The christmas robin archives

Christmas 2008

For us, a year over brimming with landmark celebrations.  With Toasts sensational 60th,   The twin’s twinkling 5th and Eliza’s faerie 1st birthdays.  Thank you to all our dearest friends for contributing to the “This Is Your Life” book for Richard.  It was the best present in the world, an amazing success and over flowing with love. xxx

In winters past when coming home on dark cold wintry nights, there was always forever a lovely lamp lit glow from our neighbours houses and a feeling of great safety and security and home sweet homeliness and a forever ness of living in their shadow.  A sense of belonging.
And then one by one things change.

The cosy restaurant closes its doors.  Dearest most irreplaceable neighbours pass away.  As does Humph.  People move and things change.  One generation becomes another generation.  What’s suddenly missing and longed for, is replaced first by waiting and then by something new and unfamiliar.

And then in the darkness I walk past our night lit window.  All rose pink and warm, with its twinkling fairy lights and oak beams made from trees 450 years ago, and there’s a real log fire glowing and crackling and radiating warmth out of the heart of our humble little home.  And in the window, old Vinegar Tom Cat curled up oblivious in his wicker bed.  And I long to forever be in the safety of this rose tinted cottage with its longevity and its dogs and its noise and its chaos and its sweet wildness.  With its fireworks and its explosions and its gentleness and its kindness and it’s LOVE.
We are somehow close enough to the elements to feel Nature do her thing, but close enough to a community to see hope in all its shining.  And we understand that our community and role models, our neighbours and our dearest friends, our families and our loved ones,  our faeries and our very dear ghosts, bridge the gap between life and death, between darkness and light, between endings and eternity.

And then we realise that just for now, maybe, it is our time to lamp light the way.
And so on Christmas Morning, The Festival of Light, we will raise a glass of the hot fabled mulled wine to you all, and especially remembering my brother-in-laws dearest dad Alan, our very special neighbours Oonagh, Diana and Alec.  The Viking man and other special characters along our street whose presence we greatly miss.  SWEET GOD BLESS xxx  and I throw it out to the ether that our loss is most preciously your gain.

Have a Chrisdingle of a Christmas everyone with magic, hope, light and LOVE.  Snowdrops on roses, Amber Toast Sarah Blythe Oak Sky Meadow and Eliza Maude x Papa + Jadey. Vinegar Tom Cat. Midnight the hamster and River the fish x

Christmas 2007
“Baby all I want for Christmas is you”
And now a fairytale to warm your soul on a dark cold crispy frosty winters eve.
Once upon a time there was a very handsome older married before, well spoken and educated Prince of marketing. Who had a lovely warm fair skinned fair haired daughter.  The Prince was a very honorable and moral man and was a very hard worker.

He lived in a beautiful but tumbledown antique little cottage with his best friend a very regal golden golden dog.  And although he had been quite lonely for some time due to a sad and dramatic change in his life he remained kind and happy natured and not at all bitter.

Around about the same once upon a time, there was a pretty, younger married before, colourfully, but not so well spoken x showgirl , whose roots grew back to the pearly east end of old London town and branched out to the country of Essex.

She lived in a tiny two up, two down pixy dwelling which she had desperately and painstakingly restored from dilapidation.  With her adorable two small faerie children and best friend, a mutt from the rescue shelter.  And although she had been quite lonely, for some time due to a sad and dramatic change in her life she remained bubbly and bright natured and positive about the future.

It was the crispy rustic autumn of 2002 when the mystical fingers of fate untangled the two pathways that led the marketing prince to the young mother.  A strange and wonderful magic seamed to weave itself around the wholesome shop where the two paths did cross (which incidentally grew from a small seed in a little front room in a little fishing village into the nostalgic Cornflower It was on the said fated day.)

The magic was compelling and all powerful and momentous and took the two lonely souls on a magical and adventurous carpet ride to far off exotic places and beautiful lands full of natural lush rich and abundant bounties that only can be glimpsed of in dreams and that  the pair thought had long since passed them by.

And to this very said day it is to be believed that the beloveds continue with their amazing adventures.

And that the sweetest of honey moons later,  the united lovers having anointed each other with gifts of seeds and eggs a plenty shall nurture their harvest for years to come.  And in return, what an abundant harvest festival they all do daily share. With many faithful thanksgiving hearts and the merry ness of children’s laughter which all believe in the wisdom of magic and fairytales that end happily ever after.
“The stars in the bright sky look down where she laid, the little Eliza asleep in the hay”
Beautiful beautiful Eliza Maude
Blessed us on the 17.11.07
Weighing an abundant 9 1b
And so completing our family

May all your Christmases be as amazing as ours.
And Lots of love to you all,
And love and chrimble wishes to the other realmers
 X Toast, Amber, Sarah, Blythe, Oakley, Sky, Meadow and Eliza x
And they all lived happily ever after.
Christmas 2006 
Since meeting and setting up a beautiful new home and family together.  Taking on new jobs and new school roles.  Having got more involved in Old Gaffers duties, sharing our interests and socialising in new and old circles together, slowly our community and friendships have grown from strength to strength to strength.  Although our friends are all so diversely different we have talked about and thought about what turns acquaintances into friends and good friends into great friends. 

And we have come to the conclusion that all our friends have one very special quality.  A consistent desire to share and exchange life’s experiences, both celebratory, indifferent and sad, in a genuine, generous, open, kind and sincere way.  It seems to us the qualities that have moved our friendships forward are honesty, humour, an absence of pretence, genuine care for the other persons wellbeing, support, sensitivity, and a certain amount of exposing ones feelings.  Enjoyment of the others' personality, respect, laughter, tears and HEAPS OF FUN, not to mention a sprinkling of inspiration.  And because of this mutual investment the past 4 years have seen our community unfold around us, some dearest old friendships thrive more strongly than ever and some beautiful new friendships spiral beyond belief.  So thank you all our friends, you are very special.  Have an especially sparkly Christmas.

We also look forward to spending many evenings of merriment and feasting with those of you who can, in our new clotted cream kitchen.  Celebrating around our new amazing farmhouse table, designed by us and made out of four inch slabs of fire surround timber.  Yes it’s AWESOME.  We have a church pew down one side and some beautiful old church chairs with crosses cut out of their backs down the other side.  What a wicked table to confess your sins round!  Our kitchen feels like a constant harvest festival and our Esse range (the poor mans Aga) is definitely the heart of the home.  Should anybody need to relieve themselves from all the merriment you could always take refuge in our new vintage French bathroom and then retire in front of our French log burner. Yep, house renovating seems to have been a great success this year.

The perfumed garden is currently undergoing restoration, renovation and replenishment, so hopefully it will feel like harvest festival out there too next year.  This autumn we have planted some new trees.  A beautiful silver birch tree for Dad as well as a robinia, a eucalyptus and a pink sorbus pagoda to follow.  Now that we have sold Cornflower Toast’s office is moving to a log cabin ‘a la jardin’.  He’s definitely gone with the faeries!!! And of course his cabin is situated in the wildest part of the garden!  Were not sure how distracting, summer, children and sunbathing gardeners will be, not to mention the lure of a captive sailing crew permanently on stand by.  We think we need a bigger ark!

Our family is blossoming every day and is a constant reminder of how fast children grow up and of how much intense love you can feel for another human being. All be it under the camouflage of lively family life.   Despite all the weight the world carries on her shoulders Love is still all powerful.  We shared a brilliant sightseeing holiday in Wiltshire this summer and covered 600 miles in the process.  The children all climbed Glastonbury Tor, not bad for three, six and eight year olds and we sailed from Bristol to America upon Brunel’s Ship in the 1800s. We did the Cheddar Gorge and spooky Wookey Hole Caves.  All Shared Tea in Bath and did the naked gardens at Malmesbury, the most magical, inspiring and beautifully artistic gardens we’ve ever visited.  We roamed around a roman villa and did the honey pot Cotswolds trail as well as doing two ancient stone circles in the torrential rain AGAIN.

As recently announced in A National Paper no less, North Essex is the new In place to live.  Looks like Essex’s best kept secret has just been discovered.  So we welcome you to come and enjoy, and if you can’t handle 4 small children feel free to stay in the new small but award winning motel in the High Street and come and see the superior new marina development unfolding.  Take a meal in the renowned Kovalam where beautiful authentic southern Indian cuisine is at its best.  Treat yourself to a delicious coffee and pastry in The Coach House. Or catch a folk night at The Swan!

Remembering on Christmas morning to raise a glass of hot mulled wine for absent friends and loved ones, so to three very gentle and inspirational friends who all, sadly, unexpectedly and prematurely jumped realms.  Sweet God Bless Al, Tracie and Lindsay.   And never forgetting those who never quite made it here in the first place xxx

Have a wonderfilled and peaceful Christmas everyone and we hope all your dreams come true in 2007.  -  (If they haven’t all ready)
Love and snowdrops Toasty Amber Blythe Oak Sky and Meadow                            
Jadey Papa and Vinegar Tom Cat xxx xxx xxx                                                           

Christmas 2005 

     “Silent night Holy night,  All is calm All is bright.”

I so love the Autumn time, then Winter and Christmas time with all the deep rusty reds and burnt orange colours. . Glimpsing in on warm cosy homes glowing by lamplight. . The smell of real log fires in the cold air. . Flickering candlelight. . The steamy breath of the children when they are laughing and playing outside.

There always seams to be less people around and the crisp country paths and fallen frosted leaves and shining bright red berries look all so magical.  You can almost hear the faeries bells tinkling.  I simply adore crisp cold family nights spent in our cosy home sweet home. . Our offspring ravishing their wholesome tea. . A steamy bubbly bath. . Milk warm and malted milk biscuits with cows on them. . A  fairytale. . A real crackling fire. . Humph playing jazz. . A good book. . A nice wine and lots of love from my beloved whilst all are sleeping safe and sound above.

This year, Uncle Steve built the children an amazing wooden tree house six foot up our elderberry tree, with a slide going down to a trampoline.  When you look out all you can see is a heavenly world amongst the treetops.  Blissful.

At this time of year our hallway is not decked with holly but a sea of hats and coats and scarfs and mitts and wellies,  mostly of the little people variety.   The children are forever flourishing and flowering and tolerating and teaching and surprising and amazing us.  We are so very lucky.
This Christmas for us is going to be a very special and spiritual one for the world has lost some great men recently.  There was John Peel, Arthur Miller, The Pope, Brother Roger of Taize, Robin Cook, Ronnie Barker, George Best.  But by far the Greatest of all ever to touch my dear lovely Daddy.  And I am missing him with my whole heart.

Not only was Dad a Big Baker character, but he was a true romanticist, compassionate, full of humanity and kindness and a Brilliant Poet.  No tribute could ever be great enough to show what a lovely Dad he was, though one brilliant one said “,,a lovely big man with a heart even bigger,,  And a perfect one from John said “,,you were the best thing I ever could wish for in a Dad,,  You gave all us children, in-laws and grandchildren such a wonderful and wholesome life, with your pirate shanties, your endless cooking tips, your creative D.I.Y   help, your forthrightness in telling us when we were definitely wrong, your lovely personality and continual humour. 

I can just picture you and Ronnie Barker right now in glorious laughter.  I desperately miss your down to earth, chilled out company and lovely visits where you plotted the next D.I. Y   job, just so you could simply enjoy the slow life and indulge in your pure love of good food, especially of the sea variety, by wandering along the High Street to the local fishmongers and butchers, or relax at the beach hut and chat to passers by, comb the beach for oysters, and of course be a local character in the local pub.  Mustang Sally, Woolly Bully and Great balls of fire will never ever sound the same again.  Not to mention your endless support and love. 

It feels as though I have lost my ally.  Every now and then I still cant quite grasp that you are not physically here.  One card said we never really leave we just change form.  Yes.  You will always be such a big part of all our lives.  Thank you to you and my dear Mum for making me Dad, I feel so very lucky to have been your daughter.   Love you forever Dad. . Sweet God Bless   xxx

Over  750.00  pounds have been raised for Cosmic (Children of St Mary,s Intensive Care) Charity this year, with donations given in Dads name and additional collections from Cornflower customers.  This is the children,s ward that saved Sky Blue when he was poorly.  They do an amazing job saving the lives of the sickest children in the country.  Donations are always welcome as the equipment they need is so very expensive.  They have less than a dozen beds.

Sadly at Easter this year we also lost Charlie our lovely golden retriever bear.  So to put a little bouncing joy back in to Jadeys and the Giles,s household we now have Papa Shakespeare the Labradoodle.  He,s half Labrador half Poodle.  So the twins and the pooch are all potty training together.

Christmas day we will simply celebrate with good old fashioned homemade family love and crispy country coastal walks and ponder on our ancestors and ancient Celtic thoughts.  Amazing mother nature.  Little miracles  are everywhere.

On Christmas morning We shall be raising a glass of hot mulled wine followed by a champagne, smoked salmon and seafood breakfast feast to My Bestest Dad in the Cosmos and to his cousin Mike.   Sweet God Bless and may all your Heavenly Christmases be forever white 
And your stars twinkle forever. xxx

Happy 1st chrimble together, Sarah and her new love seaside (Simon) of the band Tired irie.
Have a very merry magical and spiritfull Christmas everyone xxx
All our love Amber, Toast, Blythey, Oak, Sky, Meadow, Vinigar Tom Cat, Jadey and Papa
Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Christmas 2002 

 “Kissing By The Mistletoe, Jingle, Jingle”

Welcome to my wild and woolly winter circular again.  Dim the lighting, light a log fire and some candles, burn some frankincense, pour yourself a tipple and relax in the rocker and catch up on this years’ adventures at Pixy, in the warmest deepest heart of  North Essex.

After one and a half years Pixy is beautifully renovated and very almost finished.  When it is we will be delighted to offer this charming, quaint, very pretty family home with many original features.  Tastefully and sympathetically renovated with love, sweat, tears and downright determination. Thank you to my lovely Daddy and Mummy, John and Toast for all your hard work, without you this would not have happened.

My beautiful faerie and mischievous pixy are both flourishing abundantly.  Blythe even has her own computer alcove now that she is an official schooly and Oakey races his remote control car down his “Brands kitchen hallway living room Hatch racing track”.  Oakley is enchanting when he is not having his terrible two’sssssssss! And I often think that sensible Blythe is the mummy as she constantly informs me that I am wearing clothes that do not match! Neither of our children is backwards in coming forwards and I don’t know where they get it from!!! Beautiful Blythe is still a sugar plum ballerina and Oak insists on being a pretty good one in his tutu too.

This year has seen me find wholesome organic new love. MAGIC. Across the Cornflower counter which amazingly and romantically we now own. WOW.  All brick and beams and baskets and brimming over with yummy organic goodies as I am chief buyer.  Who ever said a way to a man;s heart is through his belly hadn’t discovered the way to a woman’s heart!

My new beloved is a very warm English gentleman called Richard Giles affectionately known here as Toast.  My mans' best friend is Sir Charles Chocolate a Golden Retriever pedigree, Jades new love.  Richard also has a lovely daughter called Sarah Louise who is at De Montfort University Leicester and both the children and I adore her and look forward to her visits home.  And then there’s Toasts first love “Sara” A twenty three foot Gaff Cutter based on a Colne Smack called The Betty.  So far this year we have taken Mum and Dad up the estuary and we have also taken the mermaid and pirate over to second desert island beach for a summertime adventure.  BRILLIANT.  Not to mention a secluded champagne stargazing evening.  Romance is definitely not dead.

We still see John regularly and love him dearly, all forty years young of him!!!  He is the best daddy and the children love their time spent with him.  He is now in the T.A and also has his Bus licence and commutes daily to Dartford-Greenwich which is where his route is.  So if you’re ever that side of the river look out for him.  He sends his love to you all.

This year ive also dabbled in fine arts and live drawing classes-Van-Gogh eat your ear off, and Toast opened a Cartridge World storer, Keeping your cartridges and himself recycled.   This year Blythey Baby has started school and in January Oak starts Playgroup.

We hope you are all ignoring life’s trials and enjoying life’s tribulations.  On Christmas morning we will raise a legendary glass of hot mulled wine to all those past and present so to my two Aunty Jeans, Sweet God Bless.  And may all those still present get  lots of presents xxx

Organic Cornflower faerie and pixy dust to you all
Love Amber, Toast, Blythe Spirit and Oakleaf