Below is St Leonard's Church in the village of Scarcliffe in Derbyshire. It was very, very cold in the churchyard yesterday as we placed a holly wreath on Mum and Dad's grave. Paul and I were married at this church as were my sister and brother-in-law. Just a week before our wedding in April there was snow on the ground but it had cleared away and as we stood in church the sun came out and filtered through the leaded windows.
This is a view of the village from Foxes Hill - completely surrounded by snow. We experienced many cold winters here in the 1950s and 1960s. I remember waking up to frost and ice on the inside of the bedroom windows; the way we all gathered around an open fire at night not wanting to face the cold bedrooms upstairs even though hot water bottles had been placed in the beds an hour before. I remember cold waits for buses that never got through into the village. In the bad winter of 1962/63 the bus did get through to take us to school but it came off the road and ended up on a slope. We all had to clamber out of the emergency door at the back and the head girl at the time, who lived in the village, marched us all to school in twos through the cold and snowy lanes.
I love opening up the boxes of decorations and remembering what we have and sorting out which items will go on which tree. I do like colours to match so we have a red and green theme above and a gold and green one on the tree below which is in the sitting room.
I was reading somewhere the other day about the most unusual Christmas present you had ever received. Well, it wasn't particularly unusual but my Aunt Millicent Mabel, known as Auntie Millie, always gave me and my mother a hand made apron and a huge bar of chocolate. One year we went to visit and take our cards and present to her and she handed ours to us with the words -'here's your presents - I haven't been feeling well so you'll have to sew up the aprons yourselves'. When we opened them up on Christmas Day there was the chocolate and the cut out pieces of the apron all ready to sew together. I remember waking one Christmas to find my pillow case of presents and sitting on top was a blue and white panda. I still have the panda, although it is more grey and grey nowadays, in a box with two other bears that I can't bear to part with. I remember receiving things like pens and pencils, colouring and puzzle books, a selection box, Secret Seven or Famous Five books, a board game, Mr potato head and a favourite of mine - a fuzzy felt circus! What childhood presents do you remember?