Monday, 31 December 2012


491. New cousins.
492. Deeper friendships.
493. Growing children.
494. New babysitters.
495. A dynamic team of professionals.
496. Freedom.
497. This wet England.
498. Relearning old friendships.
499. Good health.
500. All God's gifts, large and small, this year.


Sunday, 30 December 2012


481. Children with long memories.
482. Bouncy beds.
483. Hospital tea.
484. Flexible nurses.
485. Parking spaces.
486. Space for a 3rd wheelchair user in our bus.
487. New treatments.
488. Flat fields.
489. Well-timed rain showers.
490. Touch screen lifts.


Saturday, 29 December 2012


471. Roads built higher than the floods
472. Drive thru lunches
473. Friendly holiday cottage hosts.
474. Comfy holiday settees.
475. Double doors dividing holiday bedrooms.
476. Quick boiling kettles.
477. The Fens
478. One Supercute toddler.
479. Duvet coats
480. Finally sleeping children.



461. Time zones.
462. Friends awake around the clock.
463. Wise counsel.
464. Olive bread.
465. A God who never sleeps.
466. Reliable electricity.
467. Friendly plumbers.
468. Stimulating debate.
469. Wensleydale with cranberries.
470. Purple sparkly jumpers on pretty girls.


Thursday, 27 December 2012


451. Multigenerational cousins meeting.
452. Squishing fifteen people around a table meant for 8.
453. Filling that table with enough food for 30.
454. Second cousins sharing a children's table for the first time, echoes of their parents at the same age.
455. Recycling family history.
456. Squid in ink.
457. Squidgable baby boys all chuckling and grinning and snuggling in for a sneaky mid lunch snooze.
458. Moonlight over flood plains.
459. Flexible seating arrangements in our wonderful and very lovely bus.
460. Continuity.


Tuesday, 25 December 2012


441. "This is my best present in the whole wide world and I actually love it."
442. "Cousins are better than presents."
443. "A pencil case all for me? I have never ever had a whole Hello Kitty Pencil Case all for me. I have always wanted this"
444. "This is my beautiful dress."
445. "I do love my family and my sister."
446. "We are cousins and we are kissing."
447. "Bread Sauce??"
448. "You are the kindest mummy in the whole wide world and I love you"
449. "This was a lovely day we had today wasn't it?"
450. "ahh" [kick] "ahh" (Mog-speak for "yes I agree to all of that."


Monday, 24 December 2012


431. Christingles.
432. Children keen to get to bed to make the morning come.
433. Cousins dancing together.
434. Chestnut and chocolate mousse.
435. Big fat juicy prawns.
436. Stockings.
437. Jostein Gaarder.
438. The obedience of Mary and Joseph.
439. God made flesh, no warrior but a tiny vulnerable baby.
440. Simple Truth.


Saturday, 22 December 2012


421. Mild evenings.
422. New coats.
423. A cupboard full of blankets.
424. An immersion tank.
425. Plug in radiators.
426. No wind.
427. Playmate cousins.
428. Marzipan chocolate logs.
429. 3 more sleeps.
430. Sellotape.


Friday, 21 December 2012


411. A new scented candle, with dark wax, which makes the flames appear to float in a deep pool.
412. Christmas Specials to string out bedtime.
413. An uncle to walk home from school.
414. A ten year old ecstatic with the nail art kit which is her Christmas present from school.
415. Two weeks without the morning bus race.
416. The last parking space in Teaco.
417. Being able to be a tiny bit useful to two separate people today.
418. A steady stream of visitors.
419. The traditional family chocolate truffles.
420. Cling film.


Thursday, 20 December 2012


401. X-rays not needed.
402. Registrars with the giggles.
403. Company in the slowest Of slow clinics.
404. Sight of an orange form - now very nearly officially on a waiting list.
405. A surprisingly clear run home.
406. Cats who appear to be largely uninterested in our Christmas tree.
407. Pleasure in rereading familiar stories.
408. Two girls listening together and both wanting more.
409. Giggles from one child who finally woke up properly for about thirty minutes this evening.
410. The silence of the CPAP.


Wednesday, 19 December 2012


391. Dark nights leading naturally to early bedtimes.
392. Gingernuts.
393. Flapjacks.
394. Melted butter and golden syrup.
395. Twinkly lights.
396. Cats with winter manes and bushy tails.
397. Snuggly throws.
398. Christmas at Fairacre.
399. Smiles from strangers.
400. Whoosh click whirr from a functioning boiler.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012


381. Compassionate surgeons.
382. Kindly anaesthetists.
383. Enthusiastic student nurses.
384. Sympathetic staff nurses.
385. Hospital bedside tv sets.
386. Play specialists with long memories.
387. Sleepy gas.
388. Mild mornings.
389. Princess Jigsaw Puzzles.
390. Uneventful operations.


Monday, 17 December 2012


371. Fresh olive bread.
372. Old ladies exercising.
373. Courier companies with one hour delivery slots.
374. Gold and silver cat fur.
375. Tracey Beaker.
376. Unexpected friendships.
377. Morning surgery lists.
378. Tap water drinkable and tasty straight from the tap.
379. 8 more sleeps.
380. Soft pitter-patter of happy paws from the non-barky dog upstairs.


Sunday, 16 December 2012


361. Friends with power chairs. And the joy of telling children off as "No you may not use your chairs to play bumper cars."
362. Advent Carols
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363. Magnificent Cathedrals
364. Simple barn conversions.
365. House churches.
366. God's people, across this world, preparing to celebrate Christmas whether lavishly and abundantly or covertly and underground.
367. Light of the World that came down into Darkness.
368. The fact that Light is always more powerful than the dark; that a single candle can illuminate a room, but a single spot of darkness can go unnoticed.
369. Willian Tyndale
370. Wycliffe translators, continuing to make the Good News accessible in more and more languages.


Saturday, 15 December 2012


351. Casting Crowns.
352. Kutless
353. Norah Jones.
354. Hillsong.
355. Tim Hughes.
356. Matt Redman
357. The Downing Family.
358. Dido.
359. Abba
360. iTunes!


Friday, 14 December 2012


341. Doctors and other medical worker with the integrity to say when they don't know something.
342. School Christmas plays.
343. Special school Christmas plays where the narrators get huge rounds of applause for reading the words, and where members of the choir can bounce off stage to say hello mummy, and where staff are unafraid to dress up as pirouetting angels.
344. Brownies.
345. Brownie sleepovers.
346. Brownie sleepovers combining with a night's respite meaning I am alone in the house and have no child needing me in the morning.
347. Brownie Guiders willing and able to include a rather complex child in all their activities.
348. Cats finally agreeing to use the cat flap even with the flap in situ - no more draughty cat hole.
349. Friends walking this same road in love and understanding, without the need for competition.
350. Grace.


Thursday, 13 December 2012


331. Overhearing conversations between tLP and a carer "I call her Mummy Darling because she is my darling and my princess."
332. Big parcels of chocolate. From friends who understand about Cadburys.
333. Christmas lights twinkling from neighbours' windows and gardens.
334. A return to good health.
335. Freshly sharpened pencils.
336. A God who holds the grand design, even when I can't see it.
337. Mary Poppins.
338. A big bag of freshly ironed clothing.
339. Thick velvet curtains.
340. Delicately frozen leaves and berries.


Wednesday, 12 December 2012


321. Icicles
322. Not having to go outside at all today.
323. A small girl who believes helping to tidy my bedroom is a big exciting thing to do.
324. Empty laundry baskets, even if OT for half an hour.
325. The Tiger Who Came To Tea.
326. "Mummy you pray for me?"
327. Whichever of my neighbours it is who has taken to grooming Grolly - she's never looked so polished.
328. New recipes for biscuits.
329. Handprints.
330. Cosy rumbling contented purrs from the cat curled up on my side.


Tuesday, 11 December 2012


311. Time spent with friends.
312. Friends who understand how that time can end up cut short without notice.
313. Clear roads between us.
314. Frost and fog on harvested fields.
315. Petrol stations which appear just as the emergency fuel reserve message comes up on the dashboard.
316. An unlimited supply of towels and handwash.
317. The kindness and genuine empathy from school staff.
318. Fresh tea cakes from a farm shop.
319. Answerphones.
320. Noel Streatfeild.


Monday, 10 December 2012


301. Friends who aren't afraid to babysit.
302. Big cupboards.
303. Hospitals with internet access for patients' relatives.
304. School staff who understand how to get the best out of Mog.
305. Grouchiness which turns to glee when I finally get the message and drop what I'm doing to cuddle.
306. Carers who nearly know my girls better than I do.
307. Reading The Magic Porridge Pot with tLP, and hearing her giggle as the story unfolds - as she herself sounds out the words quickly enough to be able to take on board the meaning too.
308. Freshly baked bread, steaming hot and perfect.
309. Visitors who can ignore the mess and the chaos and just enjoy the visit.
310. Cold air biting into the lungs and blowing away the internal cobwebs.


Sunday, 9 December 2012


291. Counting down to Christmas.
292. Great Auntie Edith's Nativity set.
293. Our Advent Story Calendar book.
294. Greenery.
295. Tree lights which work out of the box.
296. Soldier decorations from last year at Clarence House.
297. Goldie's glass bauble she made at Helen House, hung so desperately carefully.
298. Special Kids in the UK gingerbread man, hanging on the strongest branch.
299. A tree tip strong enough for our gold star.
300. Children excited to be decorating the tree.


Saturday, 8 December 2012


271. Small nurseries selling beautifully symmetrical Christmas trees.
272. Learning how to hang a Christmas Wreath without taking out the letter box.
273. Chestnut and mushroom en croute.
274. Friends with driveways long enough for Lotty the Beastwagon.
275. The amazing softness that is the underbelly of a cat.
276. Reading a new book, and then immediately rereading it to spot hints about the plot twists.
277. Sorbsan.
278. Adjustable parameters on the SATs monitor.
279. Home oxygen.
280. Dry shampoo.


Friday, 7 December 2012


261. Our GP.
262. Kindness from other drivers, pulling backwards to accommodate our ginormous beastmobile plus lift in a parking space.
263. Smiles from a Big Issue lady.
264. The sentence "I am a girl and I hav a cat I hav a rabt I have animals" written in tLP's best handwriting.
265. Chocolate malted milk biscuits.
266. Early nights.
267. BiPAP.
268. Sterile water.
269. Bin men.
270. Plastic.


Thursday, 6 December 2012


251. Friendships which grow out of casual conversations online.
252. Social workers willing to take a chance on friendships which grew out of casual conversations online.
253. Circles of adults able to put history aside and work for the good of the child.
254. Adoption.
255. Children who were temporarily siblings getting to know each other as friends.
256. Extra long parking spaces.
257. Friends who understand that a door shut in their faces is not an insult but joy of a child in the magic button for the lift.
258. Watching a child grow and bloom In the right family.
259. New information about that which I've always considered to be a footstool.
260. Understanding.


Wednesday, 5 December 2012


231. Late nights.
232. Mobile phones.
233. Christmas music.
234. The scent of pine trees.
235. Grolly's "look at me, I have caught a leaf" mew.
236. A fever coming down.
237. Mitrofanoff. Whoever he was.
238. Grapes.
239. A full pantry.
240. Clean floors.
241. Warm jumpers.
242. Curly squidgy little girl toes.
243. Dominoes.
244. The Giggle of a small child playing shops with Friend.
245. Health professionals who make house calls.
246. Parking sensors on the new bus.
247. Simon and Garfunkel.
248. Unshakable faith in God my Rock.
249. Alarm clocks.
250. Paper lampshades, diffusing harsh bulbs to gentle glows.


Tuesday, 4 December 2012


221. Old friends who know more of me than anyone else.
222. Laughter
223. Honesty
224. Remniscencing.
225. Cheeselets.
226. Candlelight.
227. Vienna
228. Network Rail.
229. Picture messaging.
230. The hint of a promise of snow to come.


Monday, 3 December 2012


211. Domicilary Outreach.
212. Unlimited suction catheters.
213. Parents who live close enough to buy extra paracetamol.
214. The soporific effect of Norah Jones.
215. Coconut water. So much nicer than dioralyte.
216. Hot brioche with melting butter.
217. The satisfaction of shattering ice in puddles.
218. Friends with stethoscopes
219. Feline friendships, becoming closer as the weather cools.
220. Icicles.


Sunday, 2 December 2012


201. Advent.
202. Quiet cuddles with a poorly girl.
203. Beef casserole with dumplings.
204. A 7 year old who is able to make intelligent substitutions in a cake recipe.
205. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
206. Fluffy blankets
207. Double glazing.
208. New stories.
209. Cat fishing.
210. Frost on window panes.


Saturday, 1 December 2012


191. Diazepam
192. Buscopan
193. Saline
194. Suction
195. Olbas Oil
196. Vicks
197. Silicone
198. Spare batteries
199. Beeps
200. Malted Milk cow biscuits.