Friday 31 December 2021

Reasons to be Cheerful - New Years Eve Edition

Hey friends. It's New Year's Eve and about 8.30pm as I start to craft this post, and this will be the extent of my celebration tonight. Watching TV, crafting blog posts and reflecting back on my year whilst enjoying an espresso martini, that I hope will be OK with the ibuprofen I took earlier as I have a poorly knee. 

I really don't mind that I'm not out partying as it has been the strangest of Christmas times. Covid ripped through the community where I live and by Boxing Day we had around 40 people either positive or isolating. Thank goodness we were closed for business and have around 150 bedrooms, so everyone could safely isolate. It did mean that not many of us were left to hold the fort and to ensure that around 60 people were fed and taken care of.  As always, I'm so proud of each member of my family, who stepped up and did what they could to ensure that even one person's day was a bit brighter than it could have been. 

We're now coming out the other side and the General Directors are back on-site to manage the situation and people are reaching the end of their isolation and testing negative so they can come back to regular life. I have been so astounded and grateful that no one in our family has tested positive, neither by regular LFTs nor by PCR test. I think I can safely say God's hand of protection has been upon us. 

We haven't completely escaped ill health though as my hubby has a nasty cold and I've done something to my knee, which means I have pain, tenderness and numbness in my knee and leg. I think God is telling me to rest up, which is a shame as I really fancied heading to Birling Gap tomorrow, just like I did last New Years Day. Oh well, there is always another day!

Before Covid struck it had been a very nice December and I wanted to share a few photos for future memories and give thanks to the Lord for some great times. Despite my parents/ brother not being able to come for Christmas and our Christmas and New Year plans getting cancelled I have had one of the best December ever and that is a testament to the work Christ has been doing in me this last year. 

I had a five-day retreat at the Green House Christian Centre in Poole at the beginning of December and that was truly an amazing time. I've written about all that God spoke to me about and the healing He did during that time, as well as reviewing the centre but I'm yet to get to these posts. Just look at the photo below, I think I look glowing and that is His doing. 

We had a lovely family evening to see the lights at Bedgebury Pinetum. Christmas at Bedgebury was wonderful and we hope to make this a yearly tradition. Check out my review over here

This little fella has been very friendly recently. It still amazes me that I like a cat and that he choose to come and live with us.

I've continued to read a lot this year and it still makes me as happy as ever, especially with a decent coffee or hot chocolate. My Good Reads log tells me I managed 56 books this year as well as my constant companion, The Bible. 

This year, thanks to Bridgerton I discovered that I like historical romance and I'm busy reading an anthology right now. 

It took me quite a while to get motivated to put our tree up but I enjoyed myself when I did as most every decoration has a story to tell and a memory attached. I also love seeing the twinkle lights in the corner of my lounge each night. 

I joined our gardener and her team of volunteers for a morning's crafting and we made wreaths. I've made one each year since I've lived in Ashburnham Place and it is a tradition I really enjoy.

I also made my now traditional Christmas cake. I used ready to roll icing this year and I won't do that again, I'll be back to making my own royal icing next year, it is much tastier.

Miss M and I enjoyed a Sunday afternoon at the panto. It wasn't the best one ever but I cherished spending the time with her and we did laugh together, which is so important.

We had a festive afternoon tea as a family and it was very nice. There was far too much food and as you can see I couldn't get a nice picture of my three kids together! lol

My hubby and I attended the late-night service on Christmas Eve and that was a perfect start to the day. Then our Christmas morning was very chilled at home with present opening, before we headed up to the main house to enjoy lunch with our community. The lunch was excellent but it all then started to go downhill from there as more and more people tested positive for covid. 

After an emergency meeting, it was agreed that my hubby and Miss M would still give out the community gifts, but Santa just kept his distance from people, except our son, who I made sit on Dads lap. We then headed home for a quiet Christmas night before a very busy Boxing Day as all our plans to go off-site and 59 of us enjoy a day out in Eastbourne had to be cancelled. So we stayed on site and cooked etc for everyone. 

We even managed to capture a nice picture of the five of us. Christmas is the one time of the year that I insist we get a full family picture.

Then I just wanted to share this picture below, as it isn't often that these two are kind and loving towards each other. There's is definitely a volatile twin relationship. I have always called them my chalk and cheese twins. This was taken when we were visiting family in WGC.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year. 

Here is to a much better 2022 and the for the word covid to no longer dominate our headlines!!

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