Having allowed Cy Bear the chance to tell you all about the Tiger Puppets and the New Member of the Cuddlies Family, Harry the Sitting Cat, as the Shop (www.COLDHAMCUDDLIES.Etsy.com) is slowing down to cope with Christmas and the New Year, I decided to use the opportunity of this week's post to wish everyone a thoroughly Blessed Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. (Alas, "Happy" and "Merry" when applied to Christmas these days can have some unfortunate connotations - not that I am sure these could ever be applied to our Friends and Followers!! )
The plans for the Puppets remain on track, although Grandpere Tiger has yet to reach his destination. The tracker on the parcel indicates that he reached the USA, but he has yet to reach his Forever Home with JS and his family in Tulsa, Okalahoma - a victim, doubtless, of the international Christmas mail rush, and super security at all Customs facilities thanks to the unsettling events which we keep hearing about on our news programmes these days. JS has promised to let us know when Grandpere does reach him, and I'm praying (literally) that he'll make it before Christmas, even though he's not exactly a present as such. As a result of this hiatus, it has been mutually agreed that even if completed, the Puppet bodies that have been ordered will not be consigned until after the Christmas/New Year period is over.
Meanwhile, Cy Bear did mention last week that I was intending to make some curtains for the kitchen windows of my new home. The mission has been successfully accomplished and now keep the draughts out, even though the room is somewhat darker than of yore.
These provide an idea of what they look like - and I'm very pleased with the way they have turned out. It's been nearly twenty years since I made any curtains - but I suppose, like the skill of riding a bicycle, once you've acquired it, the knowledge does not go away - merely reposes in the memory, and one hopes it can easily be resurrected when required! This time around, having been asked to help daughter Clare recently when she made a pair for the first time, the memories were still relatively fresh!
Once the curtains were up, I also put up a new ChristmasTree, and decorated it with some baubles and lights that Clare and I had purchased a week or two ago. For the last seven or eight years, Peter and I had had a fibre optic tree which had served our purposes brilliantly. However, in the last two, it had begun to make peculiar, sparking noises when switched on, and last year the transformer had become very hot within a short period of being plugged in. Elder daughter, Philippa, therefore decided that tree had come to the end of it's useful life, and although it accompanied me during the move from Wiltshire, I bowed to her insistence that a new tree should be purchased. Accordingly, having arrived a few days ago, it is now up and lit - by two packs consisting of three AAA batteries. The interesting part will be to see how long the batteries last!
Before any one enquires: the picture on the wall is one that has been part of my life since the 1970's and was a gift from a Chinese priest friend from Hong Kong whom we'd had the pleasure of entertaining and helping after he'd trained in Italy, and had found himself - with no where to stay or any means of getting back to Hong Kong. He arrived on our doorstep one week-day morning and once we'd learned his story, Peter - who was at that time a Catholic journalist - used his connections to not only get an air-ticket home, but also to put his newly acquired priestly skills to good use. He visited parishioners and when he wasn't doing that, he spent the whole time playing (and keeping entertained) daughter Philippa, who was then just over a year old. (Peter was also in charge of a small rural Catholic parish in Suffolk, UK - because the incumbent priest was too ill to fulfill his duties. Part of his duties were to provide priests for the Sunday Masses each week, so, having a genuine priest on site was a great assistance to us at the time! ).
The picture is a silk screen painting of a Chinese Madonna and Child, and we used it as our family Christmas card several years ago. It has travelled everywhere we've been since 1971 and has been joined by similar silk screen pictures of views of the Forbidden City in Beijing - one of which came from our Chinese guest, and the others from a Chinese professor's brother, whom we got to know when we were living in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada between 1975 and 1987! It can be a small world sometimes! All hang in my current living room, and are still referred to as "The Chinese Wall"!
Before we close for Christmas - here's a picture of Cy Bear taking part in a farewell photo session for one of the Dressed Coyotes in our Shop. He's been adopted by a family in Cambridge, UK, and was duly dispatched on Tuesday of this week.
His Forever Friend is a little boy and he's been wrapped up in Christmas paper, which we hope will still be appropriate by the time he arrives at his destination. He too was launched into the turmoil that is known as Royal Mail at Christmas Time, but did travel via a route that should have ended up with him being signed for by 1300 GMT the followingday. We've not heard to the contrary, but we hope that it's a case of "no news, being good news"!(However, if he does arrive late, I've been assured the New Forever Friend has a birthday in February, so Charlie Coyote will become the back-up present for that occasion!)
That means we've no Dressed Coyotes in stock at the moment - as Chuck Coyote found himself a Forever Home at the Craft Fair - which was part of the Kirkby in Ashfield Christmas Carnival on December 5th.
On that hopeful note, I'll close this post! Please take it that Cy Bear is not only bidding Charlie Coyote farewell, but also wishing you all a lovely time with your Families and Friends in the upcoming festive season. I do too!