Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Happy New Year and a Short Blogging Break.

I’m going to be away from my blog for a short while but normal service should be resumed at the end of January. Thank you to all my loyal blogging friends and to all readers of this blog, I will miss you and will be anxious to catch up with your news when I return. Thanks for being such lovely friends.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Jolly St. Nick

A dear, good old fellow is Jolly St. Nick;
Girls and boys, every one, think he is a brick;
On the night before Christmas he comes with his sleigh,
Which carries of presents a splendid array.

When he comes to a house-top, his reindeer he stops,
then down through the chimney he easily drops;
It's strange he can do it, he's not at all slim,
but at climbing no monkey or cat can beat him.

He knows where the stockings are hung in a row,
he fills them with treasures, and doesn't work slow;
For Mary and Bessie, for Tommie and Jack,
There are candy and toys in his wonderful pack.

Up the chimney he hurries, and jumps in his sleigh;
In an instant his deer are again on their way,
while their bells jingle gaily and fill him with mirth;
and this way the jolly Saint travels the earth.

Poem from the night before Christmas and other Christmas poems published by Barse & Hopkins, New York c1907 with illustrations by Hugo von Hofsten.

I love the picture of the children and mama and papa all sleeping in the same room and the one of St. Nick taking toys from his sack. I'm not sure a pipe-smoking Santa would be very popular now, but it's important to remember the book was published over a hundred years ago.

The night before Christmas and other Christmas poems has been part of my collection for a very long time. It's in poor condition with missing plates and damage to the binding, but it was given to me by a dear friend and is very precious to me.

Do you have a forever book?  The one book that is long past its best but is still too precious to part with?


Our two little granddaughters are so excited about Christmas and can't wait for Santa's visit. We won’t be able to share the excitement with them this year, but we are all determined to get together next Christmas and in the meantime our son and daughter in law keep us well supplied with photographs. These are some of our recent favourites;  

Zoe in classic ballet pose 

and Little Lilly having fun. 

Zoe, Lilly and Santa.
A dear, good old fellow is Jolly St. Nick!

Christmas wishes and love from Barbara, Terry and all the family xxx 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

And the Winners are...

Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment or enter the Christmas Giveaway.

Little Noddy will soon be on the way to Stephanie from The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow.

The Magic Spectacles will soon be watching over Teressa at Window on the World.

Pussy Cat & her kittens will soon be purring for Anne Marie at Beetles, Bikes & Books.

Bunny and his Woodland Friends can't wait to visit Anita at the delightful Castles Crowns and Cottages.

A Bright Red Lorry is on the road to Tracy at 

Fiona from World of Blyton will soon be enjoying these two early readers

Fun and games to be had by Yvonne at Winter Moon.

The sweet little ducklings are making their way to Sue at The Secret Agency 

My thanks to everyone who took the time to enter, Tweet, Facebook and Google+. 

Congratulations to the winners I will be contacting you all later today.  For those of you who were unlucky this time I’m sure to do another giveaway next year.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Guest Post: Gingerbread Castle By Donna Yates

Hello friends of Barbara.

I’m honored that Barbara has asked me to make an appearance on her blog since hers is one of my favorites.

My name is Donna but I use DM Yates as my professional name. I am an author and a poet and how I love to write!

I was a quiet shy child who spent my summers at the library. Nothing made me happier than traveling to other places through the written words of a story. One day my mother surprised me with ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’ by Robert Louis Stevenson. My favorite poem was ‘The Swing’ and I still love it. It was because of this book that I decided to give to the world my stories and poems.

Donna and her twin brother Don 

My twin brother once told me I began my writing career as soon as a teacher put a pencil in my hand and I learned how to read. I do know I spent my life writing stories and poems but I didn't decide to make a career of it until my later years.

I believe that within each story lies a treasure to be discovered by the reader and that makes me want to write even more. I veer towards fantasy and I write in fantasy/new age/spiritual/romance genres.

Last year I wrote and illustrated my first children’s holiday rhyme book for ages 7 to 9 years old called ‘Gingerbread Castle.’ It’s the story of a special castle in dreamland where children can play games, eat treats, ride a train and slide down an enormous slide back to their beds. I wanted a sweet story about a place any child would want to visit with huge teddy bears, gingerbread men, and a reading room where an owl reads from books.

You see, I love gingerbread because when it’s so cold outside and snowy, gingerbread warms you with all its spices and it’s often colorfully decorated so I just had to write a story about a castle made of gingerbread.

Excerpt: Before you can blink, to Dreamland you’ll go
Can you believe it? You’re sledding in snow.
The red sleigh is pulled by two jaunty reindeer
steered by Jimmy the Elf who’s full of good cheer.

I want to thank you so much for taking time to get to know me and I especially want to thank my dear friend Barbara for this wonderful opportunity.

Donna’s website: http://dmyates.weebly.com
Donna’s facebook page: https://facebook.com/DMYatesAuthor
Donna on twitter: @merridm

Wishing love, honor, and respect to all of you.

Thank you so much Donna. The photograph of you with your brother is adorable!

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