Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Monday, December 05, 2016

The one that's all about friendship at Christmas

mandy'c best ever recipe for a cosmopolitan cocktail, mandy charlton photography blog,


This week, this glorious week, a week that I finally learned again that the best thing about breathing is to remember just how alive you are.  So much good has happened in the last 7 days and actually I could go back a little further, the tides have been turning and I feel that I am at last back on track. Recovering from the end of a marriage takes so much time and energy and it affects every individual facet of your life and your personality, If I look at where I was 2 years ago today, I am a completely different woman.  I can look in the mirror now and I don't hate the person that I see staring back at me, although I'm the first to admit to having put on my winter weight of late, too much cake and not enough walking , I try not to worry about it too much though as it's only my waistline and it's not worth making a change there until January now, I certainly don't believe in denying myself treats at Christmas!

In the whole of my working life I have strived to give the best, to be the best and to give my entire heart in everything I do but the truth is that I operate at my best when I am surrounded by people I love, people who encourage me, people who inspire me, it's that love and encouragement that drives to me to always look ahead, to be better and stronger and more brilliant and it's no secret that I only ever make one New Years resolution and that is to continue to be brilliant!

On Friday night,  some wonderful friends and I made merry at my house, our first Christmas party was all inclusive with Abigail, Looby and Iain all having a friend or two of there's present, we laughed, we ate, we drank too many cosmopolitans and champagne cocktails, there may have even been a tequila shot or two, a strange thing to do a tequila shot with your son but he is 20 after all!!

When I woke up feeling a little delicate on Saturday morning after sending home the merry makers at 3am I was relieved to have a day off but a couple of hours later I was back out with Abigail watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a whole day with just Abigail and I, it's always bliss to have a mama/daughter day, even if Abigail did comment at one point "I really want you to embrace Christmas on your own instead of always inviting people over, I want you to reduce the number of people you have so that next year I can spend Christmas with my dad"  Well that hit me right in the heart and she's got a valid point, I have no doubt that she will spend Christmas day with dad one year but I'll never stop inviting friends for they are the people who make my life the fun adventure that it is, why would anyone choose to be alone at Christmas unless they really wanted to, it's something I feel passionate about, I am not a hermit (well not all the time anyway), and yet I don't seek to have hundreds of people around me, for me, a handful of people who love me and who I love is quite enough, time spent with friends who are not only my friends but also each others, my favourite thing about my friends is that they all get along famously and I guess I've spent my life picking friends who I knew would all get along if they should meet, perhaps because I pick such interesting friends but friends who all at the heart of it are warm and loving and positive, I love my friends so much!

I'm honoured today to have made it through to the second round of the UK Blog Awards 2017, I was nominated by a couple of people initially and now the public vote has opened so I'd love it if you could vote for me, It's not that I expect to win but you never know until you try and I'd love to get some acknowledgement for my blog as it's probably the thing I work the hardest at, my blog will be 11 years old in February so it's not a flash in the pan and I've written enough words to have completed a saga of many books so a nice decorative object celebrating that would be lovely!!




Finally, can I just offer up a recipe for the best Cosmopolitan you've ever tasted?

20ml - Citrus Vodka
10ml - Triple Sec
5ml   - Lime Juice
40ml - Cranberry Juice

Give that all a shake with some ice in a cocktail shaker, rub the peel from a sweet clementine around the rim of a cocktail glass, pour in your liquid goodness and then pop in the piece of clementine peel, believe me when I say these are seriously moreish and impressively alcoholic!

So this week coming, I have more making merry to do with friends and a Skype date with Mr France to look forward to, it's going to be a very good week, I can feel it in my festive baubles!

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