Thursday, 6 November 2014

Christmas shopping can start now ......

In my family we are not allowed to even think of Christmas until Matt has had his birthday, (see last post) but I did get a little ahead by baking my Christmas cake over the weekend. It is a recipe that I have had since I was first married so it is a well used piece of paper and the recipe is delicious. 
Brandy poured over and this will now go into storage for 6 weeks
With their parents in New York I was looking after the grandchildren for two days.  As they were at school and the weather was very warm I decided that I needed to get some Winter broad bean seeds in.  So having cleared the final pumpkins I dug the ground and put some of this lovely stuff on to it and planted the seed.
Notice the wire covers to stop the Muntjac eating the beans!!
The final pumpkins ready to be turned into pie, I think
Still a huge amount of ground clearance to do, but providing it stays fine I might get it done this side of Christmas. Thought my daughter in law had been eating some of the spinach as it had gone, but it appears that the Muntjac has been enjoying it so that has to be covered as well and I am now running out of covers.

Grandson B's class were having an ancient Egypt day at school so I volunteered to help and was on the 'Mummification' table and had to decipher the instructions first. Grind the aromatic herbs and spices in a pestle and mortar, tip the powder into a small dish and mix with 'animal fat'. Then the bandages had to be covered in this grease and the body is then wrapped in the bandages - easy!! First question was "Are we going to pull the liquefied brain out down the nose!!" "Not quite" I said. "Start grinding", whereupon most of the seeds flew about the room as they were pummeled - sorted that out - grind, don't bash. Next mix in a dish with the 'animal fat' - "is this real animal fat?" It wasn't, but it was greasy! "Ugh" was the chorus to this. For bandages we had lengths of tape which had to be covered in grease with the herbs and spices attached and once really sticky the body (an old fashioned dolly peg) was covered with the tape and the legs bandaged separately. The children found this bit difficult so I had to do it for most of them. Once complete it was carried to the 'altar' to Amun where they were put in bags for the children to take home. On other tables they were carving scarabs (bars of white soap) with hieroglyphs, crushing olives for the oil and then putting in a wick and setting it alight and drawing and painting on tiles. Whilst all this was going on 'Nefertiti' was walking round with her slaves and soldiers and wherever she went the children had to drop to the floor "as common people weren't allowed to look at her face"!! All the helpers decided that it was a wonderful way to learn and I certainly never did anything like this when I was at primary school.

Once home again I pressed on with making Christmas presents.  No photos until after Christmas I am afraid but I have done my smocking homework so when I go next time I will add the inner core and ribbons for a tee dah moment!

I have done some more embroidery for my Christmas Tree decoration, though there is still more to do.  I have made French knots and Danish knots and used beads and starry, gold sequins 
Circle top right is a magnet to keep my needle on when not in use
I have also made three little circles by winding thread round a thickish needle and whilst it is still on the needle, blanket stitch to keep the wound threads together. You can see two of them on the left. No idea if they have a name but I enjoyed making them and they were quite easy.


  1. I would love to have been a fly on the wall of that classroom....what fun. Your cracker looks great ready to rock around the Christmas tree. Hope you show more of that embroidery.

  2. Cracker and Christmas cake look good. only 58 sleeps my Grandaughter has told me.