting the weather for the last 40 years, and even advises farmers and others whose professions rely on the weather.

    According to the Daily Star, he added: "The predominant feature for January is cold, blizzards to start the month then frost which will freeze the snow, followed by more snow with another freezing session of ice. Finally more frost to end the month.

    "Two full moons in the month too, never a good sign, always indicates a wet month – in this case the wet falling as snow.
    "Sadly the conditions do not improve at all in February and although March is the first month of the meteorological spring, [there will be] some most un-spring like weather, with frost and snow for the first two moons."
    However, the Met Office dismissed the prediction as "not scientific" and added: "There's every likelihood we will see some snow in January and it will be cold at times – but that's winter for you."

    And how is the rest of November looking weather-wise? The Met Office says early this week will be unsettled with periods of rain and strong winds, and snow across the Scottish Hills. It will be "particularly windy later on Wednesday and Thursday, with gales possible in many places."

    The prediction until 2 December reads: "Thursday will probably be wet and windy for most, with heavy rain, gales and hill snow in Scotland.

    It is likely to be mild in the south, but rather cold in the north. On Friday and over next weekend, wet and windy weather will predominate, especially for central and southern areas, and temperatures will be mainly above average here.

    "There will be some drier, brighter, or perhaps showery weather too. Further north it will probably be drier and brighter generally but cold at times.

    Towards the end of the month confidence becomes low, but it looks likely that the mixed weather conditions may settle down, with a period of drier, brighter, colder conditions possible by the start of December, though this could be interrupted by a few showers."

    Story from here
    https://www.aol.co.uk/travel/2017/11/19/uk-set-for-snowiest-winter-for-27-years/


    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Tue Nov 21 2017, 16:59

    This Is When You Should Put Your Christmas Tree And Decorations Up !!!

    We’ve spent the past week being bombarded by Christmas ads and the streets are suddenly glistening with fairy lights. So surely it’s almost time to put our trees up?

    The matter of when is acceptable to decorate your home for Christmas proves pretty divisive. While some people have already done it, there are still those who wait until the weekend before Christmas before dusting off their decorations.

    It turns out there’s no set rule for when you should officially put the tree up, however doing it sooner does have its benefits.

    Psychoanalyst Steve McKeown says putting your tree up earlier can help boost happiness levels. He told UniLad: “In a world full of stress and anxiety, people like to associate to things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of childhood.

    “Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So putting up those Christmas decorations early [can] extend the excitement!”

    Article from here:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/when-to-put-christmas-tree-and-decorations-up_uk_5a129f46e4b045cf43725119


    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Wed Nov 22 2017, 19:02

    One Country Is Doing A Nationwide Secret Santa  santa

    Forget Lapland because if you want to see true Christmas spirit, New Zealand is the place to be this December.

    The country is in the midst of taking part in a nationwide secret Santa, where members of the public exchange a small gift with a stranger.

    To take part, citizens simply sign up via the New Zealand Twitter Secret Santa website and wait to receive the Twitter handle of their match.

    Participants are then encouraged to learn a little about their match by reading their tweets before sending them an anonymous present via a central office.

    The secret Santa project was started by a pumpkin grower named Sam back in 2010, who tweeted to call for others to take part in a mass gift swap.

    It’s since grown to a nationwide celebration of community, overseen by the national post service. More than 3,500 people have signed up to take part this year, including New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

    The organisers recommend that gifts cost around $10 (New Zealand dollars), which is the equivalent of just over £5. However, a lot of participants on Twitter tell their buyers not to stress if their budget won’t stretch that far.
    Gifts can include anything from posters and calendars to chocolate and coffee.

    Finish reading the story here
    www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/new-zealand-does-a-nationwide-secret-santa-and-omg-we-want-to-move_uk_5a153fece4b025f8e93276ed

    I wonder if this could work in the UK ...

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by chris c on Wed Nov 22 2017, 23:04

    In a box among mother's things I found our original Christmas tree lights and decorations from when I was a child.
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Thu Nov 23 2017, 19:27

    @chris c wrote:In a box among mother's things I found our original Christmas tree lights and decorations from when I was a child.

    Amazing.

    We kept using the family Christmas tree lights and decorations for as long as we could - they still worked well and it was quite nostalgic. Each year they were lovingly put away in their respective boxes and stored ...

    Of course in the end we had to get some new ones ...

    The grandchildren are already getting excited.
    There is a big Christmas Lights switch on near to where they live so they will be going along tomorrow evening.
    Then on Saturday Grandson is taking part in their towns Christmas Festival ... it should be magical.
    They will all be wearing their Christmas Jumpers.
    I looked in one of the stores recently, there were so many different designs available, I'm sure both he and everyone involved will look great.
    I'm hoping the weather will stay dry santa

    Fun times

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by chris c on Sun Nov 26 2017, 23:31

    I'm growing my beard long and bushy for my Insane Santa impression. Though you have to be so careful nowadays around children and grandchildren in case you get accused of something inappropriate.
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    Re: Christmas ... just around the corner !!

    Post by Jan1 on Mon Nov 27 2017, 17:43

    ... we received our first Christmas Card over the weekend santa

    Now that's organised Smile

    Perhaps I should write ours soon ...

    All the best Jan

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