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Christmas Trees are coming! Be Prepared this December

Types of Christmas Trees

There are various types of Christmas trees available, and you must choose the one that is perfect for your home during the holiday season. There are various types, as you will see below:

Nordman Fir

The Norman Fir Christmas Tree barely drops its needles, making it the most popular choice in Modern times, due to the safety issues related to children and pets, and the sharp Christmas tree needles. They come in a range of shapes and sizes, and their needles are a lot fleshier.

Norway Spruce

The Norway Spruce Christmas tree, brings the classic smell of childhood to your home. Its needles do drop a lot more than other varieties, but it more than makes up for that with its beautiful smell, and really traditional tall and narrow shape.

Potted Christmas Trees

The Potted Christmas tree is a great choice if you would prefer your tree to last longer than just a few weeks, as potted trees are more likely to live on through the year, and be fine to use again a year later. The come in both varieties, the Nordman or Norway Spruce, and are often a little cheaper.

Where to buy a Christmas Tree

You can normally buy Christmas trees at your local garden centre, or check online for your nearest Christmas tree farm. Sapcote Garden Centre, Leicester, LE94LG, 01455 274049, (http://www.sapcotegc.co.uk/christmas/christmas-trees) has a range of Nordman Fir, and Norway Spruce Christmas trees for sale, and the price is the same as 2012.

Scotland’s most expensive modern home up for sale for £3.4m

  • Kirkton Park, a six-bedroom house in seven acres in Auchterarder, Perthshire, has gone up for sale for £3.4million
  • The property had originally cost £10million to build and is thought to be Scotland’s most expensive modern home
  • Built in 2007, it boasts a gymnasium, cinema, spa, a two-bedroom house, billiards room and a man-made lake 
  • Its previous owner is former Rangers FC shareholder Graham Gillespie who went bankrupt in 2012 
  • Home was repossessed after Mr Gillespie’s property and mining empire collapsed with more than £12million of debt 

By

Jennifer Newton for MailOnline


Published:
11:32 EST, 25 January 2015

|
Updated:
19:22 EST, 25 January 2015

Scotland’s most expensive modern home which boasts sprawling views of Gleneagles has gone on the market for £3.4million despite it costing almost £10million to build.

Kirkton Park, which sits in seven acres near Auchterarder, Perthshire is up for sale after its previous owner, former Rangers FC shareholder Graham Gillespie, went bankrupt, and the property was repossessed.

The six-bedroom luxury home was built in 2007 and boasts a gymnasium, cinema, spa and a two bedroom house.

Kirkton Park, in Auchterarder, Perthshire, which has gone on the market for £3.4million, making it Scotland's most expensive modern-built home 

Kirkton Park, in Auchterarder, Perthshire, which has gone on the market for £3.4million, making it Scotland’s most expensive modern-built home 

The property, formerly owned by ex-Rangers FC shareholder Graham Gillespie, is set in seven acres and a man-made lake sits in the middle of the grounds

The property, formerly owned by ex-Rangers FC shareholder Graham Gillespie, is set in seven acres and a man-made lake sits in the middle of the grounds

The sprawling estate in Perthshire has views of Gleneagles, which hosted last year's Ryder Cup, as well as the village of Logiealmond  

The sprawling estate in Perthshire has views of Gleneagles, which hosted last year’s Ryder Cup, as well as the village of Logiealmond  

There is also a drawing room, dining room, a billiards room, study and domestic offices.

A man-made lake also sits in the grounds and there is also a garage big enough for four cars.

The property is surrounded by a stone wall and boasts views over last year’s Ryder Cup venue Gleneagles and the village of Logiealmond.

Chris Hall, a selling agent at Rettie estate agents said: ‘The house was built to an exceptional standard and high quality.

The entrance of the property has an open fireplace along with a stone staircase which leads to an open gallery landing 

The entrance of the property has an open fireplace along with a stone staircase which leads to an open gallery landing 

The house was built for £10million in 2007 and includes a gymnasium, cinema and spa as well as a big open plan kitchen and dining room

The house was built for £10million in 2007 and includes a gymnasium, cinema and spa as well as a big open plan kitchen and dining room

Two-bedroom house
The spa

Kirkton Park also has a two bedroom house, left, and as well as a spa area, right. There has already been interest in the property from potential buyers 

It was built on the site of a former barn and steading. It’s a house of high value in a Scottish context and Gleneagles helps.

‘A lot of Scottish wealthy businessmen have homes in the Gleneagles district.

‘Its an expensive house in the Scottish context, but if you wanted to build a house of this quality, it is going to cost you an awful lot of money.

Mr Hall added that the house had cost up to £10million to build and there had already been interest from potential buyers.

He explained: ‘People who know the cost of building and renovating houses are keen on it.

One of the main reception rooms in Kirkton Park. The property was built on the site of a former barn and steading in Auchterarder 

One of the main reception rooms in Kirkton Park. The property was built on the site of a former barn and steading in Auchterarder 

The six-bedroom house has natural stone walls throughout the property as well as underfloor heating and extensive oak panel flooring 

The six-bedroom house has natural stone walls throughout the property as well as underfloor heating and extensive oak panel flooring 

The swimming pool in the estate's gymnasium and spa. The previous owner, businessman Graham Gillespie, moved out of the property 11 months ago 

The swimming pool in the estate’s gymnasium and spa. The previous owner, businessman Graham Gillespie, moved out of the property 11 months ago 

‘This is due to the money they are saving as opposed to doing it themselves.’

The house was repossessed after former owner Mr Gillespie went bankrupt in 2012 with more than £12million of debt.

At one point he was one of Scotland’s richest men until his empire, based on mining and property, collapsed.

Mr Gillespie moved out of the property 11 months ago, and the sale will go towards paying off his debt.

Xmas Holidays

Teen ‘hacked to death with MACHETE outside Gloucester pub’

  • Zacary Evans, 19, was killed in a machete attack in Tuffley on Saturday
  • His family said he was trying to protect a group of girls from a ‘lunatic’ 
  • Detectives are still questioning a 44-year-old man on suspicion of murder 
  • Mr Evans’ mother Sylvia wrote a heartbreaking tribute on her Facebook 
  • Two other men injured by a ‘man with a weapon, believed to be a machete’
  • One of them, aged 22, was ‘seriously injured’ and had to undergo surgery 

By

Jay Akbar

and
Jenny Awford for MailOnline


Published:
04:17 EST, 24 January 2015

|
Updated:
19:17 EST, 25 January 2015



A teenager hacked to death in a machete attack was trying to protect a group of young girls from a ‘lunatic’ when he was killed, according to his family.

Zacary Evans, 19, was one of three friends attacked with a machete as he tried to act as a peacemaker outside the Pike and Musket pub in Tuffley, Gloucester, in the early hours of Saturday.

Detectives are questioning a 44-year-old Gloucester man on suspicion of murder and officers are still searching for the weapon – thought to be a machete at least two feet in length.

A spokesman for Mr Evans’s family told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘It’s something that should never have happened, he stepped in to help someone else. 

Tragedy: Zacary Evans (pictured) was killed outside the Pike and Musket pub in Gloucester last night

Tragedy: Zacary Evans (pictured) was killed outside the Pike and Musket pub in Gloucester last night

The teenager was  one of three friends attacked  outside the Pike and Musket pub in Tuffley, Gloucester (pictured today)

The teenager was one of three friends attacked outside the Pike and Musket pub in Tuffley, Gloucester (pictured today)

‘We understand there was an altercation between some girls with Zac, and their friends and Zac stepped in to help.

‘Then some lunatic came out of nowhere and attacked him. You don’t expect this to happen in a local pub, it is a lovely, friendly place.’

Mr Evans died at the scene and his friend Chris Lord, 18, was left with minor injuries.

A 22-year-old man with them was rushed to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital with serious injuries and is now said to be in a stable condition.

His mother Sylvia left a stirring message at the scene of his death which read: 'The stars will shine much brighter with you in heaven'

His mother Sylvia left a stirring message at the scene of his death which read: ‘The stars will shine much brighter with you in heaven’

Prayers will be said for the family and friends of the murdered teenager today at St George's Church

Prayers will be said for the family and friends of the murdered teenager today at St George’s Church

Today, Mr Evans’ mother left a moving tribute to her son – who she refers to as ‘Sparky’ – on her Facebook page,

She said: ‘Well yesterday was like a horrific dream. Sadly the news was true. Sparky will not be coming home.

‘On behalf of the family, please accept out heartfelt thanks for all your kind words and love towards Zac on his tragic and futile death.

‘It’s meant so much to receive all your thoughts. Please keep praying for us… We have a very long road to travel yet.

‘A wonderful son, brother, Grandson, boyfriend and friend. You will be greatly missed. A hole in my heart cannot be filled.’ 

She also left a message at the scene of his death which said: ‘The stars will shine much brighter with you in heaven. 

Police lay flowers at the scene of the attack. Detectives are questioning a man on suspicion of murder

Police lay flowers at the scene of the attack. Detectives are questioning a man on suspicion of murder

Officers lay flowers at the scene where the teenager was hacked to death with a machete

Officers lay flowers at the scene where the teenager was hacked to death with a machete

Investigation: Police have cordoned off the pub where Zacary died (pictured) while they analyse the crime scene

Investigation: Police have cordoned off the pub where Zacary died (pictured) while they analyse the crime scene

‘Uncle Charlie will take care of you. We love you and will miss you always.’ 

A white Transit van near the scene, which had three large blood smears on the side of it, was being examined by forensic teams yesterday. 

Prayers were said for the family and friends of the murdered teenager earlier today at St George’s Church in Tuffley.

Mr Evans’s childhood friend Harry Lauder, 19, laid flowers on the pavement outside the pub with a message saying ‘Sleep well young man, you and your memories will never be forgotten. Hope to see you again one day.’

Mr Lauder, who works in a warehouse, said he was in shock.

‘Zac just wasn’t the type of lad to get into situations like this,’ he said. ‘He didn’t often go out at night even. 

Hospitalised: One of the men injured outside the Pike and Musket (pictured) underwent surgery at a local hospital after suffering 'severe injuries'

Hospitalised: One of the men injured outside the Pike and Musket (pictured) underwent surgery at a local hospital after suffering ‘severe injuries’

Flowers and dozens of tributes have been left and police are calling on anyone who witnessed the attack to come forward with information

Flowers and dozens of tributes have been left and police are calling on anyone who witnessed the attack to come forward with information

‘His girlfriend will be in pieces too. They had been going out for quite a long time.’ 

Sophie Jadie wrote on Twitter: ‘RIP Zac Evans, such a kind, caring and good friend, you will never be forgotten, I’ll see you there one day, shine bright angel.’

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Porter said: ‘We are keen to trace what we believe to be the weapon in this attack, which is a large machete-type weapon with a large blade at least 24 inches long.

‘If anybody knows the location of that weapon, or where it could be discarded we would ask them to come forward.

‘We believe we have identified the victim and have spoken to the family, who are obviously distraught at this incident and their loss.’

The officer added: ‘We’d appeal to anybody with any information in relation to what occurred this morning, or anybody with knowledge of why this incident occurred, and particularly anybody who knows the whereabouts of the weapon, to please contact us as soon as possible.’ 

Anyone with information is urged to call Gloucestershire Police on 101.

The family of Mr Evans have said he may have been trying to defend a group of girls during the attack

The family of Mr Evans have said he may have been trying to defend a group of girls during the attack

Missed: People have also being paying their tributes to Zacary on Twitter, with Ross Wayman describing him as a 'lovely guy'

Missed: People have also being paying their tributes to Zacary on Twitter, with Ross Wayman describing him as a ‘lovely guy’

'Good friend': Meanwhile Sophiejadey said: 'You will never be forgotten... shine bright angel'

‘Good friend': Meanwhile Sophiejadey said: ‘You will never be forgotten… shine bright angel’

Remembrance: A police officer is seen carrying flowers to the pub where Zacary died last night

Remembrance: A police officer is seen carrying flowers to the pub where Zacary died last night

 

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Xmas Holidays

Lisa and Wendy Bell scammed 91-year-old Parkinson’s sufferer out of more than £500k

  • Lisa and Wendy Bell stole more than £500k from widow Audrey Hammond
  • Worked with other women to charge up to £121 an hour for 24-hour care
  • They even ran a burger van business from the Grade-II listed home
  • Lisa Bell, 30, made extra money by running private porn website
  • She and her 57-year-old mother both face jail after being convicted today

By

Stephanie Linning for MailOnline


Published:
13:14 EST, 23 January 2015

|
Updated:
15:00 EST, 23 January 2015

Porn star: Lisa Bell, pictured, who made extra money by posting racy photographs of herself online, could face jail time after being convicted

Porn star: Lisa Bell, pictured, who made extra money by posting racy photographs of herself online, could face jail time after being convicted

A porn star and her mother stole more than £500,000 from a 91-year-old widow by ‘grossly’ overcharging her for her care, which they were not qualified to give.

Lisa Bell, 30, and her 57-year-old mother Wendy Bell could now face jail time after they were convicted of plotting to defraud Audrey Hammond, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

Wendy Bell and another woman, Amanda Carroll – who pleaded guilty to fraud charges at an earlier hearing – scammed Mrs Hammond after setting out to ‘milk’ her of every penny they could.

They charged up to £121 an hour for round-the-clock care, roping in friends and family to help and taking over Mrs Hammond’s Grade II-listed home in a Yorkshire village.

They even ran a burger van business from the property, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Computers were bought for staff, carpets were damaged, and expensive cars parked outside.

Lisa Bell, from Cullingworth, West Yorkshire, once arrived late for a morning shift in a BMW, still wearing full make-up, a mini-skirt and high heels.  

Another time she was found sleeping as she sunbathed while on duty, the court heard.

She told police that she supplemented her income as a carer by running a private porn website. 

The site charges visitors more than £20 a month to view racy photos and videos of Lisa Bell either naked or in lingerie.

Mrs Hammond’s late husband amassed a ‘considerable fortune’ in his coal merchant business and left her land and fishing rights in the Yorkshire Dales.

But the carers siphoned off hundreds of thousands by overcharging, putting in fake petty cash claims and claiming for ‘ghost’ workers.

Wendy Bell and Carroll ‘thought they were utterly untouchable’ and used a number of bank accounts for ‘money laundering on a substantial scale’, said prosecutor Stephen Wood. 

Mr Wood previously told the court the case ‘is all about greed’. 

He added: ‘These defendants … breached the trust reposed in them to simply milk from that lady over half a million pounds by grossly over-claiming for work.

‘Mrs Hammond was subjected to a cruel and heartless fraud.’

Mrs Hammond was diagnosed with debilitating Parkinson’s some years ago. She gave power of attorney to her solicitor, Myron Handzij, allowing him to write cheques on her behalf.

She was initially cared for by her niece Anne Murgatroyd, a retired nurse. Wendy Bell was hired via a care agency to help. 

Wendy Bell (pictured) and another woman, Amanda Carroll - who pleaded guilty to fraud charges at an earlier hearing - scammed Mrs Hammond after setting out to 'milk' her of every penny they could
Helen Banks

Wendy Bell (left today) and another woman, Amanda Carroll, scammed Mrs Hammond after setting out to ‘milk’ her of every penny they could. Right, Helen Banks was cleared at Bradford Crown Court today

In 2006, Mrs Murgatroyd fell ill and Mrs Hammond hired Bell and the others full-time at £8 an hour, paying them directly to avoid giving the agency a cut.

Wendy Bell took a lead role in arranging the cover, the court heard. Mr Handzij was then asked to pay the inflated wages.

‘All requests for payment were met, regrettably it seems without question,’ Mr Wood said.

Not one of the carers Wendy Bell recruited was qualified to look after a Parkinson’s patient.

Amanda Carroll (pictured) and Wendy Bell charged Mrs Hammond up to £121 an hour for round-the-clock care, which they were not qualified to give

Amanda Carroll (pictured) and Wendy Bell charged Mrs Hammond up to £121 an hour for round-the-clock care, which they were not qualified to give

None of them had a contract, were legally registered, had any Criminal Records Bureau checks done or paid tax on their wages.

When a qualified carer, Vanessa Ingham, did a shift at the house, she was shocked to find no care plan or medication chart.

In one year, Wendy Bell earned £54,600, while Carroll’s £75,600 pay was at a rate of £121 an hour. 

When police first investigated in September 2012, the group were charging Mrs Hammond £35,000 a month. That fell to £20,000 as soon as an agency took over.

Wendy and Lisa Bell, who were both charged with conspiracy to defraud, showed no emotion as the foreman announced the guilty verdicts. 

Helen Banks, 42, of Riddlesden, West Yorkshire, was cleared at Bradford Crown Court of conspiracy to defraud Mrs Hammond.  

Judge Colin Burn told Wendy Bell, who was also found guilty of one charge of fraud, that a jail sentence was ‘absolutely unavoidable’.

He said: ‘You have both been convicted by the jury at the end of this lengthy trail of these serious matters.

‘Particularly in your case Wendy Bell, by virtue of the amounts involved, a custodial sentence is absolutely unavoidable.’ 

Carroll, 44, of Shipley, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud and one charge of conspiracy to defraud at an earlier hearing.

Linda Mynott, 60, Caron Gilbert, 33, and Alice Barker, 59, all from Keighley, West Yorkshire, all admitted conspiracy to defraud.

All the defendants will be sentenced at Bradford Crown Court on February 13.

Xmas Holidays

Manything app turns your phone into a CCTV CAMERA

  • Manything livestreams and records the inside of your house to the cloud 
  • The footage can then be used to alert emergency service or provide evidence to the police after the burglar has fled a property
  • App’s captured its third criminal on film to helped police identify criminals

By

Rachel Reilly for MailOnline

and
Sarah Griffiths for MailOnline


Published:
12:09 EST, 23 January 2015

|
Updated:
14:04 EST, 23 January 2015

A burglar alarm is a powerful deterrent, but if a criminal isn’t scared off then you need as much information as possible to help catch them.

Now an app is helping police solve break-ins in both the UK and US by transforming disused phones into DIY CCTV cameras.

The software is free providing only one camera is used, but it does require homeowners to have two iPhones – one to record any action and one to monitor the house remotely.

Scroll down for video 

An app called Manything is helping police solve break-ins in both the UK and US by transforming disused phones into DIY CCTV cameras. One iPhone is needed to act as a CCTV camera (shown left) and another must be kept with a homeowner so they can see notifcations and live feeds of any intruders (right)

An app called Manything is helping police solve break-ins in both the UK and US by transforming disused phones into DIY CCTV cameras. One iPhone is needed to act as a CCTV camera (shown left) and another must be kept with a homeowner so they can see notifcations and live feeds of any intruders (right)

Users receive a notification, including a live video feed if the app detects any movement in their home. 

‘We analyse all the pixels in the image every half a second and work out if anything has changed [to detect motion] a spokesman from the app tod MailOnline.

‘It’s done using a grid so that users can select which areas of the scene they want the motion detection to be active for.’

The app, called Manything, recently caught its third criminal, who was in the act of burgling a flat in the south of England. 

An iPhone running the Manything app automatically filmed him rifling through the property, enabling the police to use the video to track down and convict the thief. 

The flat owner said: ‘It started after my neighbours had suffered a spate of thefts from their flats.’ 

Users place their iPhone so its camera is trained on an entrance, or an item they particularly want to protect
They can set up the system to work with other devices such as smart lights using the 'if then' feature

Users place their iPhone so its camera is trained on an entrance, or an item they particularly want to protect. They can choose ‘motion detection zones’ to mask out areas they don’t want to trigger alerts (pictured left) and can set up the system to work with other devices such as smart lights using the ‘if then’ feature (right)

‘The police checked the CCTV in the streets and while they spotted someone acting strangely, he knew where the cameras were and between hiding his face and the poor quality of the footage, the police were unable to identify him.’

‘After doing some research I put the Manything app onto my spare iPhone and turned it on every time I left my flat. 

‘About 10 days after the first thefts, I was in town when I received a motion alert on my phone. 

‘I looked at the livestream footage and spotted someone I didn’t know in my room. 

‘I left straight away and in the 10 minutes it took to get back, someone else had called the police and we all arrived at the same time.’

‘Unfortunately the burglar had fled before we got back.  

HOW DOES MANYTHING WORK? 

Manything is a video monitoring app that lets users re-deploy spare iOS devices as video monitoring cameras.

It requires users to have at least two iPhones – one to record any action in a house, and another to monitor the house remotely.

Users place the house-bound phone so its camera is trained on an entrance, or an item they particularly want to protect.

They can choose ‘motion detection zones’ to mask out areas they don’t want to trigger alerts, such as a cat flap.

The device starts recording if the camera sees any movement.

‘We analyse all the pixels in the image every half a second and work out if anything has changed [to detect motion] a spokesman from the app tod MailOnline.

‘It’s done using a grid so that users can select which areas of the scene they want the motion detection to be active for.’

If a burglar is detected, a notification is sent to a homeowner, who can see a live video stream of their home on the ‘other’ iPhone. They can also log onto the company’s website to check for footage. 

Meanwhile, video clips are instantly stored in ‘the cloud’ on a rolling basis.

This means that if a thief steals the smartphone in the house, the evidence can still be accessed.

If the home-based camera phone is disconnected from the mains or a network connection goes down, periodic stills will continue to be taken, which could still catch a thief in action.

Users can set up ‘if this then that’ rules to communicate with location apps, or trigger a smart light to startle a thief, for example.

The app is free for people using one camera, with 12 hours of cloud recording, but additional cameras and cloud recording costs money. The maximum would be £14 a month for unlimited cameras and 30 days cloud recording.

Videos can be reviewed for 30 days and are then automatically deleted.

Currently the app only works on iOS devices, but Manything is currently working on an Android version that should be released near Easter.

Just before <a href='http://www.refernshare.com' target='_blank'>christmas</a>, a young woman in Arizona received a motion alert from Manything – and quickly spotted a stranger walking around in her house, who was later arrested. He can be seen in this screenshot from the video, feeding a dog

Just before Christmas, a young woman in Arizona received a motion alert from Manything – and quickly spotted a stranger walking around in her house, who was later arrested. He can be seen in this screenshot from the video, feeding a dog

‘From the recorded footage the police were able to see exactly what he had picked up and so knew where his fingerprints would be – something that the forensics team were very happy with. 

‘Because of the quality of the video and the fact the thief was unaware he was being filmed, the police were also able to ID him in a matter of hours.’

‘The case has now been heard and the thief locked away. Due to the evidence from the video clip, he was advised to plead guilty, which was great as we didn’t have to go to court.’ 

Manything has also helped track down a criminal in Oklahoma City. 

CCTV images can be poor quality, so the police have used footage from the app to identify thieves

CCTV images can be poor quality, so the police have used footage from the app to identify thieves

The burglar stole the iPhone that was recording the theft, but the video had already been sent to ‘the cloud’ giving the police clear footage of their suspect – who is still at large. 

Just before Christmas, a young woman in Arizona received a motion alert from Manything – and quickly spotted a stranger walking around in her house.

Police arrested a 22-year-old at the scene, who later admitted to burglary.

‘The planets aligned in this one,’ said Scott Smith from Tempe Police Department. ‘We couldn’t have asked for anything more in terms of getting real time intelligence and reporting to us.’

The video of this event showed the burglar feeding food to dogs and the police entering the house.

James West, Manything’s CEO and co-founder, said: ‘The latest official statistics show that there were nearly 800,000 burglaries in England and Wales last year,’ said.

‘That’s the equivalent to a break-in every 40 seconds.’

‘But the encouraging news is that affordable technology such as Manything can help you protect two of the most important things in life – your family and your home. It’s accessible to the masses and can help you from becoming a crime statistic.

‘Once a thief walks into your house Manything will alert you to what’s going on and send you a clip. It doesn’t matter if they steal the device being used to record proceedings – the video has already been safely saved to the ‘cloud’ for you and the police to watch.’ 

The app currently only works on iOS devices, but Manything is currently working on an Android version that should be released around Easter.

Xmas Holidays

WHERE DO I PUT IT ALL and Planning for next Christmas- Happy Rudolph Day!!!!

Happy Rudolph Day!!

What is Rudolph Day you ask….

It is the 25th of each month!!!!

For January’s Rudolph Day , I want to show you how I am planning and organizing for next christmas….

I am frequently asked “Where Do I Put I t All?” and “How Do I Pack It All Away?”

Well, I am going to show you……….

Have a seat and grab a cup of Tea………..

These are most of my Living Room Decorations……

 There are also 2 large tubs that contain the Village that is set up under the Living Room Tree on a platform and a huge ornament box which contains everything from the Living Room Tree except for the lights ……

This is the huge ornament box which I have had for over 30 years and I need to replace next year with maybe 2 tubs that are for ornament storage. 

 The ornaments are in 2 tiers under the top section where the beaded garland and bows for the topper are stored……

No, I do not wrap all my ornaments individually because I use these types of ornament storage!!

The tubs for the Village, LR Tree Ornaments and a few tubs of heavy items from the Kitchen and Den go in here……

 This is the closet in my downstairs hallway that we use for our coats.  There is a trap door that leads under the steps where our hot water heater is since we do not have a basement.

I have almost all tubs stored here because when the hot water heater blows and water goes all over, nothing gets ruined……..

We store heavier items in here so we do not have to haul them upstairs and then up the attic pull down stairs to the attic.

Now back to the rest of the stuff…..

I have a lot of sets that were bought in Sam’s Club many years ago and I have kept the original boxes with the styrofoam so I pack them away right in those boxes……

Tubs are all marked as to where the decorations that they contain go like in the Hutch……

This is one of 3 new  ornament boxes that were bought at Dollar General  for $5 each.

These are perfect for storing ornaments from smaller trees like this one that I had in my Living Room this past  Season.

  And this one in the Kitchen……

 Here is one with the ornaments from the Living Room Small Tree in it…..

Joe also bought 10 of these tubs which were marked down from $10 each down to $4 each in Wegman’s….

These are a little bigger than a computer paper box and are easy to handle and not too heavy if you put a lot of ceramic pieces in them.

I used 6 of these to pack away the decorations from the Kitchen replacing some boxes……

4 of these smaller tubs went under the stairs in that storage space because they were heavier and 2 of them and this smaller tub will go upstairs in the attic……….

I label them as to where the decorations in them go…..

 Can you see I wrote Hutch on this one for the Kitchen…..

 I bought a new comforter set for my bedroom in the Summer and saved the heavy plastic zippered bag that it came in for storing a lot of Christmas linens, rugs and pillows in……

 All of this gets hauled up the attic via pull down stairs…….

We have just about all of our attic floored  and the roof trusses look like this…….

 Excuse how it looks until I get everything up there organized better …..

I can stand up there but crouched down a bit…..

The truss system forms sections that look like this…..

 For christmas decorations, I store everything from one room in each section which are marked……

Here is the Living Room Section……

This massive tub stores all the Living Room Florals……

 Why the bags? I bag arrangements up and label them too as where they are used!!

This tub stays up there and I carry the florals up and down in a laundry basket because this tub is too big to haul up and down all the time.

I have another one of these large tubs for the Kitchen and Dining Room florals.

The one side of the attic has 8 of those sections and the other side, where the stairs are, has 6.

I store decorations for other Holidays in the other sections.

One of my goals for this year is to go through and organize things up the attic because I also have linens, serving items for parties and some garden things stored up there.

Now where do I store the outside decorations and all my larger Trees……..

We rent a Storage Shed!!

 It is 5 minutes down the road from our home!!

When my mom died 11 years ago, we had 2 weeks from the date of death to clear out her Senior Citizen Apartment that she had lived in for the last 17 years of her life after my Dad died.

With funeral preparations and everything else, my sister and I paid a moving company to move everything down to her 4 car garage until we were able to go through everything but since I had inherited my mom’s bedroom furniture and cedar chest, I rented a storage unit until I could get rid of my current bedroom furniture and re- do my bedroom and then move her furniture into it.

Once we rented the unit, we found it was invaluable for storing things and then moved everything into this larger unit that we pay a little over $80 a month for.

These photos were taken several years ago but this is what the inside looks like….

I store all outside decorations in this shed……..

Joe brings them home when I am ready to decorate……

  Also stored in this Shed are my already made crafts for craft fairs and some supplies, all outside garden things and Joe stores his seasonal clothes down here in tubs too along with some furniture not in use.

One of my goals this year, is to go through and organize this shed a bit better than Joe has it done!!

We bag the larger Trees like this, with only the larger set of lights that I wrap around the inside of the Trees along the pole,  when not in use……

And take them down to the storage shed….

One year, Joe stopped at a Burger King Drive Through on his way home with the Trees and could not imagine why the girl behind the window kept looking at him strangely.

I was afraid she would have called the police , saying he had 2 bodies in the car!!!!!

Okay, so that is where and how I store everything!!!!

I hope it answered those who wanted to know!!

LOL!!

Planning for next Christmas…..

Several years ago, I decided to keep a Christmas Planner using the Web Site Organized Christmas

This is a wonderful site that featured posts, recipes, tips and all kinds of pages to print out to help you with keeping organized for Christmas!!

This is my Planner…..

HERE is a link to a post I did on this!

I keep a record of where everything is stored, my Christmas recipes for food and baking, a shopping list of my baking supplies, how much fish I order for Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners…..

  A record of how much I spend on everyone, my Christmas card list and what cards I will be using for the following year because I buy a lot of cards on clearance and right now I have enough cards for the next 4 years!!!

Here is the tub where they are stored……

Along with Christmas Computer Paper, Recipes Cards, Christmas party Invitations, Thank you cards, Etc.

I also write notes to myself and keep them in My Planner …..

Like what new things I bought for next Christmas and where I plan on using them ….

 I have packed new decorations away according to the room where I intend to use them next Season…..

Also notes if I want to move any decorations around or what I want to buy for next season…..
 
I use the planners that can be run off from the site…..

Here is an example of some of them……

 Planning Pages

Get
ready for Christmas with these calendars, planner pages, gift lists and
inventory sheets. Create your own Christmas planner to simplify the
holidays!

   
Here are some of the Pages that I use…….
 I organize them in Categories…..

 I have already made some changes for next Season…..

 You may remember these swags in the Living Room……

 

And this wreath….

I made these many years ago and I freshen them up every so often by
changing the bows on them and for next season, I wanted to make bows out
of this ribbon……

To match the candle ornaments that I am now using on the Living Room Tree…..

So before these were packed away, I changed the bows……

I also made bows for both the Living Room Trees so they will all coordinate…..

One of my co workers bought this pretty swag for me at 90% off at Family Dollar…..

It was $1.00!!

I added a bow to the top of it and plan on using it by the stairs next season……

Now I also do not put away all the Christmas Decorations at once……

I leave out some and decorate for Winter…….

Click HERE to see my post on my Outside Winter decorations……

I quickly threw together a Winter vignette on top of the TV Entertainment Center using some Christmas decorations…..

Click HERE to read that post…….

I decorated for Winter in the Den this year instead of Christmas as I was running late……

Click HERE to read that post…….

And right now I have FINALLY gotten all the downstairs Christmas decorations packed away so the Living Room and the Dining Room Trees look like this…….

Waiting to be decorated for Valentine’s Day!!!!

Why do I decorate for Winter you ask????????

Because I love the glow of the house decorated for Christmas and don’t want to lose that warm feeling…..

And We live in NEPA and Winter does look like this…….

 These photos were taken on Saturday, Jan. 24th with 5 inches of snow on the ground at day break during  a snow storm……

I was off that night and did not have to drive in it but another 4 inches or so is predicted for Sunday night into Monday and I will be driving to work in that one because there are no Snow Days off for Hospitals!!

I do LOVE Snow and Winter but I just wish I did not have to drive in it and could admire it from the windows of my home!!

I hope to continue to post here on my Christmas Blog once a month for Rudolph Day but until the next one, please stop by my regular blog, Debbie-Dabble, to see what I am up to…….

I am linking up to these parties:

SUNDAY
Bouquet of Talent Linky Party
Share It One More Time Sundays
DIY SHowcase 
Sunday Brunch Party
 Snickerdoodle Sunday

MONDAY
 Busy Monday

 Make It Pretty Monday
 Monday Link Party 
 What’d You Do This Weekend? 

TUESDAY

Please take some time to visit these terrific hosts and all those joining in on the fun!

Thanks so much for stopping by today and every day that you take the time to visit with me!

Hugs,
Debbie

Christmas Trees

Doberman sold through internet as ‘possibly pregnant’ gives birth to 14 PUPPIES

  • Zara Hayes, 42, saw advert for ‘possibly pregnant’ Doberman online
  • Rescue home owner Ms Hayes took dog Keela in over fears for her safety
  • Cat Davis, 33, adopted her after vets said she was pregnant with six pups
  • But on December 14, two-year-old Doberman gave birth to 14 youngsters
  • They have taken over Ms Davis’ house eating 5kg of dog food every day 

By

Chris Pleasance for MailOnline


Published:
07:41 EST, 23 January 2015

|
Updated:
09:15 EST, 23 January 2015

A rescue dog has stunned her new owner after giving birth to 14 Doberman puppies, setting a new British record in the process.

Keela the two-year-old Doberman was only thought to be carrying five or six pups when she was examined by vets, but ended up giving birth to a monster brood. 

Zara Hayes, 42, who runs the Yappy Ever After dog centre paid £450 for two-year-old Doberman Keela after noticing an online advert saying the animal was ‘possibly pregnant’. 

She was worried that the dog would be exploited by its new owners for profit, as Doberman puppies can sell for £1,000, so she put her up for adoption instead. 

Scroll down for video  

Keela the Doberman set a new British record for the largest litter when she gave birth to 14 puppies on the rather fitting date of December 14 - beating the previous record of 13

Keela the Doberman set a new British record for the largest litter when she gave birth to 14 puppies on the rather fitting date of December 14 – beating the previous record of 13

Zara Hayes, 42, paid £450 for Keela after seeing an advert for her online saying she was 'possibly pregnant'. Ms Hayes was concerned the dog would be exploited for profit, so put her up for adoption instead

Zara Hayes, 42, paid £450 for Keela after seeing an advert for her online saying she was ‘possibly pregnant’. Ms Hayes was concerned the dog would be exploited for profit, so put her up for adoption instead

Assistant pub manager Cat Davis, 33, agreed to take Keela on after vets said she was pregnant with six or seven pups, and was stunned when the monster brood popped out

Assistant pub manager Cat Davis, 33, agreed to take Keela on after vets said she was pregnant with six or seven pups, and was stunned when the monster brood popped out

Cat Davis, 33, from Cardiff, agreed to take care of Keela in October last year after being told she was carrying six pups, slightly less than the average litter of eight, according to the Kennel Club. 

But on the rather fitting night of December 14, Keela gave birth to 14 puppies which have now taken over her house, eating a 5kg bag of dog food per day.

Following the mammoth birth, Ms Davis (left) is panning to permanently adopt Keela (centre) from rescue home owner Ms Hayes (right)

Following the mammoth birth, Ms Davis (left) is panning to permanently adopt Keela (centre) from rescue home owner Ms Hayes (right)

They spend most of their time huddled together in a basket in the corner of her kitchen for warmth, and are so close they all sleep together in one big pile.  

Ms Davis, an assistant manager at a pub, said: ‘We couldn’t believe it when 14 came out, and on December 14 as well, it was a weird coincidence.

‘They have taken over my house and my life, there isn’t much space left that isn’t taken up by dogs.

‘But it is worth it to make sure they are kept safe and sent to loving homes rather than being exploited.

‘They all have their own personalities but they are live wires and bundles of energy. The pups are so close they all sleep together in a big puppy heap. They are adorable.

‘We are lucky people are donating food because they are going through a bag a day and they certainly let you know when they’re hungry.

‘I am glad we have found loving homes for them all but I will definitely miss them when they leave next month.’

The puppies, who all weigh 3-4kg, are being rehomed by Yappy Ever After for their standard minimum adoption fee of £250.

They have already been snapped up by owners who will be coming to collect them a few days after they have their injections on February 9.

One of the puppies is even going to a home as far away in Germany, while the other 13 are off to new families across Britain.

The dogs were known by numbers at first but have now been given names by their new owners which are – Odin, Kaiser, Zeus, Boudicca, Oscar, Boo, Kayla, Wilson, Shadow, Stan, Zeus, Patience, Dylan and Blake.

Ms Davis said her home has now been overrun by the dogs, who are eating a 5kg bag of dog food per day

Ms Davis said her home has now been overrun by the dogs, who are eating a 5kg bag of dog food per day

All 14 pups have now found news homes after being donated to Ms Hayes' rescue centre for the standard fee of £250 each, and one is even being sent to Germany

All 14 pups have now found news homes after being donated to Ms Hayes’ rescue centre for the standard fee of £250 each, and one is even being sent to Germany

Ms Davis says one of the puppies wasn't breathing when it was born, but now they are all fighting fit, and will leave her on February 9 after having their injections

Ms Davis says one of the puppies wasn’t breathing when it was born, but now they are all fighting fit, and will leave her on February 9 after having their injections

Zara, who runs Yappy Ever After dog rescue from Arnold, Notts., watched the birth live as Cat sent her pictures and videos as it happened.

She added: ‘I got Keela because my thought was that someone could make a lot of money from the puppies with very little effort.

‘I was worried about her not being of use to anyone after giving birth. I am just overwhelmed with the number of puppies to be honest, there were a lot of tears.

‘It was a bit of touch and go with the last one because she wasn’t breathing, but they are all fighting strong now.

‘We couldn’t believe it when it got to six and then more came out and it kept going up until 14.

According to the Kennel Club the usual litter size for a Doberman is between eight and nine puppies. Keela had been expected to deliver six, but ended up giving birth to 14

According to the Kennel Club the usual litter size for a Doberman is between eight and nine puppies. Keela had been expected to deliver six, but ended up giving birth to 14

‘We have seen that another Doberman had 13 but I am planning to contact Guinness World Records because we think this must be a record.’

Yappy Ever After volunteer Vicky Day, 26, from Arnold, added: ‘I was getting regular updates throughout the night as and when the puppies were born so none of us could sleep.

‘By the time the 12th one was out I thought it was madness. Fourteen is amazing – I wish I could have been there. Most of all I am pleased they are all healthy and are all going to good homes.’

New mum Keela – who will be neutured so she can’t be exploited in the future – is now going to be adopted by fosterer Cat after the puppies have been rehomed.

 

Xmas Holidays

Man photobombs stock photos to ruin idyllic scenes

By

Olivia Fleming For Dailymail.com


Published:
10:23 EST, 22 January 2015

|
Updated:
20:28 EST, 22 January 2015

In order to highlight how fake stock images really are, a Los Angeles-based art director is Photoshopping himself into staged photos to ‘thrust them into the real world’.

Matt Vescovo, 45, started The Stock Photobomber to ‘inject reality into an unreal world by injecting himself’ into photos of canoodling couples, happy families and perfect-looking work environments. 

‘Armed with Photoshop 6.0 and my own raw emotion, I’m going to thrust stock photography into the real world the only way I know how… I’m going to photobomb the s*** out of it,’ he writes on his website. 

In order to highlight how fake stock images really are, a Los Angeles-based art director is Photoshopping himself into staged photos to 'thrust them into the real world'

In order to highlight how fake stock images really are, a Los Angeles-based art director is Photoshopping himself into staged photos to ‘thrust them into the real world’

After starting his career at BBDO in New York,  Mr Vescovo, who now works as a freelancer for clients like Sony and Diet Pepsi, says he has ‘viewed some 845,742,923,012 stock images’.

‘I find that when I look at stock photos, I experience the same uncomfortable feeling I have when my bank teller asks me with a forced smile, how my morning is going… or see an interview with Tom Cruise,’ he explains.

‘It’s not simply that my teller’s greeting, and the celebrity Scientologists, are fake, it’s how hard they pretend that they’re not – that’s what really gets under my skin.’

'I remember looking at a stock photo of the smiley family in a loving embrace and thinking to myself: "They’re not a family, they're actors who met ten minutes before they took this,"' said Mr Vescovo

‘I remember looking at a stock photo of the smiley family in a loving embrace and thinking to myself: “They’re not a family, they’re actors who met ten minutes before they took this,”‘ said Mr Vescovo

Matt Vescovo , 45, started The Stock Photobomber to 'injects reality into an unreal world by injecting himself' into photos of perfect-looking work environments, canoodling couples and happy families

Matt Vescovo , 45, started The Stock Photobomber to ‘injects reality into an unreal world by injecting himself’ into photos of perfect-looking work environments, canoodling couples and happy families

'Armed with Photoshop 6.0 and my own raw emotion, I’m going to thrust stock photography into the real world the only way I know how... I’m going to photobomb the s*** out of it,' he writes on his website

‘Armed with Photoshop 6.0 and my own raw emotion, I’m going to thrust stock photography into the real world the only way I know how… I’m going to photobomb the s*** out of it,’ he writes on his website

After starting his career at BBDO in New York, Mr Vescovo, who now works as a freelancer for clients like Sony and Diet Pepsi, says he has 'viewed some 845,742,923,012 stock images'

After starting his career at BBDO in New York, Mr Vescovo, who now works as a freelancer for clients like Sony and Diet Pepsi, says he has ‘viewed some 845,742,923,012 stock images’

Mr Vescovo says he felt 'compelled' to make an example of things that are fake but pretend they're real, starting with the world of stock photography

Mr Vescovo says he felt ‘compelled’ to make an example of things that are fake but pretend they’re real, starting with the world of stock photography

Mr Vescovo says he felt ‘compelled’ to make an example of these things, starting with the world of stock photography.

‘I was in a gift shop and I happened to walk by the aisle where they sell picture frames. I remember looking at the stock photo of the smiley family in a loving embrace they had in the frame and thinking to myself: “They’re not a family, they’re actors who met ten minutes before they took this,”‘ he told Buzzfeed.

‘It felt a little fake to me and so I thought, “I know what will make it more real, if I’m in there.”‘

Mr Vescovo said that stock photos always felt fake to him, so he thought, 'I know what will make it more real, if I’m in there'

Mr Vescovo said that stock photos always felt fake to him, so he thought, ‘I know what will make it more real, if I’m in there’

'People really seem to like the photobombs.... I do it all on Photoshop. God bless Photoshop,' said Mr Vescovo

‘People really seem to like the photobombs…. I do it all on Photoshop. God bless Photoshop,’ said Mr Vescovo

'When I look at stock photos, I experience the same uncomfortable feeling I have when my bank teller asks me with a forced smile how my morning is going... or see an interview with Tom Cruise,' Mr Vescovo explains

‘When I look at stock photos, I experience the same uncomfortable feeling I have when my bank teller asks me with a forced smile how my morning is going… or see an interview with Tom Cruise,’ Mr Vescovo explains

Mr Vescovo says the reaction has been ‘pretty amazing’ so far.

‘People really seem to like the photobombs. I think photobombing is such a big thing these days and I just happened to take it and add a little twist. I do it all on Photoshop. God bless Photoshop.’ 

 

Xmas Holidays

UK’s main worries include money problems, dead-end relationships and unfulfilling jobs

  • Nearly 70 per cent of Brits feel trapped in the same old routine
  • Job security, debt and body image are among top 20 worries
  • Most believe making just one change would improve their happiness levels

By

Daily Mail Reporter


Published:
17:52 EST, 22 January 2015

|
Updated:
19:05 EST, 22 January 2015

Money worries, dead-end relationships and unfulfilling jobs were among the reasons many Brits said they were fed up, a blu eCig study revealed

Money worries, dead-end relationships and unfulfilling jobs were among the reasons many Brits said they were fed up, a blu eCig study revealed

We’re shivering in the sleet, struggling to pay christmas bills and all those New Year’s resolutions have gone up in smoke.

No wonder we’re a nation of miseries. Just three in ten of us are happy with our lives, a study has revealed.

Money worries, dead-end relationships and unfulfilling jobs were among the reasons many said they were fed up. 

The study of 2,000 people found that 69 per cent feel trapped in the same old routine and more than 40 per cent are unhappy with their lives.

Lifestyle niggles, worrying about their image and even the British weather were listed among the top 20 reasons for feeling worried, with nearly three-quarters succumbing to the winter blues.

Just seven per cent described themselves as very happy with their image, while a confidence-lacking 40 per cent of people are actively unhappy with the way they look, results showed.

Commissioned by blu eCigs, the study revealed that the majority of people don’t make changes to their lives because they struggle to know where to start.

Jacob Fuller, CEO of blu eCigs, said ‘A lot of people set out to make changes to their lives in January but find it a struggle and end facing a case of the January blues.

‘The results show that making smaller, positive lifestyle changes rather than setting drastic unattainable targets is the best route to improve overall happiness.’

Relationship stresses also take their toll – results found one in five feels their relationship has declined in recent times, while the same number felt there isn’t a future with their current partner.

And work life brings little respite – nearly a quarter don’t feel they’re going anywhere in their job.

Just a quarter of people felt their career had gone to plan and were actually able to do the job they originally hoped to do.

TOP 20 WORRIES FOR BRITS

1. Getting old in general

2. Worried about my savings/ financial future

3. Low energy levels

4. My diet

5. Financial/credit card debts

6. Job security

7. Wrinkles or ageing appearance

8. Worried about my physique

9. Paying rent/mortgage

10. I seem to be generally unhappy 

11. I need to find a new job 

12. Whether or not I am attractive

13. Whether my partner still loves me

14. Whether I’ll find the right partner/ whether my current partner is right

15. A friend or family member I’ve fallen out with

16. Whether I’m a good parent/ raising kids right

17. Meeting work targets or goals

18. If my dress sense is good

19. Pet’s health

20. Worried about the area I live in/ crime levels

The study, titled the 2015 UK Optimism Audit, found that while more than three-quarters of people think that New Year’s resolutions are ineffective, most of us do see the value in making incremental changes to our lives.

Seventy per cent believe that changing just one small thing would make an improvement to their happiness levels.

The majority don’t make changes to their lives as they struggle to know where to start.

Showing the value of small changes, half of those that smoke said swapping to an e-cig would improve their lifestyle. 

The research found fears over ageing, mounting debt and work stress among the 20 most common worries for the average Brit

The research found fears over ageing, mounting debt and work stress among the 20 most common worries for the average Brit

Xmas Holidays

QUENTIN LETTS yesterday in Parliament

By

Quentin Letts for the Daily Mail


Published:
17:48 EST, 22 January 2015

|
Updated:
19:04 EST, 22 January 2015

Speaker Bercow’s nemesis, Sir Robert Rogers, took his seat in the House of Lords for the first time. He won an unusually big cheer from peers and numerous spectators.

Those onlookers, mostly sitting on the steps of the Throne, included senior MPs who have to work closely with bullying Bercow every day of the week.

Sir Robert, you may recall, is the outstanding parliamentary servant who quit unexpectedly as Clerk of the Commons last summer. He did so, it has been claimed in the House, after being sworn at by a violently-tempered Speaker Bercow.

Scroll down for video 

Sir Robert Rogers (above), took his seat in the House of Lords for the first time. He won an unusually big cheer from peers and numerous spectators
Sir Robert, you may recall, is the outstanding parliamentary servant who quit unexpectedly as Clerk of the Commons last summer. He did so, it has been claimed in the House, after being sworn at by a violently-tempered Speaker Bercow (above)

Speaker Bercow’s (right) nemesis, Sir Robert Rogers (left), took his seat in the House of Lords for the first time. He won an unusually big cheer from peers and numerous spectators

Diddums, some might say. Should a clerk not be able to take a light tongue-lashing? But the Clerk of the Commons is an independent guardian of propriety, appointed by the Queen. If he was told to ‘eff off’ by the Speaker because he was refusing to compromise his integrity, should this not be a matter for deeper investigation?

When the allegation of this abuse was made in the Commons, Mr Bercow glibly denied it. Ministers who mislead the House are drummed out of office. Perhaps we need the same rule for Speakers.

Yesterday morning the whiskered Sir Robert – a Herefordshire church organist and beady-eyed scholar who will sit as a Crossbencher – officially became Lord Lisvane. The Upper House’s introduction ceremony was its usual ornate self. 

A herald dignified proceedings in a medieval-style tabard. Wands were held, bows made. A wigged flunkey declaimed a message from the Queen granting the new peer his rights, titles and appurtenances. And two members of the Upper House acted as the newbie’s ‘supporters’.

You can tell something about a new peer from the identity of his supporters. Sir Robert was supported by the distinguished lawyer Lord Judge (‘distinguished lawyer’! – now there is a phrase I seldom use) and by former Commons Speaker Lady Boothroyd. 

Betty’s involvement was particularly interesting. It signalled that she thinks Bercow is an ill-mannered twerp who is bringing disgrace to the Speakership.

Who can say she is not right?

In they stepped, ermined to the gunwales (the introduction ceremony is the only time, apart from State Openings, when ermine is normally seen in the Chamber). 

Yesterday morning the whiskered Sir Robert (right) – a Herefordshire church organist and beady-eyed scholar who will sit as a Crossbencher – officially became Lord Lisvane

Yesterday morning the whiskered Sir Robert (right) – a Herefordshire church organist and beady-eyed scholar who will sit as a Crossbencher – officially became Lord Lisvane

Sir Robert, or Lord Lisvane as his school nametapes will now need to say, swore on the Holy Text to pay true allegiance to Her Majesty. 

His family watched from the galleries. And from the steps of the Throne he was watched by an unusually high number of MPs. 

These included the main Deputy Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, and fellow Deputy Speaker Dame Dawn Primarolo. Both are Labour MPs. 

The other Deputy Speaker, Eleanor Laing, was watching from the far end of the Chamber.

Among MPs I spotted were Sir George Young, who as a former Leader of the Commons had to endure the daily tooth surgery of meetings with Speaker Bercow. 

Also: ex-Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans, and ex-shadow Leader of the Commons Sir Alan Duncan. All these people know Mr Bercow well. They have seen him up close. 

They have inspected the little demon in his temper-tantrum lair. They knew what the new Lord Lisvane had endured. 

In Bercow we have a Speaker who poses as an opponent of homophobia but who was less than entirely supportive to the gay Mr Evans when he recently faced wrong accusations of gay assault.

Here is a Speaker who makes pious pronouncements against bullying even though he himself is accused of shrieking at underlings; a Speaker who takes petty vengeance to a new level and refused to call Jack Straw in important exchanges on Wednesday on the Iraq Inquiry; an ‘impartial’ adjudicator who has palpable favourites. 

Here, furthermore, is a Speaker who bores people rigid with his self-polishing lectures about democracy – yet who will not allow MPs a secret vote on whether or not he should continue in the Chair.

Yet Harriet Harman supports him! Something is rotten at the very top of the House of Commons.

Xmas Holidays

Only One Designer Paper

Hello and welcome to another challenge at Winter Wonderland - Karen here with last weeks winner and top 3 and off course our next challenge.

Thank you for all your lovely entries into last week’s challenge.
Last week’s winner as chosen by Random Org is:  #27 Birgit

And here’s Birgits lovely card.
Congratulations Birgit, please email Deborah at Deb0210@hotmail.co.uk  to claim your prize,
before the end of the current challenge. Please make the subject of your e-mail Winter Wonderland 
Now onto the top three, always are difficult choice.

Please take our top three banner to display proudly on your blog.



Now onto this week’s challenge -

Only One Designer Paper


So we only want to see one patterned paper on your project for this one.  Remember we’re still in the ‘none’ christmas mode, so your project can be for any occasion. 
Our sponsor for this one is All Dressed Up 




The prize is a choice of 2 digi images.
And here’s a little bit of info about our sponsor.


Hi I am Wendy Burns I live in Nottingham UK with my husband and two children who have been the inspiration behind the characters,  in particular my daughter who has kept me up-to-date with blogging and trends.  I work predominantly within the textile children’s wear market, fashion and interiors.

I trained as a textile designer and although my work is digital based, I love to retain that hand drawn /sewn feel which I hope comes across in my artwork.

Digital stamps is a new challenge for me and the opportunity to work with the All Dressed Up Team and has been very exciting, in particular the creative way my characters have been given individual personalities by the designers .

All Dressed Up is a newly launched blog with an enthusiastic team who are passionate about stamping.  The coordinators Marilyn and Tracy along with an amazing design team are also known as The Dressy Girls.

We have a friendly Facebook page, regular blog posts, tutorials, challenges and freebies .The stamps can be purchased from the Etsy shop which is updated on a monthly basis.

We really are friendly bunch and would love to see your creations so please feel free to contact us and visit the All Dressed Up Challenge Blog.

Here’s the inspiration from the DT.  We always appreciate a visit so if you click the name you can hop over and leave them a comment and also find out if they have combined their challenge with any others, which could give you some ideas.

Karen 
Using Sponsor’s Image – Fairy Magic 
       
Rebecca
Using Sponsor’s Image – Fairy Magic

Marie
Using Sponsor’s Image –  Fairy Magic

Deborah
Using Sponsor’s Image – Fairy Magic

Pauline
Using Sponsor’s Image – To have & to Hold

We all hope you are able to join us in our challenge this week. We look forward to visiting your blogs and seeing your gorgeous creations. Please be sure to post a link back to the Winter Wonderland blog in your blog post in order to be eligible for this weeks prize! Thursday 29th January, (5pm GMT) is the deadline for your creation to qualify for the prizes.

So all that’s left is for you to get creative and leave your entry here with the blue frog so we can come and find you asap.

Have fun and remember you can enter each challenge up to 3 times.


Karen and the WW Teamies xxx


Christmas 2013