Thoughtful friends

I think I may have just missed posting this on Wednesday but as I am still up and about I’ll say it anyway – Happy Humpday! This week I have a gorgeous little mid-week pick-me-up from a beautiful friend of mine. As we haven’t seen each other since before Christmas, we delayed gift swapping until this week (read: she gave me her gift while I left mine at home on the table – useless!). Before I opened it she warned me that it might seem a bit weird. Full of intrigue I quickly pulled off the paper and was utterly shocked to see that my wonderful, thoughtful friend had made a wedding album for me! You see, in the age of digital media, everything tends to be kept on computers and memory sticks – including my wedding photos. I am ashamed to admit that I have never actually collected them in to an album and it has now become one of those jobs on the ‘maybe later’ to-do list.

This is the cover of the wedding album – it’s so beautiful!

Seeing this gorgeous photo album made me feel happy for a number of reasons. Firstly, seeing photos from my wedding brought back lots of lovely memories of the day and it put a smile on my face to see them again. Secondly, the fact that I have someone in my life who not only remembered something I briefly mentioned in conversation, but also then took so much time and care to create such a thoughtful gift makes me feel very loved indeed. And feeling loved is a very happy thing!

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Christmas trees

There is something so magical about a Christmas tree. I can’t wait for that time of the year when my husband and I begin the yearly ritual of driving to B&Q (based on my navigation skills, which to be honest involves a lot of I think, maybe and hopefully), pulling in to a parking space as close to the door as we can and heading inside to choose ‘our tree’. We always end up choosing a tree that is much too big for our tiny living room – the first year this happened it was a complete accident that we only realised we had made once we had cut off the netting and watched the tree spring open to the width of our kitchen….nowadays we secretly make the same mistake on purpose because we loved our first tree so much, and sliding under it to switch the telly on is quite funny…

Decorating the tree always goes like this: my husband puts the tree in place, gets Michael Bublé on the sound system, makes cups of tea then sits back to watch me put the decorations on the tree. It’s not that he doesn’t want to join in, he just likes the way that I do it and we have little chats about the different decorations as they come out of the box, remembering where we got them from. When the tree is finished, my husband names it. In the past we have had Nordman Wisdom, Firley Temple and Spruce Springsteen. This year we have the terrifying, yet topical, Donald Trunk. Just let that sink in for a moment….

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Introducing Donald Trunk! Isn’t he sparkly?

That’s what I love about Christmas trees – whenever I see their little lights twinkling, all of those memories come flooding back and I feel that warm, happy glow inside.

Family gathering

Mid-week happiness was easy to find this week because today we had our Christmas family get-together with my mum’s side of the family. It has long since been tradition that we meet up every Christmas and every summer with all of my aunts, uncles and cousins. Sadly my grandparents are no longer with us but they used to come too and join in the madness. Over the years me and my brother have moaned about packing our things up and travelling to whichever relative was hosting ‘the do’, arriving at a house filled with noise and the hustle and bustle of people – usually stressing about the food, or the alcohol, or both. I remember when we ran out of booze one year and persuaded my uncle to drive us to find a shop that was open late. There was also the year we played Pass the Bomb in my parents’ living room and narrowly avoided smashing the telly… Then there was the time my uncle wrote a play for my mum and dad’s silver wedding anniversary and we all acted it out for them. The year that my grandad died was fairly horrendous – that involved a lot of wine and crying.

There have been so many memories created through our family gatherings – not all of them have been happy but I am really grateful that our parents made sure we kept to schedule and always met up because all of the memories I have are treasured. My crazy family is definitely one of a kind and I love them all very much. Today was no different than usual – lots of hustle and bustle, plenty of food and drink, and debates about who the last dead celebrity will be of 2016 (we’re a positive bunch). Pass the Bomb was swapped for the much safer and even more hilarious Game for Fame (less smashing things, more making a fool of yourself) and plenty more happy memories were added to the bank.