Christmas Greetings and New Year thoughts….

It’s been a little while since my last post – I am not catholic but that sounded quite like a confession to me! Between recovering from my operation, hubby having an operation and Christmas looming fast there just didn’t seem to be enough time to think let alone bake! I can finally reveal my Christmas cake decorations. I have never made decorations like these before and they are a bit lumpy but for my first exploration into the world of sugar craft figures I was fairly pleased with them.

Kim s Christmas Cake 1

I made four cakes from Mary Berry‘s fast mincemeat recipe. One cake for hubby and I, one for his mum and dad, one for my mum and one for good friends Bet & Ian who also bred  our two beautiful dogs. I decorated 2 with an eskimo sitting up fishing and 2 with an eskimo laying in his igloo fishing. I then put them in cake boxes and made big labels with a picture of Father Christmas and words to the effect of made by L&K Bakery at Santa’s Workshop…a bit of fun.

Kim's Christmas Cake 2

It’s this time of year when everything and everyone seem to go mad and rush out spending. This year, I didn’t do that, I just watched those around me dashing back and forth. The only rush I had was to get presents wrapped for family in Somerset and do the present run down there in the middle of that dreadful weather. Whether you get lots of presents or none, whether you feast on turkey and all the trimmings or have a sandwich, I think that Christmas feeling begins and ends within you and you do not need to spend a lot of money or stress out cooking loads of stuff to enjoy this time of year. My favourite times are just curling up on the sofa with hubby and the dogs watching a Christmas feel good movie such as Miracle of 34th Street- either version , or The Santa Clause, or a variety of other old favourites.

New year is looming and people always ask what you are doing to mark this. I personally think that you are made to feel like a no body or a kill joy if you are not invited to a party or a celebration. The best new year‘s Eve’s I have had have been with either my other half or just a few friends or family.

I hope that 2014 brings you peace and happiness. I hope for hubby and I that it will bring a more settled year……and that I get to finish this challenge before the year is out!

P.S. Hubby here :0)

Well it’s certainly been another interesting year and have to admit at times, incredibly stressful… Sadly some of that stress will continue at least into the beginning of 2014, but by always supporting each other, we both hope that a whole heap of sh*te can be put behind us.

As for me, well by the middle of the year I find that my shoulder isn’t sorted and that further surgery would result in a 50% chance of losing the use of my arm!!! Let’s just say any further arm surgery is, funnily enough, on hold LOL. If it’s not one joint, then it’s another; Suppose that’s the joy of having a bone disease, but further hip surgery just before Christmas appears to have been a great success thank god.

I can’t say I’ve done much photography at all this year, for some reason time just seemed to run away from us, although I have spent a lot of time this year enhancing my PhotoShop skills, especially in areas of HDR (High Dynamic Range).

So what does 2014 hold in store for the two of us? God only knows, but as long as we have the two hairy hooligans with us, we’ll be fine and face it head on. I just pray that 2014 is far less stressful than the past 12 months and that Kim and I can focus more on the things that we both love doing.

Well that’s all from me for now, at least until 12 months time. I too would just like to wish you all a very happy New Year and a peaceful and fulfilling 2014.

We would both like to thank you for reading and following our blog, mainly Kim’s baking challenge of course, and we hope that you enjoy the future posts to come :0)

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Tis the Season to be Jolly !!!!

So where do we start about the last 12 months?

It’s certainly been an interesting time.  Lewis had every intention of posting far more blogs about photography, but since completing his photography qualification he hasn’t actually taken that many photographs.  This MUST change for 2013!!!

Kim sat and watched The Great British Bake Off, oh god what a mistake that was!!!  After watching a few episodes, Kim thought it would be an excellent idea to buy Mary Berry’s baking bible and then choose one recipie a week.  Well what’s the point in setting yourself a challenge if nobody knows about it? This is where Lewis came up with the idea that Kim should blog about her baking experiences and share it with those who were interested and wished to read or follow the blog.  Hence Kim’s account on WordPress was created…….

Has it been a success?  Well we certainly think so and we would both like to thank our new followers, not forgetting our existing ones, this year and hope that this blog has bought some interesting reading as well as enjoyment.

So what about Lewis?  Well in January he required surgery on his right shoulder and even now it’s still not fully resolved.  It was such a re-assurance when the Consultant said to him “oh it can take up to 18 months for a shoulder to fully heal….”   Oh cheers, thanks for telling me after the surgery!!!! :0)

Due to having a lack of function in his arm, Lewis hasn’t really done much, but hopes to be far more active in 2013.  Lewis hopes without a doubt that not only will he be able to take plenty of beauitful images, but that people may even wish to purchase the images created by Lullingstone Photography, better known as Lewis & Kim….

So what else has happened?  Oh yes, we nearly forgot.  Lewis’ parents decided to downsize from what had been his childhood home and so where do they move to?  Well of course it has to be next door to us!!!!

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “You can’t choose your parents….”,  well guess what, you can’t choose where they live either !!!!   LOL  :0)

Joking apart after a 16 week re-development project, we both hope they have many happy years in their new home, although we’re still waiting for them to actually move in……

Then of course we have the Olympics and Paralympics!!!  WOW is basically all one can say about that.  Whether you like sport or not, no one can deny that we have had the most incredible year of sport.  The achievements of our various sports men and women in their respective disciplines has been absolutely incredible.  The Olympics seemed to be over in a heartbeat which is something we can’t say about the build up to it.  How many years did we have the media bombarding us with Olympic gems?  Far too long would have been the answer.

BUT….. then the Paralympics Opening ceremony began and slowly people were amazed at how a legless man could run, or how someone with one leg could actually ride a bicycle and STILL whip the butts of your average able bodied person!!!  Sure there were plenty of jokes going around; Some were tasteless and some were just down right hilarious…    On that note, we really have to praise the Australian Adam Hills who presented the programme “The Last Leg” which was incredibly funny.  One can only applaud Channel 4 for allowing such a programme that really did break down barriers between disabled and abled body.  We would urge anyone who missed it to try and download it.  It must be on the Internet somewhere :0)

So the whole of the UK were in awe of the competitors and for very good reason.  They were ALL truly inspirational, whether they were winners or losers…  In our eyes, they were ALL WINNERS !!!!

Generally speaking it has actually been a rather quiet year, until we got to December.  Kim had been having some pain and so goes to see the GP. After some investigations, she finds herself with a rapid referral to the hospital and told that surgery is needed…..

So we’re waiting for a date for surgery on the NHS….  Well that’s likely to be a few months then right?  WRONG !!!!

A letter came through from the hospital a few days ago and the date is…….  Yep, it’s New Year’s Eve!!!!  We certainly won’t forget this year in a hurry.

This obviously means that Kim’s baking blog is going to suffer a hiatus for a few weeks whilst she fully recovers.  We both hope that 2013 brings a better year for the both of us in many different ways……

Bailey & Michka - Christmas 2012There are two things that keep us relaxed and relieve any stress and those of course are our two hairy hooligans Bailey and Michka.  It’s wonderful to say that they have both managed to stay in good health.  Without a doubt they will provide Kim with plenty of comfort and love when she comes out of hospital in the New Year…. :0)

We wish you all a very joyous and Happy Christmas and hope that you have a prosperous New Year.  We hope that 2013 is good to you all and is even better than 2012.

Lewis, Kim, Bailey & Michka  :0)

Tis the Festive Season!!! :0)

Not long to go till we will be sitting down with my parents stuffing ourselves with Christmas dinner, courtesy of Mr Marks and Mr Spencer!!!

I’m sure it was only yesterday that we were doing the same thing. Maybe it’s only me, but this year seems to have flown by and 2012 is looming just around the corner… Dare I mention the London Olympics?

So what have we been upto this year? Dare I say not much really, or just the usual daily life, although there was one BIG difference this year…. Canada!!!

We’d been talking about this trip for at least 5 years and finally the time had arrived where we’d dare stick me on a plane and pray to god that I didn’t go splat and have some allergic reaction……

Before we come to Canada, there was one other little event… Yes I turned 40!!! Do I feel any different? Hummmm I can honestly say NO and still have the same pains I had at the beginning of the year.

So now to Canada…. Yippeeee!!!! Yes, I know the majority, if not all, of our blog site is about our Canadian adventure and my god what a holiday it was… What a country!!! The hardest thing must have been putting the dogs into kennels and obviously the best bit was landing and going straight to the airport to collect them, but it’s the 15 days that happened in between…

We are just hoping to win big on the lottery now so that we can pack up and permanently leave UK Plc for some remaining, beautiful Wilderness… Yep, we’d probably give anything to up sticks and settle in Canada. Let’s be honest, who can blame us?

Hopefully it won’t be another 5 years, but only time will tell….

We both hope that you have had a fantastic year and made some exciting memories.

Raising our imaginary glasses we would like to make a toast to you all and your families at this festive time of year and wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope that you have a peaceful and prosperous 2012!!!

Lewis & Kim Brown

P.S. and not a single mention of a camera or any photography for that matter…. Just watch this space as we’ll try and change that for 2012 :0)