Little up-date.

Well, that's another one over and gone! Our second Christmas dinner was consumed at tea-time today, only enough turkey left out for sandwiches and the rest shoved in the freezer till required. Their wasn't much left in the way of vegetables, they were delicious! Anyway, I suppose that's the same for the vast majority of you, Dear Readers, so there's not much point in prolonging that line of thought, is there?

What I'm really here to tell you about is the Carol Singing on Christmas Eve. As I said, we managed to get a mini-bus from Mr Kingsley; here it is outside the Chapel before we set off:

Number One Son got a much better picture with his flashy smartphone, but you'll have to make do with mine!  He also had to do all the driving, as I let my PSV licence lapse, along with my HGV, when I turned 60.

It was raining quite steadily when we started, and it got heavier as we soldiered on. Then it turned to sleet, which was driven at us by a wicked wind for a while. But hey-ho, that's life I suppose.

Probably as a result of the bad weather, we didn't have any children to cope with, which was also probably a good thing, really. Although there weren't very many of us, we were all reasonable singers, and being adult, we weren't wasting time by clarting-on (Colloquialism: Clarting-on = messing about and generally being a nuisance to the others) while getting on and off the 'bus. We started off three ladies and six men, and were later joined by a lad from Eighton Banks with a lovely tenor voice (after he'd finished work) and a younger girl. We sang quite well, even if I say so myself.

Here they are (I'm taking the picture) singing for a local doctor, who with his wife
used to be part of our merry band of singers, but that was probably the thick end of forty years ago, how time flies!

The weather eased a lot, and while it was still bitterly cold, at least the rain abated. Which was just as well, as, when two of the ladies and one of the men had to leave at about 11 o'clock, we were joined by my two daughters and my 7 year old granddaughter! Little Isabella (being a Girls Brigade Explorer) was quite an asset voice-wise, and she also took charge of the collecting tin. (Her 'cuteness' might have accounted for an extra few bob!) At the same time my brother-in-law went back to the Chapel to put the mince pies in the oven and make the tea etc for our return when we'd finished.

We actually finished our last carol (O Holy Night) bang on 12 o'clock midnight, and then dashed back to the Chapel where the hot pies (and pease pudding and beetroot and pickled onions and sweet mince pies etc) were ready for devouring!

Uncle Roy counted the night's cash takings, which amounted to £424. We were quite pleased with that! I don't know yet what the final amount will be that is passed on to "Action For Children", as there were several 'telephone' customers in far-away places who hadn't yet paid when I last heard, and the collection from our annual Monday evening Community Carol Service (somewhere around £150) is also to be added on. Hopefully, the final figure will be pushing £600, which I know isn't a fortune, but I wouldn't like it on the end of my nose for a wart!!!!

So there it is, children, a story of every-day simple folk starting their celebration
on the night before their Saviour's birth. Thanks for joining us, I expect I'll be in touch after the New Year begins, tarra!

So here it is; Merry Christmas!

Those of you who live in Britain will, no doubt, be sick and tired of hearing this old number one hit from the pop group Slade. But I read somewhere the other day that Noddy Holder had made half a million quid in royalties from it this year alone, so I'm sure he's not complaining, haha!

Actually, I've always enjoyed listening to it, as it really does give the impression that everybody is actually "having fun", don't you think?

Anyway, here in the Nook, we're preparing for this evening's carol singing. (And praying that it won't rain.) It's just been blowing a blizzard as I was looking out of the kitchen window while washing the dishes, but we'd rather have snow than rain. Also, we are hoping that the wind will drop, as it tends to carry our voices away, no matter how hard we try!

Number One Son and I procured a mini-bus from the kindly Mr Dave Kingsley of Kingsley's Coaches of Washington, this morning, so we're OK for transport. Dave's even donating the diesel to our beneficiaries; Action For Children (formerly The National Children's Home) for whom we've collected at Christmastime for over 100 years.

Freda seems to have just about everything in hand for tomorrow, we've got 12 for Christmas dinner (so far, that is) and neither enough seats nor table space to accommodate them all at one sitting, I'm sure that we'll manage though, we always do!

We've managed to catch up with several people this holiday whom we haven't seen for ages. I was particularly pleased to see an old friend from Kibblesworth, whom I haven't actually seen since we moved to Luxor, I think. He's currently vying for the role his father had before him; that of Number One Baby Eating Ogre! It was great to spend an hour or so reminiscing and hearing the local coach industry gossip, thanks Andre.

Well, that's just about it from me today. Although I will just throw out this invitation: If you're sober, like to sing, are within travelling distance of Windy Nook, and don't mind singing whilst you're freezing cold and possibly wet; then you'd be made welcome there tonight. We gather at Windy Nook Methodist Church, on Stone Street at 6pm sharp and will be on the road by 6:15, hopefully returning by about 1 o'clock. Be there, or be square!

Merry Christmas everyone, and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. God bless us all. (And don't forget the poor embattled Egyptians, eh?)

The wind in Windy Nook and the son in the Sausage Emporium.

What a dreadful day, we were all awakened by the wind this morning at around 04:30. The noise of the wind wouldn't usually have much effect on us sleeping beauties but this morning it was deafening as it came in its blustery blasts. I have to admit that the weather forecast had told us to expect winds that would gust up to 90 mph, driving heavy rain before them, but we hadn't heard a wind sound so vicious before.

The three of us (Benjamin, Freda and myself) were at varying stages of consuming our respective breakfasts while the "Breakfast" programme was playing merrily away to itself on the BBC. All of a sudden, through the snap crackle and pop and other more general breakfasting sounds, I heard the words "Windy Nook" come from the mouth of one of the presenters. You  could have knocked me down with a feather as I looked up to see this:

Windy Nook on national television! Another claim to fame, to go along with the worlds biggest grindstone being quarried here at Kell's Quarry before being sent off to Moscow, and William Booth once having been the minister at our New Connexion Methodist Chapel before being chased away to form the Salvation Army! The piece carried on to an interview held in the local lady's hairdressing shop, just a stones throw from the Jennings' bijou residence where our stone-built crescent meets Windy Nook Road at the cross-roads. What tickled me slightly was that the hairdressing lady was cutting a man's hair at 7:15 in the morning, not only that, but her assistant was doing something with a young girl's hair too! Strange, or what?

Anyway, Windy Nook certainly lived up to its name this morning!

I had been toying with the idea of writing something on here, just to let you, Dear Reader, know that I'm still alive and kicking. But, I've nothing exciting to write about; no revolutions or demonstrations here, no hoards of tourists being subjected to every scam known to man, and definitely no sweltering sunshine or burnt shoulders to complain about!!!! I feel embarrassed to keep rabbiting on about the different tea shops which we are frequenting, or the lists of DIY jobs which Freda keeps compiling to keep me out of mischief, or yet the jobs for which she's arranged various tradesmen.

Nevertheless, you've heard me extolling the virtues of "John the Butcher" haven't you? Well, how about "Young" John the Butcher? This is the younger son of the father, who's black pudding is addictive. He disappeared from the shop a good while ago, much to his father's consternation as he was due to go away on holiday and hoped to leave the young'n in charge. John (senior) did tell me that he had left to start a restaurant in Newcastle, on Westgate Road. No doubt "Senior" has been doing all he can to help, as well.'s now up and running, and Number One Son has been there today! He was very impressed, and brought a menu leaflet home with him:

The name is a bit misleading as he does a lot more than just sausages.

From oysters with raspberry vinaigrette to black cherry crumble cake, and chocolate melt-in-the-middle soufflé to buttered leek and fennel tartlet, it sounds like a lot of fun to me.

Tell you what; if any you get the opportunity to try it before I do, you can let us all on here know what it was like. How's that?

If anything interesting or important transpires, I'll let you all know. Just pop in now and then, and there'll be something new and relevant eventually. Merry Christmas!