Tag Archives: Christmas


6 Jan

Happy New Year!

We have just about settled in back home after our two week Christmas/New Year break. I thought you might like to see some photos from our time away.

Although the UK was in the grip of a deep freeze we managed to make our journeys safely, even if some of them took longer than normal.

Josh and I met in Devon where our parents lived in the same town. However, this summer Josh’s parents moved up north to the Lake District, so this year we had to travel between families. I actually think I prefer this way of doing things. The six hour drive on boxing day was a bit of a drag but it meant that we were able to focus on having quality time with the family we were with and be totally engaged with what they were doing.

I’ve not spent much time in the Lake District before so it was good to do a bit of exploring. On Christmas eve we went to a lake called Tarn Hows. However, when we got there it was completely frozen and we were able to walk across it to the island in the middle!

It freaks me out that it normally looks like this (source), and we were right in the middle! I don’t know how thick the ice was.

The rest of the time we spend walking, eating and playing games. It was a great Christmas, and a good end to a WONDERFUL year.


Christmas Adventures 2009

28 Dec

Christmas Catch-up

2 Jan

We had a wonderful Christmas break down in Devon. Josh and I grew up together and our parents still live in the same town so it makes visiting easier.
Read the rest of this entry

We’re Back! Happy New Year

1 Jan

We are back from Devon! I will do a proper update of all our news very soon. At the moment I am in a little room with nine other people trying to conserve warmth- apparently it’s -3 outside! That’s eco-friendly for you!

Happy New Year!

Christmas isn’t Christmas without…

18 Dec


A Muppet Christmas Carol sing-along!

Brings me such joy!


Reclaim Christmas! Shop less. Live More.

12 Dec

If you know me and you don’t get a Christmas card from me, don’t be offended. I’m not a scrooge, and I don’t hate you either. I just don’t do cards for people that I see at Christmas time.


Don’t get me wrong, Christmas cards are a great incentive to pull your finger out and get down to writing all those letters to your far-away friends that you have been putting off for months. Then they are really worthwhile. But why write a card to someone you see every week?


To Mabel

Have a great Christmas

from Josh and Rachel.


Hmmm, that’s really worth wasting some card for…Did you know that 333,333 trees are used for Christmas cards every year?

If I can see you it seems much more meaningful to give you a hug and wish you a Happy Christmas to your face, rather than handing you a piece of card.


So, when you’re sat writing your Christmas cards, think before you write. Am I just doing this for traditions sake?


Check out this site for some more ideas on how to reclaim Christmas.


Okay rant over… 9 days to go before we are on holiday! Eeeeeeeek!

Happy New Year

5 Jan

Happy New Year to all.

Sorry I haven’t written for a while but Josh and I went down to Devon to celebrate Christmas and New Year with our families.
We had a good time but it’s nice to be back in Aberystwyth. I had both the infamous sickness bug, and the flu like bug which was annoying considering I haven’t been ill for months. I blame the sudden change from all organic food to non-organic but Josh says I’m just being dramatic!
 Other than being ill we had a good Christmas and it was lovely to spend time with our families, especially seeing our nieces and nephew.

We also got some lovely presents. Lots of food, some books (including A Life Stripped Bare which I have mentioned before), a Jamie Oliver cook book (which is going to be useful as its sectioned into seasons and has got reasonable recipes which we are likely to get the ingredients for in our veg box), some really good board games and some organic toiletries, including some natural remedy sea salt which I’m yet to try but looks very good! 

I would definitely recommend A Life Stripped Bare by Leo Hickman if you’re at all interested in living ethically. The book is his experience of living ‘ethically’ for a year (according to suggestions made by environmental auditors). He covers everything from shopping to cleaning to banking to holidaying and it is a very easy and entertaining read because, although informative, it is his experiences rather than simply lots of facts about certain subjects. A definite must. 

Also, for those of you that have been asking, our pheasant meal was very pleasant (surprisingly so I thought!). We cooked it wrapped in bacon and sloshed a bit of white wine in with the juices and poured it over the meat at the end. I didn’t find it too dry which many recipe sites suggested I might. Very simple and unexpectedly quick to cook. I would have it again, not necessarily buying it feathered, but I guess if Josh wants to fuss with plucking and gutting it he can! To his credit he kept mess and smell to the minimum!

All Wrapped Up

13 Dec

I was all ready to write an entry about how I didn’t feel very Christmassy, but after a day off filled with unadulterated domestication and Classic fm I feel sufficiently relaxed and Christmassy for December the thirteenth.

I managed to finish the last of our Christmas shopping. Two more gifts arrived in the post this morning, and I’m just waiting for the final three which should be arriving very soon. I feel very organised gift wise this year as we got the majority of it online or via the church bookshop and so it was relatively stress free.


 I also spent a long time making gift tags and wrapping paper myself out of old magazines and pictures. Although it does take longer than just buying a roll of wrapping paper I challenge you to try it.
We didn’t want to buy cheap wrapping paper and were thinking of getting some from Oxfam which costs about £4. However doing it this way saves money and the environment, and looks really cool! I will definitely be doing it again.

Any other presents we have got have been bought from local shops which is also much more stress free, and fun. I had a really good shopping trip out which included lots of banter with the shop clerks and other customers. It’s really something I have found since we stopped shopping in supermarkets. Shopping is fun because you get to know people in the shops and they are much more friendly than the grunting teenagers you tend to get on the tills, or the other harassed shoppers that just march through their shopping at the supermarket.

Anyway, the afternoon was filled with choosing some new books at the library, getting my hair cut and then baking some mince pies with some lovely luxury mince meat we got from the farmers market. It was my first attempt at mince pies (and homemade pastry) and they worked out well. I used local butter which really gave the pastry a nice flavour. I am going to try and get some more mince meat at the market on Saturday to  make some more as this batch will soon be gobbled up! Next time I will roll out the pastry a bit thinner because some of them rose a bit too much during baking!

Mince Pies 

 I then cooked Toad-in-the-Hole with Red Onion and Thyme Batter which was extra yummy, served with cabbage, broccoli, carrots and gravy! I wish we had our small holding now and I could work outdoors/ be a domestic goddess all day long!

And for my family…Yes those are your presents, and no I’m not going to tell you which one is which!