Wednesday, 22 January 2020


There is hardly a thing to see in the mornings as I open the curtains and lift up the blinds. Frost and mist obscure the landscape. It feels stone cold. 
But I much prefer this sort of weather to the endless rain and when the sun manages to break through it looks lovely.

Every January, regardless of the weather, frost sleet or snow, this small tree bursts into pink blossom. It looks so delicate, but is obviously a lot tougher than I am!
Frost and sun patterning the lawn.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

I would like

I would like to be gardening but the weather is against me. 
There is plenty to occupy me indoors; the sewing machine is set up on the table, there are books to be read, classic films on television, baking to make for the freezer. I could even, oh, misery, do a bit of tidying up! But these days of wet and windy weather have kept me couped-up and I'm itching to be out. I put on my wet-weather clothes for a short walk this morning. A freaky gust of wind blew my hat off, torn-off branches were underfoot. I avoided the woods and kept to the road, just a quick twenty minutes. My clothes were sodden by the time I got home.

Friday, 10 January 2020


Some mornings just have to be celebrated.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020


I took the Christmas decorations down at the weekend in advance of twelfth night and stowed them back in the attic. The rooms seem bare without the colourful loops of twisted crepe paper, assorted pine cone greenery and candles. The only things remaining  are the red roses that I bought before Christmas. I'm amazed that they are still going strong. I sent a bouquet of flowers to a friend whose birthday falls on Boxing Day and she phoned me yesterday to say that her flowers had lasted so well that she was only now going to throw them out. Perhaps the time from cut to customer is now much quicker than it used to be. Whatever the reason both she and I were delighted.
Many households, like mine, have a vegetarian or vegan member. This holiday there were far more veg options to buy from the major supermarkets and I bought a couple from M&S and from Aldi as back-ups to my usual home-made recipes. I also dipped into this Bosh book for some new ideas.
While having a bit of a browse through Blogland I discovered that the blogger Yorkshire Pudding is the father of one of the Bish Bash Bosh Boys, Ian Theasby. Lucky man, I bet they eat well at his house!
Here is a delicious example.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

The old year.

The old year is almost gone and I'm not sorry to say goodbye to 2019. It has been a disturbing year marred by divisive, dishonest politics in Britain. Friends have been diagnosed with serious illnesses, cancer, dementia and Parkinson's disease,  each coping impressively with their condition and with their treatment. I am hoping that 2020 will bring a kinder, healthier year for everyone to enjoy.
Yesterday the sun shone briefly and I went for a short walk. I felt as though I'd been confined to the house for too long, only two brief walks with each of my daughters over the whole Christmas period. Vitamin D pills out of a bottle are very much a second-best option! I left Himself up the ladder doing more apple pruning
and took myself around the lake.

It has been a cold, misty and rather melancholy day today, rather fitting for the last day of a troubled year. 

We shall not be out partying  and dancing tonight, although we might have a bop around the sitting room. We've got a few fireworks for midnight, but, for just about the first time ever, I think we shall be in bed before one!
Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2020.

Monday, 30 December 2019


Our Christmas tree has now had about twenty years of being dragged in from the garden, decorated, and then put back outside to be pretty much ignored for another twelve months. It has less and less pine needles as each year passes. I used to think that it would eventually grow too tall for the room, but it seems to have given up any hopes of being tall and instead gains only in circumference - a bit of a problem in a cottage as small as ours! Himself suggested cutting it back but I explained that it would make the tree look even more bald than it already is, as only the tips of the branches are properly green.

We disguise the baldness by hanging the tree with all the usual suspects and hope it will look alright.
A newcomer sits at the top of the tree, the bear in a muffler replacing a very battered old white felt mouse that I'd made about forty-five years ago. "You haven't thrown it out?" my daughters asked accusingly. I wouldn't have dared. "it's in the box," I told them. But some time soon I really must learn to de-clutter!

At two and a half our grandson is just the right age to be interested in everything and just the right height to be able to see the small decorations arranged on the window ledges. 'Just look, be gentle' worked well this year, things were carefully examined and nothing came apart in his hands!

Oh, the magic of stacking dolls.

And did anyone hear bells?
There was a lot of action in the kitchen; limes being squeezed for cocktails and cutters chosen to decorate Wee-One's cake,
crushed ice going back into the freezer and icing to roll.
On Boxing day friends came to lunch. Their Irish terriers, Maeve and Murphy, bounced into the house looking very festive in collars of scarlet tinsel. What lovely dogs. Our grandson and Murphy sat down on the floor and formed a mutual admiration society, Maeve lay quietly under the table while the adults above enjoyed a noisy time and ate yet more tasty food.
The following day I got the vac out for a quick tidy round. (The following day, I hear you say - you slattern!) I found a shred of stocking. 'Bit of a pop sock?' suggested Wee-One. Yes, but whose? Beneath the table we found the answer, a completely deconstructed felt santa, filched from the tree. Oh, Maeve, you have not properly entered into the spirit of Christmas!
And did someone say that Nana had lost her marbles?
Well, they're not under the kitchen dresser.
But the cake was good!

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Happy Christmas.

Dear Bloggers, 
I wish you all, wherever you may be, whatever weather you may be battling, be it fire or flood, a
  Very Happy Christmas. 
I hope that you will keep warm enough or cool enough throughout the holiday period 
and enjoy good company and good food.
Kindest regards,