Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy holidays!

Happy holidays to all our friends, new and old, close and far. Have a drink or two on us and thoroughly enjoy the festive season.


All the best in 2007!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I love words. I love reading them, writing them and playing around with them. Most of all I love unusual words. Especially unusual words that mean exactly what they sound like they should mean. If you see what I mean.

I found one such word the other day - 'spatterdash'. I'd never heard of it, yet I wear a pair of spatterdashes every time I go walking in the muddy hills nearby. What are they? They are those things that weird walkers like me wear between their walking boots and their knee joints - like upside-down shorts but without the crotch - obviously, else walkers everywhere would be lying face-down in the mud. According to the dictionary they are 'cloth or other legging to protect stocking etc from mud etc.' In practical terms they are pieces of material that you tie or zip over the top of the lower half of your trousers, which prevents mud splashing up your calves, which, in turn, saves you having to wash your trousers every time you go walking. Which, to my mind at least, is exactly what the word 'spatterdash' conjures up - the mud spatters but is dashed - gorgeous. (Possibly not what the originator of such a word had in mind, but it works for me.)

So, what's your favourite, unusual word, and why?


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The write friends

Anybody who's read Amanda Ashby's most recent post will know that our weekend was spent celebrating India's amazing culinary skills - and we also celebrated her publishing success - 'The Italian's Defiant Mistress' - being published by Mills & Boon next July - in case anyone wasn't sure.

What thrilled me most of all - apart from the gourmet meal, the champagne and the incredibly well-behaved children and husbands - was that, despite only meeting each other on rare occasions, it felt as though we'd been gathering together in just such a way for a very long time - like getting together with old and valued friends.

So, a short post today to say thanks to India, big hugs to Eva, who was sorely missed, and yay to Amanda's suggestion that we do it again - soon. Oh, and not forgetting the point of this post - thanks to all of you out there who come and visit us from time to time - writing friends one and all - you can't beat 'em!


Monday, December 04, 2006

Holiday Get To Know You Questionnaire

Another collaborative post, this time thanks to Amanda.

Eva's responses to the first 6 (of 20) get-to-know-you holiday questions:
  1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
    Both are dairy based, so no way, josé! (Actually, I used to make my own egg nog, raw eggs and all. I figure salmonella makes a bout of lactose intolerance seem like a walk in a X-mas lit park. So perhaps I'm better off with a restricted diet.)

  2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
    He definitely does not wrap. The man, together with his elves, is much too busy for tape, paper and gift tags.

  3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white?
    For the past several years we've been journeying across an ocean for the holidays, typically staying three weeks at a time, which makes for a very unhealthy tree back home. So we've relied on my mother's tree, which boasts every colour in the rainbow. This year, back in Canada for good and in our own home with 10-foot high ceilings, a Christmas tree is a must, as are white lights...only.

  4. Do you hang mistletoe?
    Never. Being forced to kiss friends and family indiscriminately could very well take the charm out of the holiday season.

  5. When do you put your decorations up?
    I'm thinking now might be a good time. (This past weekend in Montreal we had our first significant snowfall. Utterly beautiful!)

  6. What is your favourite holiday dish?
    Nothing in particular, apart from the homemade sweets.

  7. India's responses

  8. Favourite holiday memory as a child?
    My grandparents lived in a huge and beautiful Tudor hall and one year I remember being there with all my cousins when Father Christmas came. All the lights were switched off, and we heard distant sleigh bells, then the door opened and he came into the firelit room. I was totally spellbound, and utterly convinced it was the real thing. Ours was the sort of untidy, busy (permanently gin-soaked) family that didn't usually get around to doing things like that, so it was very special and very memorable. He gave me a silver locket, which I still have somewhere.

  9. When did you learn the truth about Santa?
    What do you mean?

  10. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
    No, never! (well, I did once, but my brother told on me. I haven't since — honest!)

  11. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
    With cutting-edge cool, of course. This year I've gone for an ironic-industrial theme, featuring glitter-sprayed used car parts tied on with lengths of electrical flex. (OK, I have an impressive collection of pasta-based Christmas decorations hand-crafted by four year olds. One year I'm sure I'll read in Elle Decoration that they've become the epitome of festive chic.)

  12. Snow! Love it or dread it?
    Love, love, love.

  13. Can you ice skate?
    No. But I can ice a cake.... does that count?

  14. Do you remember your favourite gift?
    The first Christmas I spent with my husband (before he was my husband and was just a sweet boy with a huge overdraft) we lived in a tiny, damp studio flat with no heating, and he gave me a pair of soft, stripey M&S men's pyjamas. These contrasted very sharply with the useless little scraps of peach satin and lace masquerading as nightwear given to me by previous boyfriends and I loved them — and him for his sweetness and practicality. (However, the Black and Decker sander he gave me the following year didn't go down so well, proving that too much practicality can be a bad thing.)

  15. Annie's responses

  16. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you?
    Time off work, good food, fine wine and selective company.

  17. What is your favourite holiday dessert?
    I'm a traditionalist so Xmas pudding, double cream and brandy butter.

  18. What is your favourite holiday tradition?
    Old family tradition — walking after lunch.

  19. What tops your tree?
    The fairy from the Christmas trees of my childhood.

  20. Which do you prefer — giving or receiving?
    No preference. I'm equally happy doing either.

  21. What is your favourite Christmas song?
    "Walking in the Air" sung by Aled Jones — taken from the animated film "The Snowman", which I watch over and over and over every Christmas.

  22. Candy canes — yuck or yum?
    Before Xmas pudd, cream and brandy butter — yum; after — yuck.

Now it's time to announce who we're tagging: Sue aka MsCreativity, Susan Stephens, and Brown.

And Happy Holidays to all!!!

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