The last post of 2020

As the title says this will be the last post of 2020. It has been a strange year lots of highs and lows. Thanks for sticking with me, reading the blog and leaving comments. It is always nice to know when you have liked a post.

Over on my personal Facebook profile and on The Myasthenia Kid  page  that is linked to this blog, I have been posting a carol a day during the month of December. It was something I used to do years ago and then stopped for whatever reason. This year, with its multiple lock downs, Tiers, Tears and crap health I decided to bring it back. So today I am going to share with you my Christmas Carol Advent calendar. Enjoy!

I just need to point out that I am an atheist that just loves Christmas carols. Bizarre I know!!

1st December

I kicked off the festive season with a stunning rendition of The Carol of the bells performed by Libera. I only discovered the Carol of the bells a few years ago and it has been a firm favourite ever since.


2nd December

Today’s carol was “Oh Holy Night” I provided two version of this one as I liked both performed by Kings College Cambridge. The second version is by Alexander Jean.  Another beautiful carol that I didn’t discover until a few years ago.


3rd December

I had never heard this Christmas Carol until I started compiling my December playlist all those years ago, again there are two versions of “Oh come, oh come Emmanuel” the first by Enya and the second by Hymns and Hers.


4th December

Today’s carol was something different, “God rest ye merry gentlemen” by the superb Annie Lennox.


5th December

Behind door number 5 of my Christmas carol advent calendar is “It came upon a midnight clear” again another carol I didn’t know until I started compiling my calendar all those years ago. Performed by Celtic Woman.


6th December

One of my all time favourites today “The first Noel” by Kings College Cambridge.

I also provided the second version as it was the theme tune of a TV show called the Box of Delights when I was a kid and I think this is just magical


7th December

Behind door number 7 is the traditional “Good King Wenceslaus”


8th December

Today’s offering always reminds me of primary school Nativity plays, “Whilst Shepard’s watched their flocks by night” performed by Westminster Abbey Choir.


9th December

Another one that reminds me of primary school carol concerts “Hark the herald angels sing” performed by Celtic Woman.


10th December

Now this one behind door number 10 will always remind me of Nelson on The Simpsons singing an alternative version! “Joy to the world” performed by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


11th December

Behind door number 10 in its originl language of German is the carol “O Tannenbaum” or as we English speakers know it “Oh Christmas Tree”


12th December

It is amazing what you find carol wise consulting Wikipedia and finding out that different countries have different carols. Some of the ones for England ( even though I am British) I hadn’t heard of . Here is “Gloria (Angels we have heard on high).” Performed by BYU Noteworthy.


13th December

As I kid I would record myself singing Christmas carols and send them to my grandparents ( the must have wondered what they had done to deserve such torture!) One of my favourites from those days is “Oh come all ye faithful”, performed by Carrie Underwood.


14th December

Lurking behind door number 14 is “In the bleak midwinter” this is one of my favourites as an adult, we didn’t sing this at school, that I can remember. I have included two versions as one of my favourites is by James Taylor which I know isn’t to everyone’s taste. The second version is by Kings College.


15th December

I didn’t find this version of the “12 Days of Christmas” until a few days after I had posted my original choice. As I loved it so much I posted it the day I found it. Absolutely hilarious and really well done Bravo!

For the purists amongst you here is a non comedy version


16th December

Today’s offering is a real find. I had never heard of this group / band until I was searching for versions of carols that would provide not just the classical arrangements but alternatives. I absolutely adore this version of “We Three Kings” performed by Alexander Jean featuring Casey Abrams.


17th December

I used to love singing this one at Primary School as well. There is something quite pagan about it, which I like as I am actually an atheist who loves Christmas carols. Strange I know! So here it is “The Holly and The Ivy” sung again by Annie Lennox

If you enjoy the Annie Lennox Carols more can be found on the link below, it is well worth a listen.


18th December

Behind door number 18 is another one of my favourites from my Christmas Carol concert days at primary school “Deck the hall”.


19th December

Todays Christmas carol is I know I keep saying it but I do love my Christmas carols, one of my favourites and with it sung in Gaelic is particularly haunting “Silent Night” sung by one of my favourite artists Enya.


20th December

The first time I heard this song was on a CD containing lots of Christmas carols, until then I had never come across it. I do like this one an awful lot too . “I saw Three Ships” performed by Blackmore’s Night.


21st December The winter Solstice

I have known this Christmas carol since I was a tiny tot as most people my age would as it was a firm favourite for Christmas concerts. “Oh little Town of Bethlehem” sung by Nat King Cole.


22nd December

Now it gets very difficult to find 24 Christmas Carols without a bit of research, I could put up some more of the ones we sang at school but they are a bit infantile. I love it when I come across a carol I have not heard of before and can share it whilst falling in love with it. The beautiful “Do you hear what I hear” sung by the incredible Susan Boyle.


23rd December

Whilst hunting for Christmas carols to feature in my advent calendar I stumbled across this absolute gem. I am in love with this arrangement from The Five Strings, “I heard The Bells on Christmas”. I love the PoP element of it and the choral backing. Hubby hates it but then he has been subjected to it numerous times since I first found it!


24th December

The grande finale, there is only one carol that could possibly occupy this spot for me. This is one that signifies that Christmas has begun. It is the one I would hear on BBC Radio 4 late sung at midnight mass. It would give me the feeling that anything was possible, Christmas was magical oh to be a kid again. So here it is

“Once in Royal Davids city” Sung by Kings College Cambridge.


I hope you have enjoyed my Christmas Carol advent calendar as much as I have.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful new year.

with love from Dembe xxx

Happy New Year 2020

Welcome to the first post of 2020, doesn’t it just sound so weird 2020? I keep expecting someone to add in the word vision. This year will mark our 20th wedding  anniversary, it will also be 23 years that we have been together as a couple. How on earth did I get so old to be celebrating 20 years with someone. At 46 it now means that I have spent half my life with Jay and scarier still that 50 is looming ever closer! 

A New Year can make you sit and take stock, it brings about all the New Year New Me bullshit but for those of us facing some bereavement anniversaries the only thing we ever want to do is just get January over with. The first anniversary of Frankie and Mollie’s passing was far harder than I could have ever imagined. I spent both days in floods of tears pretending I was ok to Mr Myasthenia Kid so he didn’t worry about me whist attempting to deal with his own grief. The day after Mollies anniversary it was the 2nd anniversary of my Gran passing and this year it hit me harder than the first. 

There have been so many times over the last 12 months I have gone to ring her and got as far as picking up the phone only to suddenly realise she is no longer with us. I still haven’t deleted her number from our phones, it is the same with Andrews. Towards the end of this month marks three years since Andrew passed away and his number is still the first on both mine and Jays phone, along with the home phone. In the same week it is the second anniversary of losing Pam, one of my oldest friends I made in Exmouth and my next door neighbour twice. It would have been her birthday the week before. So as you can see January is an exceptionally shitty month for Jay and I. A month where we grit our teeth and try to just get through it.

Thankfully this year we have signed ourselves up for training courses for Dembe, so last night we had our first session of the advanced class. Dembe did really well and we got a bit of one to one time at the end with the trainer Martin as we are trying to get Dembe to walk, next to the mobility scooter with me holding the lead. I find this nerve wracking as I am always terrified that he will get too close and I will run him over. This bit of training is as much for me as it is Dembe. We do love going to training and Dembe enjoys it too. On Sunday we will be going to Agility Training for Non Beginners, this is a fun course which leads on from the agility course he did last year. He enjoyed it so much particularly the tunnels we decided we would do the next one on. It also gets us out of the house on Sunday and Dembe just loves going and doing something different. Our whole lives revolve around him, making him happy and providing a stimulating environment for him.

Thankfully we had a lovely Christmas despite knowing what the end of December and the whole of January would hold for us, with all those anniversaries. We received a truly wonderful gift from two of our friends, I burst into tears when I saw it ( I am blaming the menopause for ability to cry at the drop of a hat at the moment). It now has pride of place in our lounge and we have since added some more photos to the wall around it.

We were both so very touched by the thoughtfulness behind this gift. It contains a photo of ( going left to right) Willow, Mollie, Travis. Frankie and then Dembe at the bottom as a tiny pup. I can’t believe that this Saturday will mark the end of his first year with us, what is known as amongst dog people as his Gotcha Day. We will be celebrating his Happy Gotcha Day and we thank our lucky stars that we have such a wonderfully affectionate dog as Dembe.

Dembe was thoroughly spoilt by our friends this Christmas, it was crazy the amount of gifts he got and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who got him something. We certainly didn’t expect it.

Not in the photos, his Uncle Paul also got him a new food bowl, Sam gave him a tin of sardines which he had for breakfast Christmas morning, some tennis balls and a bone shaped chew, he also got bags of treats from various people as well. He was a very lucky little pup. We got him the huge tugger you can see in the photo, along with the grey puppy. We also got him a pop up tunnel which he went through twice on Christmas morning but has flat refused to do it again. We are hoping after Sundays agility class he will be happy to go through it again.

I planned to do as much of a #memadechristmas  as possible. At times it was incredibly stressful, wondering if I would manage to get it all done. I did and thankfully all my gifts were really well received. I also made the majority of Jay’s gifts, which was a bit of a nightmare as I am useless at keeping secrets and nearly gave the game away on so many occasions. Also I was using the day time to make presents for family and friends, whilst at night in bed when I was watching TV or couldn’t sleep I was crocheting him a hat and scarf set. I can’t remember if I have said anything on my blog about the fact I have been teaching myself to crochet since November 2nd. When Jay opened his hat and scarf from me, he didn’t initially believe that I had made it. The only way I could get him to believe me was to ask him to find the labels on them. He was thrilled with them both.

As he worked Christmas Eve I let him open one present from me, purely as I couldn’t wait to see his face. This was another gift that I had been working on in secret, a quilt made from a pre-printed panel ( so not cutting / patchwork ). He had seen this panel on several occasions when it had been featured on the now defunct Sewing Quarter tv channel, every time he had raved about it and what a lovely quilt it would make. I purchased it in secret and then when I could worked on it. He was over the moon with it.

Christmas was a bit of a Dembe and Daddy “love in” which was a gorgeous to see. Dembe loves it when his daddy is home and makes a real fuss of him. He is my dog but he loves his daddy very much as well. I managed to get this shot of them on Christmas morning

Dembe sat on Jays lap as often as he could during Jays time off form work. They really are devoted to each other.

I had some really lovely gifts from friends and family. I took part in a Secret Santa organised in a Facebook group I am part of and received a pattern – The Humbug Bag and some beautiful fabric ( and some zips).

From Jay I got a little travel iron – which I had asked for to help me when I need to iron small pieces of fabric or small seams on quilts. Ironing is a bit of a nightmare for me so anything that makes it easier for me is brilliant, I hate having to wait for help. I also got two books on crochet,

And I have already made a small dog from the book – a weimaraner, it looks dog like but not Weimaraner like but that is down to my skills at crochet that need a lot of practice.

I am currently working on a giant Labrador made out of chunky wool. It is HUGE! Dembe keeps barking at it as he wants to play with it. Currently it is limbless and ear less, although I have embroidered his nose on. Which is what is probably making him bark.

We got so many lovely presents we really are very lucky to have such lovely friends who spoil us alongside our families.

Even with all the gift making I managed to gift myself this Christmas Quilt which I made on my embroidery machine. I am very proud of it as it is the first quilt I have done on it and until October 2019 I had never done applique on my Embroidery machine as the thought terrified me.

I was very sad when my quilt had to be packed away along with all the other Christmas decorations but I am really looking forward to getting it out again later on this year. 

I hope that those of you who celebrate at this time of year had a wonderful time. Wishing you better health, happiness and peace for 2020.