Thursday, 11 December 2008

The X factor.....(and a small giveaway)

Don't worry...this isn't about the controversial.. love it or loathe it.. talent show..
If you peer very closely you... you will see an X painted on our front door....The door of a germ ridden house!
My boys have succumbed to the dreaded coldy .. fluey.. bug that is doing the festive rounds and our home is currently awash with soggy tissues.. coughs.. splutters and the usual moans that you would expect from the male quarter.. Who said women were the weaker sex.. Ha!?
I am reaching out to touch the wooden table as I say this.. but as yet.. I haven't had a cough or a sneeze.. so hopefully I will be spared the seasonal sniffles.

Despite the feeling of living on the set of Casualty..I have enjoyed this week immensely... harping back to weather matters.. the mornings here have been sublime.. stunning.... and downright cold!
The skies at dawn have had me running around the house looking for the camera.. which is never where I left it before.. and snapping the incredible painted landscapes that have decorated our view from the house..
How about this one for starters.. yesterday morning...
Or this Blake like...shaft of light that burnt its way through the clouds...Unfortunately.. my rather amateurish attempts at being arty with the camera ...didn't do justice to this shocking pink sky and silhouetted trees..If you squint.. it might improve the picture..??Being true to my winter habits.. I am very happy to hibernate indoors.. albeit with the coughing crew... but at the end of the day...If you would like to tell me what it is that warms your cockles... then please share your comment with me and I will choose my favourite on Sunday 14th December teatime 'ish.. and send the recipient some Horace cards...and a few little extra surprises..... sorry..not Pickles!

Bon chance mes amies!

P.s April... 1000 apologies for not doing your tag.. yet! I will give it some thought just as soon as I have some space to think.. I haven't forgotten!


Elizabeth said...

Huge sympathy to the coughing crew - I'm very slowly recovering from the dreaded lurgy, and it made me feel really yuk. Keeping my fingers crossed for you that you don't catch it.

I have to say that not being a winter person at all what is really warming my cockles at the moment is knowing that it's only 10 days or so until the shortest day, and then things will improve little by very little each day.

Gina said...

What beautiful photos... even the fuzzy one! A log fire in the evening does it for me. Hope everyone is feeling better soon and you don't succumb to the lurgy.

. said...

I hope everybody will be well soon.


the flour loft said...

Hope your boys recover soon Michele and that you manage to avoid going down with it. As we all know that would mean soldiering on as we women do with barely time to take to our beds.
At this time of year being all together in a cosy house with hot drink and warm mince pies warms my cockles.
with love
ginny xx

Gem said...

Hope everyone is soon feeling better. All the blokes at work are suffering from manflu so you have my sympathy!
I love this time of year and the thing that warms my cockles is:
Being in my cosy front room with the Christmas lights twinkling, my cats curled up on the sofa and mince pies and baileys :) Yummy

Anonymous said...

Bad luck Michele, a touch of the sneezles and wheezles is a terrible lurgy indeed. I hope you can keep those germs at bay. Your rosy view of the world is lovely (the pics I mean) who cares about the focus. Blake would be proud of you. Keep well. Eli

Country Cottage Chic said...

Poor boys! You really should be more sympathetic - you know that man flu is far, far worse than anything we get!! ;-)

I think my favourite cockle warmer has to be a winter "pyjama day" when my children stay in their PJs all day , curled up on the sofa watching childhood favourites on DVD. Even though they are teenagers now they are not averse to a dose of Aladdin, Finding Nemo or Jumanji....of course this has to be accompanied by a fire & large mugs of hot chocolate topped with piles of cream & chocolate sprinkles.

I know that once Miss C flies the nest for part of the year come September, these days will be few & far between so especially precious.

Ragged Roses said...

Oh no not the two Messrs Custard, both poorly at once and you with all those stairs to run and up down... Heartfelt sympathies to you all, methinks lots of tea and tunnocks this afternoon is on the card for ta famille.
My warm fuzzy feeling comes at the end of the week on Friday night when Mr Roses comes home, knowing that we have two whole days together as a family. Also, just before christmas, last day at work over, shopping completed and you can sit down, light a fire, have a cup of tea and really enjoy ...

Tea with Willow said...

Lovely photos - just magical! Sorry your house is down with the lurgy .. I've a splitting headache today, which makes me wonder if it's on its way?! Quick, reach for the vitamin c and zinc tabs, methinks!

What warms my cockles is having all my kitties (& hens!) safely tucked up in bed, or on the sofa, and my family all around me - pj's on watching something festive on tv!

Willow x

ArtShades said...

Saturday nights snuggled up on the sofa wrapped in fleecy blankets watching Strictly and X-Factor; one son cuddled up with me on my sofa and the other with his Daddy over on his sofa. A glass of wine and a few nibbles too. Oh and also watching them toast pink and white marshmallows on skewers over the fire halfway through the evening!

Flossie and Tom said...

crossed the two little people seem ok so far and the man of the house never gets anything !!

The things that warm the cockles of my heart if I'm feeling under the weather are : and these are what my nanna and grandad used to do for us if we were ill :

A comfy bed on the sofa, with a tartan car rug, hot water bottle and a small hot toddy (a dash of whisky, sugar and hot water).

Even the smell makes me feel loved and snuggly.

Merry Christmas


Kitschen Pink said...

I don't mind being mum to the poorly men but the soggy tissues drive me nuts! eeugh! At least we no longer have to boil cloth handkies!! Double eughh!
My cockles get warmed by the three of us being home together sharing the sofa, the doors open on the woodburner, a fun family film and homemade fudge with pots of tea. mmmmm. I'm off to make that fudge ready for the weekend!!
I'm having a little giveaway too - do pop over! t.xx

carolyn said...

Not Mr Pickles?
Sorry to hear that the household is plague ridden, this should at least mean that everyone will be well for Christmas. Fingers crossed.
What warms the cockles of my heart on a cold and frosty morning? Well a cold and frosty morning and the beautiful clear blue sky that so often goes hand in hand with the frost. The quality of the light, the vibrancy of the colour. Wonderful, it makes you glad to be alive.

The Whispering Poppies said...

Oh I do hope your men are on the mend quickly!!!

What warms my cockles? Well, these days, when the house is freezing at night (and I mean COLD - hubby turns the heat wayyyy down at night)... we let the littlest ones into our bed to warm it up -- they snuggle first and fall asleep, then when we go to bed, it's nice and toasty (but rather crowded, so you see it is a rare treat)! lol

Simone said...

I hope your men get well soon! The cockles of my heart are warmed by the kind words, generosity and support shown to and by fellow bloggers during these financially difficult times. Despite all the gloom and doom in the media there is a spark of hope when I log on to the internet and am welcomed into a community that contradicts the tide of despair. Phew! That was a long comment for me but it is truly heartfelt.

Kitsch and Curious Elaine said...

Hope your men are better soon and you don't succumb!

Cockle-warming? Coming indoors to a warm house after a nippy winter walk in the afternoon, just before it gets dark, having a nice cuppa or bowl of soup (homemade would be good, but it's usually Covent Garden!), and watching a great old black and white film (Bette Davis or an Ealing comedy, maybe), leaving the curtains open and not bothering to put on the lights, while the winter sky gradually gets dark outside.

Sal said...

Hi Michele! ;-)

My own motto has always been,

'A smile costs nothing.'

A smile creates happiness and warmth...receive one and it is a joy!
Give one and you feel good.
A smile can light up the day...or night.
Thus it has to be a smile (or even a host of them), which warms my cockles!

;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)

April said...

Hope everyone feels better soon and no rush on the tag!

What warms my cockles is being snuggled up warm in the house, reading a good book or watching a good film - Little Women always seems a Christmassy film to me (I love the June Allyson/Elizabeth Taylor one) with warm slippers on (I hate having cold feet) with a large mug of hot chocolate and ideally a big bar of Galaxy (nothing else will do) to dip in it.

April xx

Garden Girl said...

Ah, I am indeed a MASSIVE winter person, although frosty winter, not wet winter. My cockle warmer(!) would have to be Sunday afternoon, fire, snuggly blanket and a film on the go. With a big pot of tea, a pile of books and papers and a slab of fruit cake. And perhaps a glass of something fruity later on!
Hope you are all taking your vitamins, stay warm and snuggled up. xxxxx

Greentwinsmummy said...

Being first one down here when its pitch black & silent outside & sitting by the woodburner,watching the flames dance,quiet solitude,quite rare here lol!that sets me up for the day :o) I adore my winter early mornings x

Hope your boys get better soon! we have been plagued with bugs yeuchh lets hope they are all gone by Christmas :o)

GTM x x x x

Josie-Mary said...

Hope your boys get better soon.
Now what warms my cockles....
I love winter... so most things make me happy. but the best has to be an afternoon nap, snuggled up in bed pretending to watch TV... I like to do this to the Waltons!!!
(Thinking about it I do this in the summer too!!!!) :)

jane and the happy crow said...

Hope you are still feeling OK and the boys on the mend. Ive been stuck with a cold all week that just wont seem to get past that horrible first day of a cold feeling just wish it would develop or go away!

My cockle warming moments are sitting by the fire with just one lamp on, a big fat cat spilling over my lap, another sat one side of me and my little doggie the other, a nice drink on the table and the new edition (unread by anyone) of Country Living in my hands. What more do you need of a winter evening?! The cat on the lap always does it for me at anytime though. Lots of Love Jane xxx

julia said...

Walking up our path and seeing the fire has been lit in my absence always thrills me, particularly as it means I've been saved the yuck job of clearing out the damn thing!
Hope you're all recovering from the dreaded lurgy, two of us are down with it here, but we're the female contingent and we're fighting on!
Have to say that I was so excited to see your tiles on the path, having bought exactly the same ones and worrying about how they'd look. I can now rest assured that they'll look fab!
Have a lovely weekend
Julia xx

Linda Lilly Cottage said...

Oh no poor you, sick males are not much company!! Love those phots and yes I did squint but it looked much the same, pretty!! Hope all improves on the health front soon. Kiss Noises Linda Lilly Cottage

Vanessa said...

I bet you are been run ragged by the Mr Custards in your household!

What warms my cockles is closing all the curtains/blinds in the house as soon as it starts getting dark.

Vanessa x

pebbledash said...

Definitely some mulled wine. Plenty of it!! Hope the men in your life are feeling better. I'd love to win the cards for my big sis - she has several rabbits and sadly one died last week, so it would cheer her up.
Love all the photos - I yearn for frost but it doesn't often reach us right down here!
Happy weekend!
Diana x

cocoa and blankets said...

I love the tiles outside your house...I remember tearing up our carpet to see if our tiles went right down the hall, unfortunately just to the the pic's the second one looks like Bethlehem..(In my imagination) I am feeling sorry for myself with the flu ype bug and bad tummy...but had to go to work..too much to do - A level groups who would have them?

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Michele,
Hope you have made it sneeze-free and will be able to enjoy a lovely relaxing weekend.

My cockles are warmed on the last day of the school term before Christmas. We have always waited till this day to buy our Christmas tree and do all the decorating in the evening...My youngest doesn't break up until the 19th, so another week to wait! I still get excited, probably more than the girls do, but its a very special time.

My eldest is home from Uni later this evening - yippee!
Have a lovely weekend,
Niki x

OhSoVintage said...

Hi Michele
Sorry to hear about the men in your home having colds and hope you escape the lurgy. As a child my mother always brought me a cup of cocoa and a hot water bottle every night and even now, so many years later I don't think you can beat a hottie, an eiderdown and a good book. Sheer bliss!

tea and cake said...

what warms my cockles? Sorry, if it's boring and other people have said it, but it has to be coming in from the bright, bitter cold and sitting, knitting, beside the log burner, aaahhh bliss!
hope the coughs are all gone, x

This Vintage Life... said...

Dear MIchele, The Custard gentleman have my other half came home on Thursday with (another) stinking cold and I can feel it starting now too.
My cockles are warmed in a what seems to be a popular way! Cosying up on the sofa, house all warm, everybody I love nearby (husband, dog, cat. Chicken can't be there obviously but I know she's safe!)nose in a good book and wonderful music on the wireless...bliss!
Have a lovely weekend
deb x

Jenny said...

I love winter (apart from the non-stop rain that started yesterday). I can't wait to get home from work, make a fire and have a large glass of red wine :)

Margie said...

Hi Michele, I am crossing my fingers for you that the family recovers and that you stay bug free. The photo of the town in the morning is so pretty, it would make a great postcard.
Just like nearly everyone else leaving comments here, I feel cozy from top to toe if I am home with family, by the stove, in my pj's crafting and drinking Earl Grey or Lemon and Honey Tea, with an old film on the tv. hugs Margie.

Carol said...

Well many things at the moment warm mine!
I love the evenings, no include the afternoons as it is starting to get dark too. Peeping into all the lovely houses with their festives setttings....getting my log fire lit and the candles, ready for a cosy evening, mulled wine on the Aga....mince pies on the glass cake stand....casserole in the oven....a nice relaxed time with my family enjoying all that the darker afternoons and evenings bring.....wrapping up and all getting out together in the cold, then coming home to warm mugs of tea and very much Michele I could go on and on....the bed with its extra thick winter duvet, all plump and waiting for me to climb in and wriggle with delight. Seeing the pressies al;l wrapped in red and white under the tree....the boys in their flannette pj's and socks! their red faces and dribbly kisses!
I am just loving the run up the Christmas so much.
Have a good weekend dear friend.
Carol xxxx

Carol said...

ooopppps sorry for the spelling mihaps....typing too quickly and not checking after is the reason!
Carol xxxx

silverpebble said...

Oof, sorry one of the winter poxes has been calling - miserable aren't they? harsh when ou're only 6 months and our little tubes are so tiny they block up at the drop of a hat.

What warms my cockles? A whisky Mac - part whisky, part Stone's ginger wine, well-toasted crispy crumpets with butter and jam, risotto (with extra parmesan and perhaps some cream added for naughtiness), a quilt to snuggle under, a pair of lovely husband legs to rest my feet on whilst under the quilt. Watching my three year old put her toy monkey to bed and sing him 'twinkle twinkle'. Feeding my tiny, fluffy 6 month old at 10pm each night. Going to sleep knowing the smalls are asleep too. Looking forward to seeing them in the morning...

JenniferB said...

I love Christmas break from school with the kids. We read lots, sing and play piano, bake and eat lots of yummy things and snuggle while doing any and all of the above. It definitely warms my heart and helps me make it through the next several months of winter!

Larkspur said...

Seeing Mr Pickles all curled up and cosy in the box definitely warms my cockles. You have such lovely comments so far I am hesitant to chuck in my two pennies' worth, but I would say getting spontanenous cuddles from my little ones definitely has to be up there for warming my heart. Joyeux Noƫlle!