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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas 2012

Last Sunday I started Christmas celebrations by attending a carol service with my daughter at Westminster Abbey. I applied for tickets as soon as they became available as they are soon snapped up. We were so lucky as we were given front row seats looking onto the nave. In the Abbey the main altar and the choir are not in full view of the congregation but during the carol service the choir perform in different areas of the church so that as many people as possible can see them. The choir started the service singing next to where we were seated. As you can imagine the singing was so beautiful and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I was delighted to hear them sing another two carols before they moved down the Nave.

 The Abbey is one of the most iconic and historic London landmarks. It has been the setting for coronations since 1066 and has also been used for many of the Royal Weddings. The latest one, of course was Prince William  marriage to Kate Middleton. To partake in a service there always feels very special.

My son R. has been working for 'Crisis at Christmas' on the evenings when he has not been doing his normal job. (This charity provides shelter, food and lots of other services for the homeless over the Christmas period.) So he arrived early on Christmas morning after working through the night. He just managed to wish us Merry Christmas before falling asleep but he did wake up in time for Christmas lunch with the rest of the family. I love it when we all get together.

Now it is Boxing day and I have driven the 250 miles to Manchester to see Mum in the nursing home.

She had a wonderful Christmas day and her room is full of cards and presents. Here she is with a member of the nursing staff and her friend Sylvia.

Mum has been busy helping to make some of the decorations for the tree. She helped to sew these stockings which looked very colouful on the tree.

It is now evening time on Boxing Day and I am staying at my usual hotel with a very Christmassy scene from the window which looks across at the Trafford Centre -a large shopping mall.

In previous years I would now be celebrating down in the lounge with my brother. It is times like this that I really miss him. This is the first Christmas without him and I know I cannot face going down to the lounge bar but I will raise a glass to him here in my room.



  1. The choir singing in Westminster Abbey must have been a breathtaking experience, great you managed to get tickets. The drive to Manchester didn't go through floodings I suppose. We see terrible images on tv of the water in UK. We have lots of rain too and some parts near rivers are flooding, but those places are specially made to catch the water and are not allowed to built houses so close to the river.

  2. I can imagine what a treat it would have been to be sitting in Westminster listening to the carols ... truly a magical experience.
    Your Mum looks happy and that was good you were able to visit but I understand a touch if sadness.

  3. It's great to hear from someone who has attended something at the Abby. I was there visiting in 1990 (during the poll tax riots) and it was my favorite stop on the trip.

    Glad you got to spend time with family but sorry it had sad momments.

    Have a great new year.

  4. Wow, what a wonderful experience hearing the choir sing at Westminster Abbey! Thanks for sharing your Christmas experiences.

  5. I think Westminster Abbey is my favourite place in London, simply breathtaking inside and out! My only problem with it is they don't let you take photos!!! :o(
    How wonderful to be able to hear carols in there!

    It's lovely to hear you had such a nice Christmas! I hope the New Year brings you good things!

    Feliz Navidad! :o)

  6. How wonderful for you to attend the carols in Westminster. How big and beautiful for such an old building. It must have been nice for your Mum to have you visit on Boxing day but sad not to have your brother there. My niece died suddenly on Boxing Day.

  7. Must be beautiful to hear the carols in Westminster ! We don't have boxing day here, not even a day off on the 26. We had a very nice Christmas Eve and day it's fun to have a little one again around the tree. Pictures are on my blog. Your mum seems to enjoy Christmas too !


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