Let The Festivities Commence…

Today is December 1st and that can mean only one thing:

It’s been a hive of festive activity at Gidday HQ today. First order of business was the construction of the Mum’s traditional seasonal supplement, the advent calendar…

It took me a while to find today’s window, hidden as it was in a back street…

Then there was a spot of present wrapping to make sure I could get some Seattle-bound goodies into tomorrow’s post (Seattle-A, look out for Santa-Kym’s delivery very soon.)

Then it was time for that favourite of all my favourite Christmas things – decorating the tree.

I missed out on this last year between lounging about in Langkawi and meandering around Melbourne – and since Christmas 2011 I’ve travelled to Krakow and Amsterdam (among many other places) and have added a few more objets d’Christmas to my horde. 

Needless to say I spent a happy couple of hours laying out all of my carefully wrapped ornaments and awarding them their leafy homes for the next month…

And last but by no means least, Alfie Bear has a new Christmas hat…

So it’s all systems go here at Gidday HQ.

Let the festivities commence!

A Game Of Tag…You’re It!

I got this game from a fellow blogger Ladaisi, via Seeded Buzz. Seemed like a fun thing to try and she wrote out the rules so beautifully that I couldn’t help but leap in and ‘have a crack’ at it.  So, these are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.  Yep
2. Paste these rules on your blog post.  Yep
3. Respond to the following prompts (in bold).  Yep
4. Add a prompt of your own and answer it.  Yep no. 8
5. Tag a few other bloggers at the bottom of the post. Yep
6. Leave “Tagged You” notices on their blog/Facebook. Soon
7. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve written the post. Before Soon
1) The best investment you ever made:
Travelling and books…both expand minds, possibilities and stomachs.

2) If you could’ve written any book, directed any movie, and composed any song, which three would you pick:
I would have written The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (such a gloriously unexpected surprise), directed The Devil Wears Prada (all those fab clothes…sigh), and written Born To Be Alive by Patrick Hernandez (showing my age a little here!)

3) Weirdest quirk:
My adoration of Alfie Bear…oh and a serious addiction to peanut butter…and cheese (although not together!)

4) One wish immediately granted:

5) Most expensive hobby:
Eating out…I just love great food (and wine) in great company! And it doesn’t always come cheap…

6) An inexhaustible gift-card at which store:
Waitrose…there’s that food thing again!

7) In another lifetime, you’d be:
A writer…although this life’s not over yet…

8) The most famous/interesting member of your family tree:
Famous: Bernadette Devlin
Interesting: Bishop Ferdinand Hamer

So I’m tagging:
Seen the Elephant, Marmite and Fluff, The Vegemite Wife, Clever Girl Goes Blog, Memoirs of a TSUNAMI Girl, Postcards From Across The Pond, Ham Life

So the game is afoot! And you are IT…

ps…If I haven’t tagged you and you’d like to participate, don’t be shy…jump on in! And if you are one of these annoyingly organised, OCD types and have done all your Christmas shopping, I could not think of a better way to while away the 43 days until the fat man in the red suit pops in…

Happy Summer Sundays….

I just watched Germany beat England 4-1 in the World Cup…happily! Whilst England did not cover themselves at all in glory, to my un-soccer-fied eye, I thought the Germans played well, great accuracy in passing and really tight plays up and down the pitch…and my money is on Germany to win in the World Cup sweep at work so even though they trounced Australia in the first match (and my heart bled a little at this), at least my hard-earned £5 is still at work.  You never know, someone might topple the mighty Brazil or Argentina…maybe???

It’s just over 30C here today and between yesterday and today, I have indulged in a frenzy of washing all of the bedding, towels and blankets I could get my hands on (oh the luxury of having them all dry outside in a day!), windows (this glorious sunshine shows up the dirt magnificently, thus the urgency to deal with this today after a week of procrastination) and am now ensconced in my blogging chair at the window enjoying some Kylie tunes (inspired by seeing her interviewed on Jonathan Ross on Friday night – the woman is a class act!), checking sporadically on my latest Facebook obsession – CafeWorld…and studiously avoiding eye-contact with the gi-normous bag of summer-time ironing sitting on my bed in the other room – when I finally iron this stuff, it will be like having a whole new wardrobe…which has just produced a tiny surge of motivation so I’m off.
Happy Summer Sunday everyone!
ps…Alfie is enjoying the sun and says hi…
pps…did you realise that that last para was all one sentence?  You are allowed to breathe at the … and the – !
ppps…yes this is more avoidance of the ironing bag…I’m really off now!


I haven’t written anything about Alfie Bear for a little while and I’ve been meaning to share another of his little adventures with you for some time now…his first bath!
This was not entirely enjoyable experience for young Alfie and it was with considerable trepidation (me) and squirming (him) that I managed to get him into the tub…
(Note the blurred pic…that bear is a wriggler!)
 I thought I had convinced him to be good, that it really wasn’t so bad (basically to stop being such a big girl which he did not like a all) and it would all be over in a flash if he would just stay still.  But I turned my back for an instant and he was off – on a mission to get as far away as possible and completely undeterred by the steep drop from the bench-top to the kitchen floor…
…but quick as a flash, he was back in the tub, soaped up, rinsed off and wrapped up all nice and warm again…
Drying such a furry little thing in all his cuteness takes quite some time and although he protested to begin with, I think Alfie rather liked his post-on-high atop the drying rack!
And soon we had a sparkling clean (in a furry kind of way), honey-sticky-paws-less Alfie…
He is not, however, convinced that bathing is at all necessary and bath number 2 remains to be negotiated.

Just One Festive Sleep To Go And It’s Already Christmas…Somewhere

Here I am on Christmas Eve, catching up on all my Christmas emails and trying to respond in kind with a fab e-card (which is presenting some technical challenges to say the least!) when I realised that Christmas Day has already arrived for my Aussie family and friends so although they might not be up and about just yet, in case I don’t crack the e-card….

Wishing you all a magical Christmas
and every success and happiness in 2010…

Love from me, J & Alfie Bear (of course!)


Time to get festive

Christmas is creeping up on us all and with the 1st December approaching (on Tuesday), there was much excitement in our household when the cupboard under the stairs was opened, many boxes and bags were rummaged through and a very important Hamer ritual took place…the annual decoration of the Christmas Tree.

(I know it’s not officially December yet but if we are rounding to the closest weekend, Tuesday is def. closer to this weekend than next!)

So with 26 sleeps to go, I tested the lights, laid out all of the ornaments – an eclectic mix of cheap ‘fillers’ and gorgeous treats from my travels over the last few years – and spent a couple of joyful hours filling my flat with Christmas…

So so pretty…I’m feeling very pleased with my efforts indeed.  And it does makes me all childishly excited to turn all of the living room lights off and to sit in the lovely glow of Christmas…

But what’s that I can hear?  A few rustling sounds and a bear-ish grunt or two…hmmm let’s investigate…

Oh it’s Alfie Bear – he has stolen Mummy’s Christmas hat and is admiring his very first Christmas tree!

Remember…26 sleeps to go people…time to get festive!

An Enterprising Young Bear….

I was reading some of my recent blogs and it occurred to me that a) they are all a bit serious of late, especially when you read them one after the other like I did and b) it has been some time since we caught up with the light of my life, young Alfie Bear.

(Yes I know J is the light of my life but shhhh! We mustn’t let Alfie hear…it’s all about him you know!)
Anyway, Alfie has been mooching around and generally presuming that all of life revolves around him.  He still loves watching the squirrels scurrying about outside from his comfy window position but doesn’t get to do this so much now that the blind is closed during the weekdays when I am at work.  He gets bored quickly and likes to keep busy and it would appear that he’s been putting this time to some use.  We recently discovered a little project of his…it would appear that he’s been quite an enterprising young bear and has joined the ranks of celebrity (or should that be celebratory?) brands with his very own gin & tonic – he told me that I gave him the idea as I always seemed to enjoy a Gin & Tonic with Daddy so much!  
Alfie also loves to ‘participate’ and he takes great joy in being the centre of attention. During the unwrapping of my 40th birthday presents, he took quite a liking to one of my sister’s gifts – a pair of bedsocks with cows heads on them – and took it upon himself to demonstrate how much better they looked on him!  The photo says it all really….
Anyway, that’s enough about Alfie for now…too much attention will go to his head, things will just become impossible and I might just have to have a few stern words with him…or give him THE LOOK (you know, the one ALL mother’s have that manages to silence …well…everything really)…but he has such a cute face and how could I possibly stay cross…
What’s that you say?  He’s not real?
Bite your tongue!

Ladies Who Lunch…

Today was a not-so-brilliantly-sunshine-y day in Kingston, and while this was disappointing, the grey clouds did nothing to dampen the spirits of four lunching ladies on Kingston Hill. 

It has been a while since I’ve entertained with such gusto but this afternoon was a leisurely 4 hours of eating, drinking and girlie gossip under the trees and my guests left replete with good cheer and I do believe that there was even a little waddle or two going back down the hill.

There was also a little surprise guest who had invited himself along and managed to engage the ladies with his sparkling eyes and disarming smile…but he left soon after, disappointed with the lack of honey fare and bear-y conversation…

What a cutie…I wonder where he will turn up next?

A Little Heartbreaker…

There’s been a little absence in my life over the past few days.
What with lots of to-ing and fro-ing between my place and J’s over the weekend, we decided to let Alfie Bear have a play date/sleepover at J’s with a few of his little friends.
This was on Sunday and I have not seen him since.
Today I received this photo, showing Alfie having a lovely time with all his new friends…

(That’s Alfie in the red hat and scarf)

J tells me that Alfie promises to come home tonight but how can I can compete with never-ending storytime? I’m heartbroken to be usurped so easily.

Motherhood is a thankless task….

Strawberry Fields & Sticky Fingers

So I am here wondering what to write about today…deliberating over a review of the Star Trek movie I saw last night or the AMAZING chocolate-caramel cheesecake at Frankie & Benny’s afterwards (will these hips EVER be thin???) Or perhaps a vent about the non-collection of my recycling AGAIN. Maybe a little pre-sojourn into my busy week ahead…

But it’s all being eclipsed by one thing…


Not just any strawberry either. My very first one to go all red and be ripe for picking…how bloody rude!

I’ve been monitoring the progress of two particular strawbs, waiting for the perfect moment for picking them so that J and I could share the sweet taste of [strawberry] success together. It was all planned for the weekend…and when I went out to pick them, this one was gone.

Crushed (not unlike a strawberry daiquiri – at least when you’ve finished and you are trying to suck more from the dregs at the bottom of the glass), I plucked the remaining one from the bush and took it inside, cut it in half and sadly offered to share it…strawberry scrumptiousness indeed!

I have been thinking about the likely culprits – who do you think got their sticky ‘paws’ all over my strawbs? Could it be the neighbour two doors down, outwardly supportive of my gardening exploits but with a deeper desire to poach the fruit of my labours? What about the local wildlife – maybe it was an ambush conducted under cover of night by Bob the badger (J tells me he’s been seen lurking in the area) or a raid by a posse of Windmill Rise squirrels or one of those well-bred, well-fed, Kingston foxes, breaking cover from their usual stomping ground amongst the bin sheds.

But someone in particular has been looking rather pleased with himself of late and I’m beginning to suspect that maybe the culprit is closer to home…

So what’s this all about Alfie?