This is the third Christmas and New Year we have celebrated in Cardiff and have settled in to urban living again. I was quite glad to be in the city when the snow came. The first snowfall caused very little problem here and the second only caused problems for a few days. JW  struggled out manfully to the shops for fresh food but I usually have a siege mentality anyway and keep a full larder and freezer. I think this is a legacy from the war time childhood when my mother preserved everything that could be preserved reinforced when we lived out in the country for twenty years!

I heard from a friend in the village we lived in before and their roads have been blocked, they have had water cuts and electricity cuts, so we have been very lucky.

I hope you all had the Christmas you hoped for.

We had a pleasant and quiet sort of time. Christmas Day was spent sharing our traditional fare with our neighbour who lives alone, (we have two more elderly neighbours who live alone  but they were catered for by their extended families)

On Boxing day we had a buffet tea when Jennie  and co. came round. Handsome and Cheeky had been treated very well by Santa Claus and both they and GG were highly delighted with his generosity 🙂

The rest of the week was spent reflecting on the past year whilst doing the housework. I don’t know whether it was tradition or superstition but my mother always thought that the house had to be clean and the washing done and accounts up to date before the New Year and, since old habits are hard to shake off, I follow her ways!

It was lovely to hear from old friends and relatives. I am so glad that we have this point in the year when we are prodded into keeping in touch with everyone. I love the cards which enclose letters (even round robin letters) so that I know how things are with my old friends and their (ever growing) families. Of course they are very mixed in their news,some sad news, which I suppose we have to expect now that we are in our seventies, but it is still sad when I have to cross a few off my Christmas list —Alice who died one month after her 100th birthday, Freda 89 and Val one of my schoolfriends, but especially sad was the death of the son of one of my friends who was only in his thirties.

Most of the letters were happy though and contained news of new hobbies taken up in retirement, travels they have taken and photos of new grandchildren and their achievements.

I had been a bit worried when cards didn’t arrive from two elderly cousins, but they had been delayed by the inclement weather and arrived with the next post after Christmas. Both are well and looking forward to their 90th birthdays this year. Mabel has already booked three holidays for this year!

I hope 2011 will bring you all you hope for for yourselves and your families.

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