Friday 28 December 2018


We had a real tussle getting the tree into the house, mostly due to the weight of the soil in the pot, but also because the tree is wide and had to be brought in backwards. It was tricky pulling it through the doorways. I forget how old the tree is now, possibly getting on for twenty years. The branches are rather sparse and I should really look for a smaller rooted tree to replace it for next year but once the decorations are on I tell myself that it looks fine. Its in a dark corner of the room, only a shaft of sunshine shows up the bare branches and we don't see much sun!

I like decorations and presents that are homemade. I usually give homemade jam and chutney as small gifts for my friends but since they are as accomplished, or more so, than me in the kitchen this year I painted and decorated branches for them. And then I made some for myself!

Just before the light faded today the sky turned pink. Its the last Friday Skywatch of 2018

and I wish all sky watchers 

Thursday 13 December 2018

Dressing the tree

We've been in Bournemouth for a few days to look after our grandson. The Christmas tree was brought in from the garden and the box of decorations came down from the attic. But glass baubles and other precious items stayed carefully wrapped and out of sight, away from the eager fingers of our 'helper'.  He could reduce the straw decorations to, well, straw, in a matter of moments. Soft and/or unbreakable was the order of the day.

Careful, no grabbing!

It was quite exhausting!

Look Nana!

Friday 7 December 2018

Bath Christmas Market

During a rare few hours of dry weather we went into Bath to wander round the Christmas market. It grows larger year by year, losing character as it spreads up Milsom Street and out from the centre. I like it best where the stalls are huddled around the Abbey creating the atmosphere of a medieval fair. The city of Bath is beautiful whatever the weather, but especially so when highlighted by rays of sunshine.

Mounted police were on patrol by the abbey entrance, no doubt keeping an eye out for thieves and pickpockets. The horses were handsome creatures, impeccably behaved as people came to stroke and admire them.
We aimed our visit for late afternoon so that I could photograph the dusk and early evening light when the market looks its best. I felt sorry for the stall owners, they had been battling with cold, miserable weather ever since the market opened.

Lights came on as the sky darkened

The gin stall was well attended!
A sky to share with Friday Skywatch
and lovely choral singing from local schoolchildren.

What did I buy? A noisy stall holder was demonstrating his wares, a variety of small musical instruments, pan pipes and ocarinas and  sound objects in the shape of animals. Surely there would be something here that our small grandson would enjoy. Various sizes of wooden frog croaked wonderfully when a stick was rubbed along the ridges of their backs, but they looked far too ugly to contemplate. The painted ocarinas were pretty but made of pot that would easily break. The stall holder blew on a penguin but the sound did not impress. "Have you got a hedgehog?" asked Himself, which started up a surreal British humour competition. While they amused themselves in bizarre exchanges a small audience gathered. I continued my search for something that could be enjoyed by someone age one and a half. "The cow looks nice," I said. "Blow up its arse," the stall holder told me. Well, dear reader, I had to buy it after that! And it makes a lovely noise.

Thursday 6 December 2018

An absolute stinker

For most of November I had a cold, an absolute stinker. It put paid to any number of plans, including tidying up the garden before the winter weather set in. But we've had so much rain that I doubt I could have got much done anyway You could describe the weather as being an absolute stinker as well. I'm pathetically grateful for any brief glimpse of sunshine. When it does appear it is so low in the sky that it shines far into the rooms and illuminates areas that are usually dark.

I could gladly hibernate until spring.