Yuletide definition – wiki dictionary
It invokes (creates ideas) of cheery log fires and happy people making merry and raising a glass – all the way to Christmas proper!
Obviously there are more dour days in the calendar e.g. Advent and the serious business of Christmas itself with Carols and services and the beautiful Christian Church stories of Jesus’ birth especially at school, but basically we ordinary parent-folk do like our making merry!!
If anyone has other celebration stories please add them in the comments – there is a calendar of all the different religions ‘special days’ on the Wollaton_nottm twitter from the ‘Chalice Well garden beautiful people’ in Glastonbury.
Have many happy olde english winter days and celebrations – lots of them!
Just don’t drink and drive.
Once a few pennies are saved, there are lots of pubs, restaurants, cafes and even take aways locally – and especially the Cafe in the Park where they do super food and snacks (their breakfast muffin is awsome) and their take out Cappaccino and Latte are just the best!
Okay thats the bills and the holiday savings partially spent – but its a long winter and theres time to catch up again (those heating bills – did you know you can have a ‘pay as you go’ meter for utilities especially if you are just moving into a first home – its tougher to buy utilities each week in the winter but no bills stack up – and although those dd’s all year round are okay if work and wages are regular all year round – but lots of trades aren’t paid regularly and if you miss a month bank charges are steep!)
Of course if you are still seriously saving, or even just thrifty, there’s always the possibility of reheating your own coffees made at home if you like milky coffee or taking a picnic bag or hamper and just heating it in the car with a cigarette lighter kettle that runs off the car battery or take a trusty flask. Picnic hampers are cool with porky pies and pickle or even just a bar of chocolate to share!!
Making super cakes to take or baking old fashioned puddings to munch at home later can be just the best kind of day for small kids and grandparents! I can remember walking the park with my beloved grandfather and going home to either crumpets and butter toasted by the fire or cakes or even fruit pie and custard – twilight afternoons warm and cosy with my own hot water bottle on the sofa tucked up with a rug, tired out watching the firelight dance in the hearth after a long walk – just super days!
We took pockets full of apples too and have kept that tradition going, I’ve munched so many yummy apples from the greengrocer in the park on walks or just chilling- i wonder why there aren’t any apple trees growing!
There are cafes on Bramcote Lane and the garden centres nearby do have super morning coffees lunches and teas (and the food isnt in a box – unless thats your choice of course) Trowell Garden Centre and the ones near Stapleford are the closest and have super Christmas decorations.
We have the Christmas Lights on the small shopping lane at Bramcote as well and they will be on from the 4th. Beeston Town Centre and the other County towns will have their lights as well as the City where there is the Christmas fair, market and ice rink in the Old Market Square. Even more gorgeous Garden Centre Cafes sprinkle the edges of the City – at Lambley, Wicks on Spring Lane is lovely and the one near Bulcote on the way to Southwell has fresh ground coffees and posh teas to buy (sorry i cant remember the name – but will find out).
At the Riverside at Beeston and the other side of the City from Colwick right along the river (mind its not in flood) you can find super pub restaurants all cosy with a view of the river.
Southwell is probably our nearest old fashioned chocolate box type county town for a day or half day out, with Newark further out and then in the opposite direction over the river, Ruddington is a lovely little town with the Framework Knitters museum, the Great Central Railway (Santa steaming trains) and lovely small shops. Mansfield, Worksop, Kirkby and Sutton in Ashfield all have the small shopping centres. Ilkeston just into Derbyshire is worth a visit when they have their market.
Bus trips are around £8 for a family ticket, two adults and up to three kids all day round the wider city – Trent Barton have some specials for further afield and the Robin Hood Train and the tram both go as far as Hucknall where there are nice pubs and a market. Newstead Abbey is near Hucknall and apparently accessible with a walk from the train, but i’ve not met anyone whose used the train to visit there. Most out of the city places have free or cheap car parking. Rufford Abbey is stunning with walks, craft shops and events and Edwinstowe with Sherwood Forest and the craft centre is just a picturesque village. Clumber Park is a little further on near Ollerton which is a small town and nearby is the Walesby super super Christmas Garden Centre with just an awsome collection of Christmas decorations – these are all lovely places on a winters day, hopefully they are still open for trade and visitors.
City folk of course are spoilt for choice with places to go from the Cornerhouse to the Arena and lots of fast food and cafes and pubs including real ale ones!!
Checkout the Wollaton_nottm twitter for ideas both the tweets and the lists.
The favourite charity of all time is the RNLI and their tweets are on the blog sidebar – please support them. Its weird to think while you are cosy (or otherwise) lovely volunteer brave fellas could be ‘out on a shout’ Thanks Disaster charity info links are on the wollaton_nottm charity list if you wish to donate.
This post may seem a little patronising with a few tips for surviving the winter on a low budget (or just save money for a holiday!!) please read it with an open mind and if you feel its really poverty stricken please just think there are people in the countryside where bus-fares are around £5 or more to the nearest town, which can be around an hours journey away and folk who have a real dilema between food and heating – so any tips can be a real help.
To put this info into context my little mum was a country girl in the 1920′s and hardly ever bought any food from a shop – it was all grown on their farm and there was no central heating, no electricity, no piped water etc but people were happy- so she had the best tips in the world for a really cosy happy winter. Lots of walking, lots of painting pics, lots of reading books, playing pianos, whist drives, listening to the radio and having friends round for tea and toast – with home made jam and lots of yuletide mulled wine and mince pies, and domino playing for the grampa’s. They sewed and made their own clothes and knitted jumpers and darned socks – they didn’t have Christmas presents as such – the whole family went out somewhere for the day to a pub by the river where they took over the restaurant part and pushed the tables back for dancing in the evening!!
The essential info is that they didn’t feel miserable! Lots of hot warming pans in armchairs with coals from the fire inside and lots of hot water bottles and warm jumpers – were the way to be happy as no one had heard of central heating!
With that in mind here are a few cheery ideas from being sociable (some of the groups need a small fee – some are free) and how to eek pennies out to afford a few other perhaps more modern treats!
Info on groups to have a sociable winter:-
There’s a Winter Warmer event For the Places for People estate on the 28th December at the Vale Community Centre 4pm to 7pm
please see the wollaton_vale twitter for more info https://twitter.com/wollaton_vale
Other Events and Groups
The Churches send round a combined list of services for Christmas – its possible the info goes in the local noticeboards too.
The Community Centres at Harrow Road and Wollaton Vale have lots of groups and the Churches have as well – and the library have computers where you can have use their computer for a free session each week for an hour, and further hours are £1, library cards are needed.
St Thomas Catholic Church will have events for Christmas too.
Eeking heating and food costs
If you are struggling with the cold – don’t forget there’s always the time honoured option of hot water bottles on the sofa with a duvet!! Obviously this will work better with the curtains drawn (those nice ceiling to floor heavy material ones with linings) Its not going to keep the whole house or flat warm but two hot water bottles can be as effective as a small radiator when the heat goes into a sofa (maybe thats what sofa’s are for!) - but it can keep you snug and toastie warm if the cost of heating is too much. Oil fired Electric Radiatior’s can cut down on central heating costs too as they only need to warm one room and are really effective especially if you have concrete floors where the central heating just eats money without keeping the room warm – plus all the UK central heating boilers go to ‘background’ heating when the temperature outside is 0 degrees – so one or two radiators (places like Argos sell them) are really useful.
Kids in the holidays and sporty folks as well as mums at home in the daytime, people out of work and older folk can really benefit from a few simple tips to keep that toastie warm feeling going!!
Home made veg soup is really easy to make – a few choice veg, potato, carrot, celery, swede, onion – all cooked with a little water half an oxo, maybe a few herbs and then blended or even just mashed makes a super cheap way of lots of cheery soup. Obviously there’s no can or packet – and its so economical – add some grated cheese and its a posh potage! There are so many variations – potato and leek, carrot and herbs or corriander, lentil and bacon, pea and ham etc!
After-note – just forgot the half tin of tomatos,and no blending – with a few mushrooms, just the best tomato veg soup – thickened with some gravygranules – not many- and then thrown over a plate of chips!! With quality sausages – where ‘poverty’ or ‘thrift’ is heavenly!
A bag of flour and a box of yeast sachets can make lots, loads even – of bread and pizzas – its surprising how not going to the shop for bread can save money!! The flour can of course make cakes and pastry – lots of yummy pies and tarts can cheer up a winter and eek out those pennies and there’s no throwing bread away! That’s around £1 for a 3lb bag of flour and £1.20 for the yeast – and just 6oz of flour will make 4 rolls or one pizza – its fun to make too!
There are halogen ovens to make bread for small quantities – you can buy them from Argos and they are super for pies or any dishes for just one or two people Argos sell them – a quick apple crumble takes around 15 mins, (bread needs turning) but 4 rolls cook in 20 mins and casseroles are quick too – pies need the base cooking before you add the topping for about 10 -15 mins – just make sure you never wind the timer backwards as it breaks the timer!!
If you have a tumble dryer – remember that electricity is cheaper after 10pm on most tariffs but don’t leave it on overnight – always stay awake and check it. The Central heating thermostat will detect the warmth from the dryer and use a little less gas.
It sounds penny pinching – but those parents who went through the war and rationing really knew how to budget and manage!! Winter can be ok if you can keep warm and have a super lunch or dinner even if there’s not much going out socialising on a tight budget - and friends can share!
The local shops in Beeston town centre have some good food bargains and often don’t cost as much as the supermarket where there is lots of temptation – and the 11 bus goes there directly but the last bus back to wollaton is around 4pm – other than that its two buses change at the priory for the 35. The 30 meets the 11 stop on Bramcote Lane.
Don’t forget anti freeze and de-icer for the car and see if there is anyone who wants to car share for shopping trips or coffee shop treats. The Car parts shop on Derby Road opposite the Priory used to test car batteries to see if they will hold up for the winter – and will probably be able to tell you if you have enough antifreeze!!
Please add any ideas or tips in the comments.
Job Seekers can have £2 bus tickets – see the NCT bus office in the broadmarsh, and there’s a seeking employment page on the Wollaton Vale Community website at
http://wollatonvalecommunitycentre.wordpress.com/seeking-employment/ with a list of some company website vacancy pages.
Come and see the lights switched on – Wednesday 4th 5.30pm to 6.30pm
Info on this event and other Nottingham Neighbourhood Events
The Christmas Markets are back on the December weekends leading up to Christmas
The markets are held in the courtyard and the hall - and there are other events including a Carol Service!!
Car Parking charges apply of course !
Don’t forget you can buy an annual car park ticket for around £30 from the shop in the courtyard – they make lovely Christmas presents as you can visit the park all through the year.