Sunday, 20 December 2015

Nearly There

After a couple of busy days on Thursday and Friday trying to cross things off my 'to do list', I'm now in a much better place. The cards have all now gone, the ironing pile is going down and I took a book back that was due to be returned to the library.  Whilst there I saw this book and just couldn't resist getting it out.

I've talked about the Gandy brothers in posts before. I bought some flip flops from their brand, which raises funds for a children's home they set up in Sri Lanka by way of their charity 'Orphans for Orphans'. The brothers lost both of their parents in the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 and their work has been a tribute to them.

This book is definitely going to be my Christmas reading.  I started it whilst waiting in a very slow queue in the Post Office and am already liking it. I'm sure it will be upsetting in parts, but equally I'm sure it will be very inspirational and I'm looking forward to reading their story.

I also managed a few other tasks today, such as checking my bank accounts, sending off my credit card payment and also I did a whole raft of financial paperwork filing that I had let build up all year. It felt good to get it all filed away and organised, so that everything is labelled and easy to find.  It did of course result in more shredding, but that will only take a few minutes to do.

My next task will be to start my clothes packing, which I will add to as the washing and ironing gets completed.

I received this lovely Christmas card from my sister this week who is currently in New York in the US.  It goes nicely with the one I received from my uncle the other day in East Yorkshire. The geographical contrast is interesting. Very cosmopolitan ;).  OH also got this cut out wooden card from one of his work associates.

So cute.

I treated myself to one more little pre-Christmas treat in Poundland the other day.  This cute Jute Christmas stocking.

LB has a stocking, the dog has a stocking, so why not me? I just hope that Santa puts something in it. Anything will do.

Talking of Santa and Christmas spirit, I was touched by watching Christmas on the Poverty Line on TV on Thursday night. (10pm, Channel 5) It was about families in the UK who had very little, but still made the most of Christmas for the sake of their children.  There were some touching examples of the sacrifices some families have to make at Christmas, having to seek out free food, collect things thrown out by others and receive gifts from strangers.

In spite of their hardships, it was heartwarming to see genuine family togetherness and Christmas spirit in the face of pretty abject poverty. Something that many more fortunate people could do with a good dose of.

By way on an example, LB came home on Friday having witnessed a customer verbally abusing the young sales assistant in a local store, because she had the audacity to be friendly. Sadly, some people can be rude, aggressive and thoroughly unpleasant. Who knows what their life is like, but even so, it isn't really fair to take it out on others.

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon in Central London for a last Christmassy mooch around.  It's a bit of a family tradition and usually gets us looking forward to Christmas.  LB and I paid a visit to the Oxford Street Lush store, to get some last minute stocking fillers and we had a long look around the largest bookstore in the country in Piccadilly, followed by a stop off at our local pet shop on the way home to get a few doggy stocking fillers.

I have to say that I didn't really enjoy trudging around the busy streets of London on the last Saturday before Christmas.  Some of the sales had started and it was far too busy.  Despite us taking many of the back streets through Soho, I very soon tired of people pushing past me or stepping into spaces or sitting on seats I was just about to accommodate. Maybe I'm getting too old, slow and grumpy for all of this.  It was so good to get home, put my feet up, relax and watch TV, away from the crowds. (Incidentally, the last two episodes of The Bridge were so good.  I will miss watching this show.) Next year, I'll definitely think twice about venturing there at such a busy time of the year.

I hope you are all enjoying your lead in to Christmas.

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