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Happy New Year All – Seems I’ve been away from the computer far too long.  A lovely festive holiday break in Buckinghamshire starting with an excellent meal with my eldest Son Matt, his beautiful Wife Sandrine and of course my dear Grandson Manu. A superb evening with a wonderfully delicious meal starting with Goat’s cheese tartlets and then a marvellous almost peasant dish of braised chicken with spicy chorizo sausage and then a super chocolate pudding followed, also some very good cheese!  All this set in beautiful  twinkling Christmas surroundings. They were then leaving for France the following day. A gorgeous meal with them and a perfect start to the holidays.

I then spent the rest of Christmas with my youngest son Jo at his house in the Chilterns. There was a crowd of us, fifteen in all, so much preparation took place in the lead-up to this special day.

Lots of food shopping and preparing  and decorating of  the Xmas table – a lovely jolly atmosphere prevailed the whole time and we settled to a warm cosy Christmas Eve around a lovely open fire in this beautiful old farmhouse high-up in the Chiltern Hills.

A simply super special celebration meal followed on Christmas Day with fun , many smiles and much laughter, the children enjoying their new gifts and delighting in each other and the games played.

So special for me amongst our Christmas party was the arrival and sharing of Christmas day with  a very dear Niece and her two beautiful children all the way from Cairo. We spent so much time catching up and chatting and recalling old times together, it made this Christmas very special to me as we talked about her dear Uncle Hamada bringing back lovely memories for me of times past spent in Egypt at Christmas time, time spent out in the desert under the stars. It was  truly wonderful to spend time with such a delightful group  of people. I arrived back to the Lincolnshire Wolds a week later with lovely memories to recall and mull over. The perfect ending to a good year.

And now we are well into 2014  I wonder what it will bring? What it will bring for all of us?  The weather has been playing such a big part right from the start with the UK in the grip of many storms and bringing with it floods to many areas. Daily storm warnings of quite frightening proportions  and then sadness seeing the loss and damage to so many properties.  And further afield across the  ‘big pond’ three quarters of America is engulfed in the coldest weather for more than twenty years with unbelievably low temperatures causing such problems and a danger to lives.

Wherever you are whatever you are doing or however you are feeling – I wish you a joyous, healthy, safe and happy 2014 – with much love and heaps of fun too. Sx