The Gift that keeps Giving

Tuesday, December 27

Hi folks, how are you all? I trust you have recovered from the excesses of the festive season. I know we are still in the “season”, but surely now that the actual day has come and gone, I think it’s safe to say it’s all over right? This year Mr Dibs dragged me and Junior Messrs’ Dibs (born and unborn) up to his village. Mr Dibs grew up in a lovely little village called Heighington in the North East of England, and he always gets excited when we go up North. The weather in the North of England is usually worse than what we have down South, and it’s been known to snow up there long before we get snow in the South. This year however, there was no snow, which I thought was nice. I do not handle cold weather very well. Last year was really cold, and we had snow even in London and as a result, I spent Christmas week in bed, with a nasty flu. I was hoping for better tidings this year, as there was no snow on the horizon. Alas, I was still to suffer the same ailment as last year. I spent this Christmas week as well under the weather, and I am still trying to recover from the flu. It’s even worse this year because due to a certain bump, I am not allowed to take strong drugs to fight off the flu. I have been religiously drinking a mixture of hot water, lemon, honey, ginger and ground paracetamol. It actually helped, although my illness is dragging on for longer than it would have if I was actually allowed to take stronger medicines.

This year, as usual, Junior Mr Dibs was the recipient of many gifts. We are now struggling to carry all of them back with us to London. I got a couple of lovely things from my in-laws, but what I am most grateful for this christmas, is the gift that keeps giving. The gift of family. I am so fortunate to have married a wonderful man who takes me for the mad little madam I am, warts and all, and whose family have accepted me so wholeheartedly. Being away from your blood family is really hard, and nothing can ever replace that, but being with my in-laws makes me forget that I am not with my blood family, and for that, I am so thankful to God.

Sometime ago, Karen did a post about man crafts. My Father-in-law's hobby is wood-turning, and he made me so happy last week when he gave me these......

A small button fascinator block

A slightly bigger fascinator block

A beret block

a pill-box block (left rear) and a stand for the blocks.
Here are all of them.

Yes folks, my very own hat blocks. These are not the full head sized ones. These will be used to make cocktail hats, or fascinators if you will. Last week, on different days, he would make a new one, and not telling me, would place it somewhere for me to find it. Everyone knew I had a new hat block by my squealing. You’d see me sluggishly dragging my body into the living room, and then about 2 minutes later, a loud squeal, then you’d see me rushing out energetically, frantically searching for my father-in-law, to hug him and thank him. These hat blocks are priceless to me, as I know they were made with love, for me. If you’ve been reading my blog, you would know of how much I’ve wanted hat blocks to make my own hats. Getting new hat blocks from a hat block maker is so expensive, as I found out when I looked at these beauties. I was even going to make my own hat blocks, which I talked about inthis post, and was going to go for an interview to get on a  millinery course, but of course, with Mr bump turning up when he did, everything had to change. My family now expect me to churn out 5 hats a week…that, I suspect is their pension plan. I am so excited about having these lovely hat blocks. I hope I can make at least 1 nice hat by the end of January.

I also looked around the house, and could find some of the things made by my father-in-law, so here are a few pictures of the things he has made.

I had been planning on taking pictures of the village to show you, but due to my little brush with the evil flu, I dared not venture out of the house. I did go out once, when we went to see a Sinbad Pantomine in another town called Richmond. I managed to take 2 pictures of 2 separate butchers. Why pictures of meat selling shops, I have no clue. I do suspect however, that this was my subconscious telling me I was hungry; as we went on to have lunch about 10 minutes later, in a nice pub. 

high class meat purveyors?...ahem....a bit fancy don't you think?
 Food time....
Mr Dibs and I with the in-laws and Junior Mr Dibs
Phew….that was a lengthy post. If you’ve made it this far down, thank you. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope the New Year comes with positive experiences.


  1. Aww that's so lovely of your Father-in-law to make you those hat blocks! What a great gift, and the hat blocks are made so much more special than if you had gone out and bought them. I know I'm preaching to the converted here, but I just love handmade gifts. I hope you are recovering from your flu...illness at Christmas is so miserable!

  2. If it were me I'd be thinking of all sorts of stuff for your FIL to make in the future! LOL

  3. Wow - that is some talent! You really do have to make some serious hats now! Happy New Year when it comes!

  4. Your descriptions of the north of England are hilarious! The weather's a lot worse. As a northerner, I have to admit - it's true!

  5. Thanks Kat, recovery can be glanced on the horizon.
    KMQ, lol, you made me picture my FIL in a feathered creation...priceless.
    Roo, I have been threatened with possible divorce if no hats are forthcoming.
    Karen, I spent all the time near the fire place.

  6. OMG! You got Hat Blocks?????? How cool is that! Your father-in-law is AWESOME! How fun...I can't wait to share in your hatmaking adventures :)

  7. How great to have such a talented and kind FIL. Is he available to borrow?? Seriously though, the hat blocks look fab, I am looking forward to seeing what you make.

  8. Dibs, they look awesome !! Glad to know you feeling better.
    Happy new year my friend ! xx

  9. What a lovely man! So thoughtful. I am sure you will enjoy your new hat blocks.

  10. Your FIL sounds like a sweetheart! I hope you had a lovely visit and a tranquil new year.