November is always a very full month - so much to get done in the preparations for Christmas as well as the autumn clearing up in the garden. So I am sorry that I am not here much this month. I'll get back more regularly soon!
Last Saturday we had a fantastic evening at church - we were invited to a 60th birthday "do" and it was wonderful. Instead of a party, it was a band concert - the birthday boy wanted to raise some money for the chapel so he put together his old band and had a blast! There was a chap on saxophone (he had three different sized ones), a drummer who also sang, a guitarist who sang, and the organiser who sang and played keyboard. There was also Ernie - who just sang, but boy, how he sang! They did a mixture of music - country songs like "Crystal Chandeliers", ballads like "If tomorrow never comes" and inspirational music such as "You raise me up" and then there were some fab sing-a-long medleys. They played for two hours - and we could have listened longer! There was also a raffle, and then refreshments and cake. We were delighted to hear the next morning that the evening had raised £600 for the chapel funds - an amazing blessing!
The wet weather has caused us some inconveniences here - my poor chooks are a bit muddy, and I am having to dry the washing round the fire, but it is nothing to the devastation in the Lake District which the people of Workington and Cockermouth have suffered so our thoughts are with them. I have never suffered that kind of flooding so I have no idea how they are coping with it all, but I know I never want to live in a place where that might happen. We are incredibly lucky that the Fens are so well drained! Flood management is a big thing here and there are areas like Welney Washes which do flood each year in the winter, but the water is contained within huge banks.
The woodburner is in full service now - a roofer came and put the extra section on the top of it, and braced it very firmly to the roof, so we are enjoying cosy evenings in the lounge with it on. It gives out a good heat and gets the washing dry, although I am careful to open a window a crack to let the moist air out as I don't want mouldy spots anywhere! Two neighbours on the estate have also said that they want to get one as well so we have obviously started a trend, although our immediate neighbour is in opposition to the trend and started ranting on about it to my friend D in the doctor's last week and poor D had to tell the woman to be quiet!
I missed the occasion on Sunday which was "Stir Up Sunday" when I should have made the Christmas pudding. I'll be honest - I don't usually actually make one!! My sister has been known to make some and let our uncle boil them up for the required six or so hours in the old fashioned copper which he still has, but I can't be doing with that much steam in my kitchen! I buy a small one from a supermarket for myself which will be wheat and dairy free and then I will also get a larger one for the family. I know that the YFG won't touch it and the EFG only eats it as a vehicle for the brandy butter - she isn't interested in it with custard.
We are coming up to a week of baking - it is the village Christmas Bazaar on Sunday when I am helping my friend M with the refreshments there and have been asked to make mince pies, but I will also be making things for the church's cake stall. We are also having a Coffee morning at church the following Friday and then on Saturday, another chapel are lending us their ladies' choir for a concert of Christmas music for the evening. More mince pies/cakes/biccies required for those - no wonder I am heading out to the shops this afternoon to stock up on the flour, oats, mincemeat, margerine, etc..
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