Christmas 2014   Leave a comment

Really do need to have a new years resolution to write on here more often.  However in the meantime. To anyone who tunes in here on an annual basis – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!Candles

Below are two December sky photos, the first a sunset followed the following morning by a beautiful sunrise. Makes you glad to be alive to see such glorious skies.

December Sunset sunrise                                                and lastly a festive smile fom the Lacrosse field thanks to Joe…festive lacrosse stick

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Posted December 22, 2014 by jaxhicks in Uncategorized

Taking time…Saying thank you…   Leave a comment

Spending time with the family quietly at home over Christmas has been such a joy this year. Usually we are rushing about doing lots of church and school events, visiting people, travelling to and fro. Those things too are enjoyable, but this year has been hard for all the family, with me being ill for the last three months and not having a lot of energy, so we had to cut back on all but the essentials and have found a new closeness in being just four.

Taking time to talk, to listen, to give and receive has been a great gift in itself, quite apart from the presents given and received on Christmas day. The young eyes that lit up with pleasure and surprise at a very small but important rare piece of jewellery that completed a costume linked to a Dr Who companion was a wonderful sight and made all the hours of searching on the internet worthwhile. I was thrilled to receive a small battery powered water feature which reminds me of the phrase ‘my cup runneth over’ and will feature in a worship display very soon I have no doubt!

But over all the gift giving is the gift of family, being together and saying thanks for each other. The love and support cannot be replaced by fancy wrapping paper and we are so grateful to have one another.

Also looking beyond the family to friends who have supported us this year, doing acts of kindness which to them seemed small but which made a huge difference to us and helped our lives be so much easier and the days go smoother without stress. We say thank you, you are our silver linings.silver linings

Posted December 27, 2013 by jaxhicks in Uncategorized

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Christmas 2013   Leave a comment

golden angel

Merry Christmas

May the season be peaceful, fun and full of friends.xx

Posted December 23, 2013 by jaxhicks in Uncategorized

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Lyon, France   Leave a comment

What a fascinating city Lyon is! You confidently set your sat nav and you arrive somewhere totally different but it has the address you put in

…later …much later we found out there are three section to Lyon all with the same addresses. Good job we asked.  So we managed to find a shopping centre (I’m good at that!) which was next to the Radisson Hotel – now the Radisson  is a really huge cylindrical red building that you can see from miles away but once you get to the city centre it seems to play hide and seek.

So, we found the mall next to the hotel but could not fathom out  how to get to the car park. Having eventually found the way into front reception (which was on floor 35!) we had to leave the children and go back to the mall car park with a member of their staff (in elaborate uniform) who then sat in the front with my husband and guided us through various tunnels to the front of the hotel.We had to get out and unload what we wanted then he drove the car off. Another chap appeared with a trolley for our luggage – by this time we were just laughing, the trolley was like something from ‘The Suite Life of Zack and Cody’ on TV with brass handles, him in full rig uniform

P1060524and us with a small squashy overnight bag and four small toiletry bags between us.We said we thought we could manage our meagre possessions and he disappeared without a tip. Joe couldn’t resist having a ride when no-one was looking!

But Lyon was a fun city, we could have done with more than one night there.  Walking around we P1060544came across cyclists doing the  most amazing stunts in two bowls painted  with angry birds, and a huge tree made  entirely of flowers; at the side of the tree was a fountain, or rather, multiple fountains around which, two children were playing, totally absorbed in trying to work out when  the next jet of water would blast out and  would they have time to jump back.

flower tree water boy

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Posted September 8, 2013 by jaxhicks in Uncategorized

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summer holidays   Leave a comment

Lot et Garonne 2012Why we think school holidays are a break I don’t know.

They probably are if you don’t have children and get a travel agent to sort your holiday.
In our house I spend many hours sitting at the computer sorting ours, starting with eurotunnel times,   did it spook you when you approached the machine for the first time to put in your code and it said welcome Mrs Bits and Blog …Whoa ..how does it know who you are? yes I know now that there are cameras but that first time it was a little freaky.

The route, oh the route…thank goodness for online Google maps and the ability to zoom in and see where places are, sat nav being new to us I have still to work out how to actually put the route into that and so will have my trusty maps, map book, guide book and numerous other books stuffed in a bag by my feet.

Taking two nights to journey there and back means hotels, Does the hotel have a car park, is it close enough to see some of where we are staying but not right in the city centre and certainly not in any red light district but yet still within affordability. Does it have a pool to cool and refresh weary travellers? Does it have a restaurant so we don’t have to shlep the streets of an unknown place trying to find something we all like to eat?  Do the hotels have interconnecting rooms cos the kids don’t want to spend sleepless nights listening to dad snoring…neither do I for that matter…hmm wonder if they do triple interconnecting rooms…

The place to stay for two weeks. Now this is a biggy – more discussion over this than any other part of the holiday. Mainly because I want to go to the area we have been to many times before and he wants to try somewhere new. Italy he said – we don’t speak Italian, Greece – too hot for the kids, Kenya – don’t be silly – Spain… yes can do… which part ?don’t know.  hmm can’t decide so hey lets do France – again – but a different part eh? So find a nice old cottage type place, not at the coast, not too rural, not in a large city or town, preferably on the edge of a villagey type place, fairly close to a shop or drive-able to a supermarket. it must have a private pool, does it have wifi (actually on this one I have no idea and I don’t much care), does it have a dishwasher – a dishwasher…we can’t wash a few dishes? does it have three bedrooms – at least, well even if the kids want to share I can at some point get away from the snoring if necessary. Oh don’t want a tacky conversion, don’t mind an old place – kids don’t want too much wildlife living in the place with us. They don’t want much…

I find it every year, I do spend hours scouring for just the right place and this year is no exception, its inland near a canal for interest, I will do a bit of painting, maybe … certainly lots of photographs, but mostly I shall be the one resting, having worked hard to find the perfect place for us all to relax before I start the map reading to get us back home but hey you never know I might have worked out the sat nav by then…

Happy holidays.

Posted August 1, 2013 by jaxhicks in Uncategorized

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Summer on speed   Leave a comment

A glorious few, well, a couple of sunny days  …is that it? was that Summer? With all the bad weather in the UK early on it has at least meant that the blossoms are heavy and heady. It’ll probably pour with rain now and send all this gloriousness on to the pavements for us to slip on when they become a brown mush. Still, at least we do have some blossom this year for more than a few days, making the suburban roadways very pretty indeed dressed in a variety of pinks. Have you noticed usually in March the cherry blossom comes into flower and the next day we get terrible gusts of wind that dash them to pieces. Mustn’t grumble eh?!Image

Posted May 30, 2013 by jaxhicks in Uncategorized

Hello world!   Leave a comment

Flashes of Brightness – the flash of a kingfisher’s wing can lift the spirits. Such a bright unusual colour, leaving a vivid memory of something beautiful! My first foray into the world of blog. Enjoy.

Welcome to my world of bits and bobs, things I may think you will find interesting: art, places, people, artefacts, food, books, music…who knows what might take my fancy.

Starting with an unusual soapstone figurine of two people hugging/kissing – your own interpretation of the stance allowed! Also a card I was given many years ago and which I find good for keeping focus when things aren’t going well.P1020094 - Copy - Copy

Posted December 4, 2012 by jaxhicks in Uncategorized