Since I have started this blog, I have written a post on election evening with a little prediction. It’s been a strange old election, there’s not so much weariness with politics but anger and I feel as a society we’re divided. There is an edge and nastiness to campaigning. We live in a very safe conservative seat in a small rural town but even here we experienced some political hate. One afternoon on the school run, a parent thought it was acceptable to shout Labour scum to canvassers politely handing out leaflets by the school and in front of children. Politics should be respectful and we should all accept that whilst we may have different opinions we are all united in many ways.
For the first election in years, I was unable to attend our local hustings which is always an interesting and entertaining evening. It never has any bearing on the way I vote but I like the discussion. I voted after school today as I think it’s important to take the children and for them to understand the importance of voting. Little Man posted my ballot paper and was delighted to get a sweet from the teller too. Sadly there were no #dogsatpollingstations for us.
I’m finding it hard to predict the result, this morning in conversation with a friend I predicted it could go either way, a big conservative majority or a hung parliament. I think we’re approaching a period of change in our political systems, it appears the young have voted in significant numbers today and there is desire for change.
I normally stay up all night but have a pretty full on 10 days and think the all nighter could wipe me out when I need to be on top form. I’ll watch the exit polls at 10, try to sleep until around 2am and then listen on headphones in bed drifting in and out of sleep depending how exciting it is. There are rumours of big names being ousted in this election, even the PM’s seat is not safe!
I’ll edit this post tomorrow to see how accurate my predictions were.
This weekend is one of my favourite of the year. There are a lot of local events which take place over the weekend, the Christmas tree festival which we visited on Thursday after school, the Christmas market and then the Scouting and Guiding candlelit carol service on Sunday evening. It’s a weekend focusing on community and leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling.
Little Miss and I were up early on Saturday morning to help set up my school’s market stall. We were selling our eco themed goods which the students have been busy making in our enterprise hub. We are a special needs school but every single student contributes in some way to the product and we are really proud of their work. The public agreed and we had a very successful day. It was fun being a market trader, to be honest our goods sold themselves but many people were interested in our project and it was nice to talk about our school. The market is great for meeting up with friends and neighbours and lots visited our stall. The Christmas market is one of those community events where everyone does make a real effort to pop down and with it being a mild day there were lots at the market. With delicious festive food and drinks, live music throughout the day and lovely craft stalls the Christmas market really is a highlight of the season.
Whilst I stayed on the school stall, for the first time Little Miss was allowed to go off on her own with two friends to do their Christmas shopping. They were so happy and came back with their top secret shopping bags and feeling very grown up! Mr S and Little Man explored the market too and Little Man spent his pocket money after much consideration on fudge!
Another highlight this weekend was the candle lit carol service for the town’s guiding and scouting groups. It’s set in a beautiful church and with so many candles lighting the service, no other lights are needed. There’s a good mix of well loved carols played by musicians and appropriate readings and fun for the children. I was very proud that Little Man was the flag bearer for the cubs. The service is very well attended and again is a time for the community to come together and celebrate. After the service the children serve tea and warm mince pies to the congregation, providing another opportunity to relax and chat to friends and acquaintances. This is what this weekend is all about, community events for us all to meet and celebrate Christmas in a relaxed and warm atmosphere.
One of my favourite Christmas activities is to go and visit the annual Christmas tree festival at a local church. This year there are 45 trees to view and be inspired.
Our school is exhibiting again and we’ve gone for an eco theme, there is no plastic on our tree, except for the lights and our decorations are made from cones picked in the local forest, paper from the recycling basket, wooden discs crafted from old branches and holly from our school gardens.
The trees in the festival are all amazing and so creative. There are knitted characters from the knitting group, gingerbread baked by school children, glass decorations by a local artist, shuttlecock characters from the badminton club etc .. Every tree has something special and unique.
The trees create a special atmosphere in the church and it is a time to be inspired and simply reflect on the coming season.
This evening the children and I attended the annual Christmas tree festival where trees are decorated and displayed by local schools, groups, businesses and individuals. Whilst I will post a few pictures in a different post, this beautiful rainbow tree really touched me tonight.
This brightly coloured tree is to celebrate the life of Will a local lad who tragically died at the age of 14. The family have launched a charity to support other young people who might be finding life a bit tough, it’s brief is so positive and life affirming and I’m sure it will have a huge effect on our town’s youth. It’s the tree which made me hug my children and say a silent prayer for Will his family and friends, may their Christmas be peaceful and full of happy memories.
I am one of those people who before December 1st is a bah humbug but come December 1st, I become a little Christmas fairy 🧚♀️.
It’s been a lovely start to the festive season today as we’ve had family visiting. Whilst our tree is not up yet, I have put a few seasonal items out for use, towels in the bathroom, the Christmas oil blend has been burning and of course I played Christmas songs whilst I was busy in the kitchen. My choice today was the kitsch 1950s classics, Winter Wonderland, Silver Bells etc ..
With family visiting, it was an ideal opportunity to visit the artisan beach huts for Yuletide inspiration. They are mini Christmas magical worlds with each hut beautifully decorated. I loved the Mrs Christmas model, the green fir skirt was also decorated with fairy lights.
December 1st is the return of Tommy the elf who parachuted into see us today. I love this little elf and all the joy he brings to our house every year.
Finally I love a Christmas read and we have two this year. I’m reading the anthology Last Christmas and the children and I have started The Christmas Mystery, each chapter is a different day in December. I’ve read many good reviews so I’m hoping it will give us a little Christmas magic.
I’m looking forward to embracing the season and cherishing the special moments.
And just like that November is gone. It was wet, windy and grey for most of the month so I’m happy to look forward to a twinkling December.
This week was another full on week in the Sparkles household, continuing from last week’s dramas. We’ve got some really helpful advice on how to appeal the special school place and hopefully the friendship matter will soon be resolved at my daughter’s school. We are incredibly proud of all we have heard this week about our daughter’s behaviour and kindness in this awful situation, proof that good always shines through, which leads us nicely to this week’s sparkles.
1. Parents evening for Little Miss.
So this was a new experience for me at secondary school sitting on the other side of the desk! I was very proud of my daughter, her teachers all agree she’s bright and witty but when she’s bored can try to liven things up, this sums her up well! She’s doing well in all her lessons but I was blown away by her art work, it’s stunning.
2. Reducing plastic.
I am trying really hard to reduce plastic in our home. We have a lovely indie health food shop in town where I found this lovely new soap, produced locally by a small company. I also bought a shampoo which I can refill when it’s empty. I remember doing this in the Body Shop when I was a teenager, why did such a good idea stop?
3. Elf on the Shelf.
I love our little elf who has been with us for many years now. This week I’ve been busy on Pinterest drafting my 24 scenarios for the coming month. This is one of my favourite things of Christmas and I love the children’s reactions every day.
4. Sparkly nails.
I’m still undecided about all 10 sparkly nails but I wasn’t sure how the sparkle looked on my ring fingers only. I think it’s the only time I can get away with sparkly nail. The base colour is navy as that’s my colour for this season! (it’s a thing!)
5. parkrun 10 club.
This Saturday Little Miss joined the parkrun 10 club and as a junior will now get a special commemorative tshirt. When she first asked to come with me I thought it was simply curiosity and never expected the new Saturday morning routine we have developed. It’s definitely one of the highlights of my week, we run and talk about so many things, sometimes it’s very deep and personal other times it’s about hair styles. We’re not in it for speedy times just a run and chat.