Sunday, 13 January 2008

Note to self, buy at least 2 packets of magnetic letters in future! Anyhow, happy new year to all you out there in blogland! It's been a while (again!) since my last post, must get into better habits this year.

I hope you all had the Christmas you wished for. Ours was noisy, busy but not as frantic this year. We spent a lot of time together, about 10 days in all and we were still speaking at the end of it, a minor miracle! It was a wonderful Christmas and we brought in the new year playing Pictionary and Articulate, laughing at my dad's artistic skills and the new words introduced to us by the teenagers, plus I did a bit of middle aged lusting after Take That (Howard in particular) at midnight!

Christmas Eve we all ventured to a local church for the crib service, needless to say we were late, and went in the wrong door having to walk past a very large congregation. We even managed to persuade my 17 year old nephew to join us, and it was lovely family event.

The weather was the usual Christmas affair, plenty of grey skies and rain, but we looked out of the window one day to be greeted by this, there is something about a rainbow which is really special, don't know why but I think we all love them.

Yesterday was D-day for eight walls in our street. Before Christmas a row of us decided that we would like to replace our mismatching walls and hedges with the railings that would originally have been here. After much organisation by one of our neighbours Frank (a lawyer and therefore very well organised!) we finally demolished the walls yesterday. What a day it was!

Ian battled through a horrible cold to demolish ours, which turned out to be very well built, if the ugliest in the street. Helen and I supplied bacon sarnies, tea and cakes. Our new neighbour Lynn made the most delicious soup for lunch which we ate in our kitchen. Eight hours later we were still there! Various people would disappear and come back bearing wine, the bottles this morning bear testament to the alcohol consumption! No wonder my head was thumping when I went to bed!

It was a brilliant day, it made us realise how fortunate we are to live in this neighbourhood. When we decided to move here there were a few raised eyebrows and comments amongst some of our friends. Our street is opposite a large council estate with a reputation it really doesn't deserve. This meant that we could afford a much bigger house than those in the supposedly "better" areas. It was the best move we ever made. Ok, financially we could have made more elsewhere but here we have fantastic neighbours, a lot of whom have been here for 30 plus years. There is a real sense of community, people buy here because they want a home, not a pension. Yesterday proved that even more to me, we all sat around and chatted for hours and have made a pledge to have these get-togethers once a month from now on. What a great way to start the new year!

By the way, I came downstairs in peace and quiet to do a bit of blogging. For once my battling children decided to play in Jack's room. Great I thought, I'll disappear and write my post in silence. Ha! Two minutes later, here they are behind me fighting over a piece of string and singing "The Skye Boat Song" - at least Jack is, Kit is just putting words together that make no sense, much to Jack's annoyance. Children - who'd have 'em??!!...............


French Knots said...

What a brilliant idea and a great way to get the job done, fancy getting everyone to agree on the new railings. No doubt the bacon butties and wine helped the demolition no end!

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Happy New Ear to you too! Sounds like you had a lovely time, we also survived 2 weeks together and are still speaking although I'm glad to be back at work now, I was starting to get a bit of cabin fever! And I yearn for some time on my own.
How great that you and your neighbors can organise such a big project, although it seems you had a lot of fun too. No matter where you live, if that sense of community is there then it's worth hanging on to. My neighbors are ok but we all keep ourselves to ourselves and I doubt we could ever pull off what you've done. They don't care enough about how our area looks, it drives me mad!

Deb said...

Hi Julia
Lovely blog! Wonderful picture of the rainbow.

Miles Away In France said...

Let me know if a house comes up for sale in your road, it sounds like a great place to live.

Racheal x

Curlew Country said...

Great to hear from you Julia. What a great post and such a relief to know that communities really do still exist. We're beginning to settle into ours too. Sounds like you had a fab Christmas, Happy New Year to you and yours (is that you on the left in your picture btw or a neighbour?)
Warmest wishes for 2008!
P.S - it was a bit of a struggle sorting the picture out, as you can see its a bit warped. I did something with the edit feature. Right click on your chosen pic and then I think you faff about with the image size buttons, reducing or enlarging the ratio until the pic fits. It took a while but its not too technical (can't be if I managed it!) Good luck, I'm going to try and change it again soon so if I find an easier way I'll let you know!

Louise said...

Happy New Year! Sounds like you had a great family time together. I love the fence idea and you are so very lucky to live in such a friendly environment. I hope we see more of you this year!

Ali said...

Good neighbours are not to be sniffed at - your railings project sounds fab!

jessica daisy said...

What fantastic neighbours you have, I completely agree with you, we have some great neighbours, and they welcomed us right from the start, when we moved in, just over two years ago. It really makes so much of a difference to day to day life.

Faye 'Country Chic' said...

Happy New Year Julia,
It has been so lovely to read your blog again. Glad to read that you all had a lovely Christmas too. I have again fallen in love with where I live (learning to ignore the few things that irritate me) but like you I have a few neighbours who are lovely too. One of them is this sweet old lady who always collects my parcels when I'm out... she didn't even know me at first so as a thank you I bought her a lovely potted flower and card for Christmas, which she loved. We are in the process of tackling the huge house to do list at the moment but I'm filled with excitement at the prospect of getting the house they way I really want it :). Looking forward to seeing the finished job, I'm sure your houses will all look lovely.
x Faye

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year. I think it's wonderful that so many of you were able to agree on the railing for your gardens.

mollycupcakes said...

Happy new year honey.
Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas and start to the new year. Your beautiful home is everything I love to own and in Cheltenham too, your very lucky, it would be great to be closer to family and friends like you.
I'm very glad to of met you maybe next time I'm up there we can go for coffee, leave the little ones with daddies lol
Speak soon.
Catherine x