Saturday 30 November 2019

Friday night

Yesterday evening we fought our way through the Bath Christmas market on our way to a friend's private view at the city art gallery. Although the market grows larger year on year it doesn't seem to improve in the goods that are for sale. There seem to be far more food stalls than in previous years and people chomping away as they wandered about. There was nothing there that tempted me to stop and buy. 

Perhaps if I were starting from scratch I might have bought some decorations, but I keep my Christmas things  from year to year and already have more than enough.

The paper stars stall was rather lovely.
The art gallery was crowded, as is always  the case at a private view. I'll visit another day when it isn't so busy. Sally's show is a dog lover's delight!
There are dog portraits of all sizes to enjoy, from very small to very large.
If you've ever owned a dog you will recognise some of the expressions!

What's not to love about a dog with a long nose?!

It was pretty grim to return to a dog-less house after this show.

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Winter fair

On Sunday our friends were providing the music at a Christmas fair in Portishead and we went along in our role as groupies.

 It was a cold, raw day and I dressed appropriately, thick socks and boots and so many layers of clothing that I resembled a Michelin tyre man.  I don't know how these elves managed to keep warm.
Lots of knick-knackety Christmassy things were for sale - I was tempted by the little cashmere bears, but I think the stall holders selling hot food and body-warming mulled wine were doing the best trade.

Then eight of us met up for one of those delightful evenings full of laughter and reminiscences. Himself had got so chilled at the fair that he spent most of the evening wrapped up in his down jacket and scarf. "Are you going to take your coat off?" asked our hostess when we sat down to a warming supper.
What happened to autumn? It is definitely winter here now.

Saturday 16 November 2019

It's a man thing.

Most of the houses in our small hamlet have wells, built in the time before water was piped directly into our homes. Periodically Himself peers down through the metal grill that tops our well to check how high or low the water level is. 
It is of no real concern to me, but for him it seems to be a source of continuing interest.
"Only six feet from the top," he announced today. In recent years he has more often said, "the water level's very low." He dropped a weighted rope down to get an idea of the depth. It's about thirty-six feet.
But that's not all that he's dropped. He pulled the measuring rope back up but he wasn't as successful with a galvanised bucket that he'd lowered. I don't know why he lowered a bucket in the first place, perhaps he was wanting to check how clean the water supply was. In the event the bucket became detached from the rope and stayed down in the depths of the well.
There have been any number of attempts at retrieval. Every male friend and neighbour who comes to the house has to peer down the well. They stand around it, heads bowed, as though at a religious ceremony. "Still there? asked Dave, calling in with his dog. Our neighbour, Roger, brought a grappling hook. No success. More mournful gazing down the well before he took the hook back home. The bucket lies on it's side, the handle inaccessible.
"If you shine a torch down at night I might be able to see what to do a bit more clearly."
Some hope!
There is talk of trying a strong magnet.
It's been going on for months and I'm utterly fed up with hearing about this bucket. "What were you doing with it anyway?" I ask.
"I thought we could water the garden if we get another drought," he tells me. 
"But never mind, the bucket's got a hole in it anyway."

Thursday 14 November 2019


This morning I opened the curtains to find this slight dusting. Snow was still falling but it soon turned to rain and the day was cold and wet and rather miserable. Our wood store is full to the brim in readiness for the winter ahead and we had the log burner loaded and throwing out heat long before we sat down to lunch.  I've still got bulbs to plant, I just need one decent day to get them in the ground, but I'm starting to think that I might have missed my chance! I'm not complaining, however, because my home is warm and dry while elsewhere people are having to deal with such extremes of weather, not least my favourite city, beautiful Venice. What a tragedy that corruption and inertia has resulted in no proper sea defences for such an exceptional place.
It is a city that I've visited many times over the years, on several trips having to dry out my footwear overnight. I do hope that the Italian government will get their act together before it is too late.

Monday 11 November 2019

Another short walk.

Family were home at the weekend. The weather was disgraceful on Saturday and we didn't put our noses out of the door. At least our home wasn't flooded like some of those unfortunate householders in the north. On Sunday things improved considerably and we donned our wellies and set out for a bit of fresh air.

Lots to inspect at the lakeside.

Glorious autumn colour now.
Come on Nana, keep up!
Lots of berries.
There was quite a biting north wind so we didn't stay out for long. There was plenty to do at home; showing Himself what can be made with play dough.

Listening to me telling silly stories
and making music.
(Sort of!)

Wednesday 6 November 2019

A very short walk

Just time between the showers for a short walk. Slithery mud underfoot makes for tricky walking, but even so it's good to be out in the fresh air.

There is still a lot of green,
with only a little autumn colour creeping in.
Just got home before the next bout of rainfall!

Saturday 2 November 2019

Do we need to build an ark?

The ground is sodden and we make only brief forays into the garden to dig up some muddy, earth-caked vegetables for lunch. Ever since I invested in three huge water butts it seems to have done little other than rain!

Things are flowering well in the greenhouse but it is now too chill and damp to be in there.
Light levels are low.
I'm pleased with the cuttings that I took from my Meyer lemon bush, they are growing well and starting to fruit.
The last picking of pears has ripened and they are in the cool of the greenhouse in an effort to keep them in good condition for a little longer.
But I'm feeling rather like the scarecrow, not at all impressed with how this autumn has turned out!