Tuesday 31 December 2013

December Happiness

Five things which have made me smile this month...
1. A free ride on the beautiful vintage set of gallopers in the centre of Bath.


2. Each morning before we go to work, when Andrew is scraping the ice from the car, I'm sat in the passenger seat and I peer out through the window at him. He jumps back in some pretence of being shocked and suprised - it never fails to make me laugh!

3. This picture. Me and my two best girlies being completely silly in a photo booth in between looking after our students at their graduation ceremony.

Three girls being silly in a photo booth

4. Finally being given the go ahead to start IVF treatment in the new year and leaving the clinic clutching a bag of various drugs. This has also made me feel scared, excited, numb, delighted, nervous and every other emotion in between.

IVF Treatment affirmation

5. Reaching 20,000 visitors by the end of 2013. When I started this little piece of the internet, I never in a million years imagined that I'd have even 10 people who'd be interested in my life. I'm guessing that about 10,000 of them were myself and another 5000 my friend M but if you were one of those lovely visitors, then I'd like to thank you very very much! You've made one little duck smile rather a lot :-)

Happy New Year!

Monday 30 December 2013

This Weekend at the Duckpond

We have mostly been...

Travelling - back from my sister-in-law's house in Cornwall after a week away for Christmas. We came home the same way we drove down there and took the A39 with a detour to Widemouth Bay near Bude.

Waves in Widemouth Bay

Unpacking - all the bags of presents and stuff we seem to have collected from just one week away.

Presents being unpacked

Looking - at the flooding on the Somerset Levels. We went up to our favourite viewpoint at Ebbor Gorge (just north of Wells) and from there, it's pretty obvious how much of Somerset is below sea level!

Flooding on the Somerset Levels

Watching - the backlog of TV programmes saved on our hard drive, some of which actually date back to Christmas 2012...
What did you get up to at the weekend?

Saturday 28 December 2013

Thursday 26 December 2013

Share Advent Instagram Photos - Days 21 to 25

Share Advent Days 21-25
(for more info click here)
21st December - Gingerbread Day

Gingerbread men
Any ideas for a collective noun for gingerbread men? :-)

22nd December - Mulling

M5 motorway
Long car journeys are perfect for a spot of mulling...

23rd December - There's No Place Like Home

A rainy day in Penzance
We're doing the complete opposite and spending Christmas 200 miles from home!

24th December - Our Family Tradition

Ham Supper on Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve dinner is always a Ham Supper with lots of extras!

25th December - Christmas Breakfast

Rudolph Slippers
Breakfast on Christmas Day involved wearing these little Rudolphs!

A full 25 day round up to follow in a few days! :-)

Wednesday 25 December 2013

The Midweek Hop - Merry Christmas Everyone!

The other half's guest post - three music videos on a theme...
(inspired by Desmond Carrington's 'The Music Goes Round')

'Ami E 120' 1953 Jukebox
'Ami E 120' 1953 Jukebox
This weeks theme is...Merry Christmas Everyone!
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas time! x

1. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee

The classic retro Christmas hit - hope you're all rockin' round your Christmas trees today :-)
'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' entered the chart on 29th November 1962 reaching Number 6.

2. Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry

Originally popularised by Chuck Berry, the song's since been covered by hundreds of artists.
'Run Rudolph Run' entered the chart on 19th December 1963 reaching Number 36.

3. I'm Gonna Be Warm This Winter by Connie Francis

Most people know the Gabriella Cilmi version but the original was done by Connie.
'I'm Gonna Be Warm This Winter' entered the chart on 20th December 1962 reaching Number 48.
Happy listening!

Monday 23 December 2013

This Weekend at the Duckpond

We have mostly been...

Distributing - presents to various family members; Andrew's auntie, uncle and cousin on Friday and to my mum, dad and brother on Saturday.

Sharing - fish and chips with Andrew's family on Friday night and a chinese with my family on Saturday night.

Travelling - to Cornwall to spend Christmas with my in-laws and sister-in-law. We avoided the M5 and A30 and took the scenic route across to Bude and down the A39 Atlantic Highway.

Cornish Sunset

Wrapping - what seemed like hundreds of presents.

Christmas Tree and Presents

Reading - all about my delightful IVF drugs; Provera (aka Medroxyprogesterone Acetate), Suprecur (aka Buserelin Acetate) and Gonal-F (aka Follitrophin Alfa). They sound lovely don't they?

Celebrating - the last day of work for almost two weeks!
What did you get up to at the weekend?

Sunday 22 December 2013

Christmas at the Duckpond

In pictures...
Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations
What do you think - too many birds? :-)

Saturday 21 December 2013

A Thrifty Christmas Gift Swap

I took part in two Secret Santa swaps this year - a Bloggers Secret Santa organised by Hannah from Hannah Bee (pictures and presents here!) and a Thrifty Christmas Gift Swap organised by Janet from Words That Can Only Be Your Own.

I've followed Janet's blog since May when she took part in Rosalilium's 'blog every day in May' challenge and when I spotted she was organising a thifty Secret Santa, I though that would be a great thing to be involved with as well. Plus Janet being the fab lady that she is, was letting non-bloggers take part as well so I excitedly told my friend M all about it who signed up there and then as well.
The idea behind the Thrifty Christmas Gift Swap is that presents should be either handmade, secondhand or thrifted with a suggested spend of around £12. I was emailed a few lines about the lady I was sending to, Leanne who liked Christmas, wine, the theatre and reading and had recently started crafting.
I started thinking and eventually this is what I came up with...
Mini perfume
Christmas tree bubble bath
Crafty card making kit
A set of rubber stamps
Homemade bunting
Homemade Christmas tunes mix CD
Some assorted chocolately bits and bobs 

Thrifty Gifty Presents
The 'make your own cards' kit and rubber stamps I discovered in my craft stash when I gave it a good sort out the other week - neither of which I'm ever going to use (I think I had ideas about making cards years ago and then realised I was much more interested in sewing than papercrafts).
In amongst all my Avon lady bits and bobs I also remembered I had a Christmas tree bubble bath and mini perfume which I thought Leanne might like.

Thrifty Gifty Presents Christmas CD

I also made some Christmas bunting and a Christmas tunes mix CD with an explanation as to why I'd picked those songs (including weird things like The Tweenies 'I Believe in Christmas' and The Accelerators 'Christmas is a Pain in the Arse').

Thrifty Gifty Presents
Thrifty Gifty Presents

I collected my Thrifty Christmas Gift Swap parcel from the delivery office on Monday and placed it under the tree naively thinking I'd keep it til Christmas...

Thrifty Gifty Presents

So it was opened on Wednesday instead (that's only a week in advance, not that bad surely...)
and I think, quite possibly it might just be one of the best Christmas presents I've ever received.
My Secret Santa lady, Charlotte had really gone to town with the presents, they were all so thoughtful and perfect!

Thrifty Gifty Presents

Thrifty Gifty Presents

Thrifty Gifty Presents

My box contained...
 Circus/fairground style fabric
Lovely little Christmas gift tags 
 Chocolate reindeer noses
 Mini nail files
The most gorgeous little duck buttons
Duck stickers
A design your own bunting set
Chocolate chip cookie mix
The Holiday DVD
A book of fab Christmas things to make and do

Thrifty Gifty Presents
Thrifty Gifty Presents

I absolutely love it all!
The little duck buttons are so sweet and the book of Christmas recipes and how-to's is brilliant - such a good idea (and with plenty of things I'm going to have to try out). The Holiday is also a film I've never actually seen but my friend M always goes on about how good it is so I'm looking forward to watching that over the Christmas break. The bunting kit is fab as well; it's wooden bunting for me to use whatever paint I want and design them myself - I've never seen a kit like that before and luckily after redecorating one of the bedrooms recently, we've got quite a few tester pots lying around.

Thank you very much Charlotte for my wonderful presents!
And huge thanks to Janet for doing all the hard work of organising it all.

Friday 20 December 2013

Share Advent Instagram Photos - Days 16 to 20

Share Advent Days 16-20
(for more info click here)
16th December - Make A Date With Yourself

By this time next year, we will have given IVF our best shot
Thank you very much to all of you lovely people who wished me good luck for my appointment last Wednesday, it meant a lot to us. The exciting but incredibly scary news is that I start with all the drugs in the first couple of weeks in January!

17th December - Feed the Birds

Bird hoarding sweet and chocolate boxes
Spotted this very cute bird hoarding lots of sweet goodies in a shop window in Bristol.

18th December - Random Acts Of Kindness

The Baghdaddies Random Acts of Kindness CD
Completely different to what the prompt intended I'm sure, but The Baghdaddies are a fab band specialising in Eastern European music - and this is a really great bouncy album!

19th December - Favourite Family Recipe

Sausage and egg muffin
Not related to Christmas at all but a homemade Sausage and Egg muffin is one of our favourite breakfasts.

20th December - O Star of Wonder, Star of Night

Star tree decorations
I bought these three sparkly stars many many years ago from oriental specialist Neal Street East in Covent Garden. I used to love wandering around and up and down the stairs smelling and feeling everything on the shelves but sadly the shop closed it's doors over 10 years ago - I miss it!

If you've got Instagram, feel free to follow me for daily Share Advent updates. :-)

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