Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas everyone

I'd like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy 2015.

This blog has been a bit neglected this year, and my stats tell me that I've posted fewer times than any year since 2008, but I'd like to thank everyone who continues to read, visit, share and comment - I really do appreciate it, and I promise to try harder next year.

I hope the New Year brings you everything you wish for yourself.  For me, it means new beginnings and a very personal challenge, which is - as any blogger would say - another blog post (or two).

Have a wonderful time.  See you on the other side!

Monday, 22 December 2014

The shortest day, and how to spot a black dog in the night

Yesterday was the shortest day, or the winter solstice, and it's a day I look forward to every year.

Today we get an extra second of daylight - a whole second! - but this soon begins to snowball everyday until those extra seconds turn into minutes. Then, before you know it the clocks go forward and we're back in the realm of longer days, shorter nights and the feeling that there is more time to do the things we've been putting off all winter.

At this time of year I like to check the daylight times everyday.  There's something very comforting about seeing the extra minutes of daylight added to each day.  I don't suffer from S.A.D. but it's reassuring to know that brighter days are coming.

One of things I hate about the dark days is having to drive to and from work in the dark  (although changes are afoot in that respect) and of course it also means that I have to walk the dog when it's still pitch black outside. But that's the thing about having a dog - you get to witness the changing seasons, including the less than good weather. It doesn't always feel like an advantage when its cold, windy, wet, or icy, but I try to convince myself that it is.

One of the problems of walking Tessie in the dark is that she's black so it's hard to see where she is.

But no more! We were sent some lovely doggy Christmas presents from Fetch, including this Hi-Vis greyhound coat.  I have to admit that Tessie seemed reluctant to put it on at first, but it's brilliant for spotting her when she wanders off-lead in the park.   Just look at the difference:

It's waterproof, windproof, and has a warm fleece lining to keep her warm.  I'm impressed, but Tessie's still not sure about it.

She was much more positive about these doggy treats though, particularly the venison chew sticks which she absolutely loves. And popcorn for dogs? I've seen everything now.

Are you looking forward to the lighter days?  And do you buy your pet a Christmas present?

Disclosure:  we were sent these items for review purposes, but words and opinions are mine (and Tessie's). 

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Review: Harrods Traditional Christmas Hamper

Not long to go now before the big day, and most of us are still in a Christmas shopping frenzy.  Are you an early-bird shopper or do you leave it all until the last possible minute?

We were lucky enough to be sent a Harrods Christmas hamper to review.  Not only were we delighted to receive it, but I think our postman now sees us in a different light.  When he knocked to deliver the box with the iconic Harrods name on the side he gave me a knowing wink and said "Nice, from someone special is it?"

And I suppose that's what a Harrods hamper is all about isn't it? Something special to someone special, and perfect for those people you might not see over Christmas but want to send them something a bit out of the ordinary.

We chose the Christmas Carol hamper from their Traditional Christmas Hampers range, and it arrived beautifully packaged as you might expect.

Opening and decanting the box was a lot of fun in itself, and we all earmarked the different items for ourselves.  I'm looking forward to the Christmas Pudding biscuits with a cup of the After Dinner Christmas Coffee which came in a gorgeous, reusable gold tin.   Even the beautiful red box is the subject of some debate with both daughters already 'discussing' who will get to keep it (but I suspect it will be used for storing Christmas decorations!)

We usually have a very quiet Christmas day, but this year we have my sister and her partner coming over for dinner, and I know these items will go down a storm later on in the evening, after dinner, when everyone is still too full to eat another meal but just fancy a nibble.

Although between you and me, I'm not sure they'll last that long...

Disclosure: we received the hamper for review purposes.  All words and photos are my own.