Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year!

What will 2018 bring?

Home made Yule log
Wintry walks
Eddie in the sun
New charity shop purchase for £1

Brrrrrr......  How long until Spring?

This winter (so far):-

- We have finished gardening for a few months. It is not physically possible to get more than 3 pairs of socks in my wellies.
- We have been temping.  This is new to me but I am strangely enjoying trying different jobs.  Sarah has even been a dinner lady serving up Christmas dinners!
- I've been trying more craft projects than I can possibly complete.  Who cares?  It's winter for goodness sake and what's the alternative?  Yes, eating.
- I have been keeping warm with Port + Log burner + blankie
- I have discovered that the slow cooker is most excellent for making huge batches of soup.
- We have been regularly emptying the washing up bowl in the loft during the gales and torrential rain.
- We have become addicted to our recent period drama discovery - 'Victoria'.  
- And there were no tears or breakages on Christmas Day.  Yahoo!

Mother and son quality time in Grovely Woods

Eddie loves the woods

It was a glorious autumn day

Another family walk with the girls and Louis

We had fun trying to find our way to Dulwich Picture Gallery to see a Tove Jansson exhibition in London one day.  25 stops on the top of the bus from Clapham Junction! 

Sarah discovered that she liked my mulled cider in The Great Exhibition pub in Dulwich.

What's not to like?

The quirky Great Exhibition pub

Doing a bit more knitting in my dungarees - happy

Reading a bit of Dickins to get in the Christmas mood

I have been dressing like an elf in my temping factory job, helping to make display panels for art galleries.  One lot went off to the new V&A in Dundee which is opening next year.

Using a pillar drill.  Should have sucked my belly in.  Oh well.

Festive drinkies in (one!) of our locals, The Queens Head, Broadchalke

Making Christmas cards

The panto this year was Jack and the Beanstalk.  I got over excited during the audience participation.

Why have we not made yule log before?  It's just chocolate swiss roll with real chocolate icing.  It turned out well for Maisie's birthday cake.  Should have made a bigger one though.

I've discovered a new charity shop 'Wilton Emporium'

It's massive.  I could stay overnight I suppose.

Frozen puddles are quite interesting if you have lots of time on your hands.

I'd like winter if it was like this for more than one or two days a year.

Ed and I had a leisurely stroll 

Looking for 'stuff'

Imagining we were little miniature people living in old tree trunks.  No, that's just me.

Beautiful soft light

Pretty frostiness


Even our soggy garden looks nice when the sun comes out (stop moaning)

Leaves in the wheelbarrow

This winter has been a 'Moominland Midwinter'.  What with the fantastic Tove Jansson exhibition in London, Esme bought me a Moomin mug and Oliver a Moomin book for Christmas!  With all the extra choccies, trifle, mince pies and cheese and crackers I'm beginning to look like Moomintroll!  Resolution - must eat less......


'The sky was almost black, but the snow shone a bright blue in the moonlight.  The sea lay asleep under the ice, and deep down among the roots of the earth all the small beasts were sleeping and dreaming of spring.  But spring was quite a bit away because the year had only just got a little past New Year.'

                                                                  - Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson 1957

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thpooky October

Pumpkin soup
Spooky Cathedral Close at night
My toady friend trying to get away from my over zealous speedy weeding
The ritual carving of the pumpkin 

In October I mostly:

- was bitten by midges on the head whilst gardening
- started wearing my attractive boiler suit to work
- did lots of charity shopping
- listened to Radio 4, especially like Desert Island Discs and Woman's Hour
- started knitting a scarf
- raked leaves, planted bulbs, cut back shrubs and acquired rock hard biceps
- spotted a cattle egret next to the cows in the field behind the bungalow!
- made curried carrot soup and pumpkin soup

I loved the Helianthus in our front garden

Lots of colour still around

Sunny dog walks,

admiring nature

and trying to find Eddie's ball in the leaves

I made coffee muffins with Esme.  

I even dragged her on a walk!

Frank has been good

and bad!

A new venture for us was a trip to the Bournemouth 'Arts by the Sea Festival'.  

The 'Cockatoo Art Bar' 
- a 1965 Morris ambulance with a revolving birdcage on top for spontaneous shows

A solar powered cinema!

The 'Umbrella Tree'.  A moving installation set to slightly eerie music.

'Kitsch & Sync' were a quirky dance, theatre and performance company

They were hilarious

A member of the audience got roped in to the show!

This installation was made out of drinking straws

and the 8 metre long 'Message in a bottle' by Lulu Quinn was made from recycled bottles that had been washed up on the beach

After having a dance to one of the live bands and a go on the fruit machines we strolled down to the beach to watch the sun set

Such fun!

Lots of people were admiring the extra gorgeous sunset caused by sand from the Sahara in the atmosphere 

Bit overcast but still love the view of Gold Hill in Shaftesbury

where we had great fun with our friend Basil snurging around the charity shops

Ooh, sun has come out!

This was a charity shop haul from Wilton - I adore my new tartan waistcoat and don't care if it makes me look like someone from 'Monarch of the Glen'

We have had the usual autumn fog - Eddie?

But on the whole it was very mild

I'm off in to the sunset for a blog break now to knit my scarf, read my many books, light the fire and batten down the hatches for winter.......

Ta ra for now!

'Soon there will be three souls in the house: himself, his dog, his hawk.  The thought thrills him.  He loves this house.  He calls it his workman's cottage, his badger's sett, his refuge.  Outside, light and leaf shadows move on the high grey gables.....'

                                                                                  - 'H is for Hawk' by Helen Macdonald