Christmas in July

Warning – this post contains loads and loads of photos!!!!
My favourite time of year is Christmas. Christmas 2013 was spent in Ireland, as will Christmas 2014. I will be with family but not my Mum. The below is a photo of my mum carrying a Christmas Pudding made and saved since December. The recipe for the pudding is 150 years old and belonged to her great grandmother. It is the most delicious thing I have ever tasted and is my favourite seasonal treat.
My Mum made one back in December, and saved it for me to have when I came home! Even though it was 30 degrees that Christmas pudding drowned in fresh cream never tasted so good. Christmas in July, in the back garden I grew up in, with my whole family (including my sister who recently returned from Italy) was a special moment I wont be forgetting any time soon. 
Of course Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without seeing everyone, so the following day we drove down to the West Sussex coast to lunch and spend time with my Nanny and Grandy. We went to Roundstone Pick Your Own farm, a place I have been visiting for years. In fact I think I first visited when I was about Luis’ age. Sadly we have yet to find a PYO farm here in Ireland, its such a great day out and the kids just love it! (any PYO recommendations not too far from Westmeath would be welcomed!)

The highlight is the tractor ride around the fields.

Yes it was very hot, and very sunny, in fact – I’m lying to you all about being in England, the below photo was actually taken in the south of France…. 

We also visited Highdown Gardens, another blast from the past for me. There is something about watching your children enjoying the same things that you enjoyed as a child that gives you the warm and fuzzies. I could totally relate to them loving running around by the pond, and in the loop around a big flower bed, just like I had done with my sister 15 years ago!

There is always one….nice face Maxi!!!

We met my Nan and Grandy for lunch. 12 of us all sat around the table. This could possibly be one of the last times we are together, and everyone at the table, including my 94 year old Nan knew it. Which kind of made it all the more special and quite emotional. After lunch it was back to my grandparents house for play in the garden.

The above dolls house lives at my grandparents house and was lovingly rescued from a skip outside house in Balham by my Mum sometime during 1992. My Grandy, who is so handy he can even mend piano’s, restored it, painted it, and even carpeted the stairs. My Nanny made curtains and furniture.  I received it one Christmas and it was the most awesome present ever.

Amelie and Vivienne both sat and played with it quietly, arranging the furniture and moving in the little animals (I’m not sure why, but people never lived in this house, only little woodland animals like bunnies and squirrels. It strikes me as quite odd which makes me think it probably had something to do with my sister).

Below is my Nanny Peg and Grandy with baby Cora. She is their fifth great grandchild.  When I am old I want to be exactly like them. They are married 60 something years now, he cant see so she acts as his eyes, she cant remember so he is her memory – constantly reminding her of stories, what day it is, what is for dinner. They aren’t all over each-other or all lovey dovey, but you can tell they are still so in love just by being present for each other. 

Grandy said it best when he looked directly at Nanny and said “Peggy, this maybe the last time we are all together”, then they both laughed!!! 

Another classic toy that was brought out of the depths of the garage. The WigWam. Again this is Nanny and Grandy tag team effort. Nanny Peg sewed it, Grandy printed and assembled it, I loved and played in it for years and years.

Side note – I was an only child until I was 8 and the first grandchild on both sides of the family – hence the awesome presents!!!

Here is my sister and I recreating cowboys and Indians. Pow pow pow.

 Here is Cora and Amelie making the WigWam look a lot cuter (and bigger) than my sissy and I.

Lastly here is our group shot. Amazing to think about what those two oldies have seen and been through. We are a funny family unit, one that has changed a lot in just a few short years and one that is in some respects still finding its feet. But we had a great day together, and we undoubtedly love each other very much (well apart from Luis who was having a little strop during this photo). I have many of these group shots, one for each time we added a child, one at my mum and Chris’ wedding, one at my wedding, somewhere in the depths of my attic I even have some with my Mum, Dad and Grandparents with my sister and I as kids. There are many more group shots to come too – my sisters wedding, her children, we will add people but inevitably lose people along the way as well, which makes moments like these even more wonderful than they already are.

Well done if you made it all the way to the end of this post. We arrived home yesterday after a mammoth trip so I wanted to get these photos up to share with family asap. Normal-ish posting will resume soon, with less photos!!

19 thoughts on “Christmas in July

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