Monday, December 28, 2020

Snow Day

This morning we woke up  to the muffling silence of snow.  The garden was snuggled under a brilliant soft white blanket.

People are out on the street.  A mum is pulling her two girls along on a sledge.  A  mum and dad are walking along with their little one who is wide eyed at the first snow he has probably ever seen.  I can hear squeals of delight as I'm typing.  Each family is keeping their social distance but smiling and waving to all who pass by or call encouragement from their garden gates.

 Four young male blackbirds were clamouring around the feeders waiting for nibbles so a path was made to the bird feeders.  On the hanging feeders it was finch time as we saw a bullfinch, chaffinches and goldfinches.

There are two snow caused casualties in the garden. 

The Hebe is down but hopefully may bounce back

The netting cover constructed last Spring to protect the vegetables and fruit from badgers and birds has completely collapsed and stands no chance of bouncing back.

What to do on a day like today?  I have a basket of ironing , that will keep me warm.  I have a good book on my kindle to curl up with later.  I'll write a post about my recent reading soon.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Morning

Just popping in to say thank to all who visit me here.  Thank you for reading, commenting and being such lovely blogging friends.

 Christmas will be different for us all this year but wherever you are my wish is that you have a peaceful day today finding joy in small things. Take care and stay safe.


Sunday, December 20, 2020

Morning Sun

 We've had such strange weather over the last few days but we have been able to get out for a quick walk a few times between the raindrops.  Over the muddy fields, for which wellies are definitely needed, or around the streets locally varying the route, clockwise or anti clockwise around the block.

This was the sun at just before eleven o'clock this morning. 

We risked going out for a quick walk and were lucky. It started to rain just as we  got back home.
We made cheese scones for lunch but had eaten them before I thought to take a photograph, they were delicious.

I've been sorting out the Christmas decorations and gradually putting them around the house.  I was pleased to find my little singing shepherd.

I bought him from a shop in Stratford-upon-Avon some time in the late seventies or perhaps early eighties. We had probably been to see a play but I can't remember which one, we were also Christmas shopping because I remember the lights in the darkening streets as we emerged from the theatre in the late afternoon . He is actually a candle snuffer.  I remember there were other nativity characters to choose from but he appealed to me then and I still like him.

Finding the shepherd candle snuffer reminded me that I also bought a little dish from the same shop as a present for my Mum.  Of course it is now back with me and full of memories. 

Meanwhile, in the garden, little Snowdrop shoots have begun to emerge from the damp soil. Signs of hope, of new beginnings, at least one small thing to look forward to in the new year. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Scents of the Season

There are quite a few delightful aromas around at this time of year to make us feel festive, even in these strange and troubled times.  

Sweet evocative smells of childhood Christmas.  Pink sugar mice, marzipan and chocolate. 

Herbs and spices, dried fruit and mixed peel.  All things citrus.  Coffee, hot chocolate and mulled wine or cider.  The kitchen aroma of mince pies fresh from the oven and gingerbread biscuits too.

The spruce smell of the door wreath.

I expect you all have a favourite.


This year we will miss visiting Little Moreton Hall and Haddon Hall for their Tudor Christmas events and displays.  Below are some photos taken in past years.


Little Moreton Hall near Congleton, Cheshire.

Haddon Hall, near Bakewell, Derbyshire

 Time now I think, for a mug of tea and a mince pie.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

New Foxes

 Updates on last Friday's post.

Foxes are back but it's a new pair.  

They appeared on our wildlife camera last night.  Just look at the rain!
These two seem to have taken over from the two older foxes.  It has happened before when familiar foxes move on and new ones take their place.  They don't have a long life span especially in urban areas, perhaps two or three years.

In other news the gas people are stopping at the house next door and the rest of the road have to wait until after New Year. 

Still no post, not even junk mail.  The parcel of fruit teas cannot be tracked and the parcel from a friend, sent on 26th November, still hasn't arrived.  We posted all our cards on Monday morning so lets hope they get there in time.

Last year we couldn't be bothered to struggle to get the Christmas tree out of the roof space since then it has been cleared out and the tree left where it could be easily retrieved.  Today it was brought down from the roof space so that we can decorate it a few days before Christmas.

I've found one of the boxes of decorations for the tree.  Now where is the other one?

There was a letter in our newspaper this morning which ask the question 'Do I have the oldest artificial Christmas tree'  the writer's tree was thirty years old. I have an older one. 

Tucked away in a cardboard box alongside my childhood teddy bears is a very small tree bought for my first Christmas in December 1950, I would have been almost four months old. 


Thursday, December 03, 2020

Into December

As it is Friday here are five things from this week

 The Calendar has turned to the last month of the year.

The four weeks of national lockdown ended on the 2nd December and we are now in tier three, so there are still many restrictions. Just as we could possibly go a little further afield than a nearby walk, although of course still within the city, the gas company who have been working in the area have reached our corner and will dig up the road outside our house, we will have walkways to get beyond the garden gate on foot but the car will have to stay put for a few more days.  The heating will have to be turned off for a while too, I hope it won't be for too long.

We received our first Christmas Card (hand delivered) on 29th November, so it's now time to think about Christmas cards and letters.  I started yesterday by writing the envelopes.  Today I will write the greetings inside the cards and put them in the envelopes then split them into three piles, local to be hand delivered, those than can be sealed with just a personal note on the card and lastly those that I will send with a longer letter which will probably be written over the weekend.  Of course the moment it is needed the printer has decided it has had enough and won't work, so  the letters will have to be hand written. 
Above a photo of an old postbox in Buxton taken in 2018.

 We have huge problems with post at the moment. Letters and cards are takng over a week to reach us.  We still haven't received a small parcel a friend told us they had sent over a week ago.  From comments on our local neighbourhood forum people seem to think that the explanation is staffing levels as postal workers are either off sick or self isolating as other family members are ill or have symptoms. They do work hard and have done through this year especially in difficult circumstances.

Christmas baking has been done over the last few weeks.  The cake first, then the pudding and lastly mincemeat made with the vegetarian suet we had bought for the Christmas pudding before we changed our minds and used another recipe with Spelt flour.  We used this recipe (halved) - here.

We've been stocking up on tea and coffee.  We are still using loose leaf tea to avoid tea bags.  I have English Breakfast tea in the morning and a combination of Earl Grey and Assam tea at lunchtime and in the afternoon.  Paul drinks fruit teas and one he purchased recently had a seasonal ring to it.  Partridge in a Pear Tree.  It has lots of lovely seasonal ingredients - pears, apples, rosehips, cinamon, cloves and figs but thankfully no partridge.
There haven't been many visitors to the garden lately.  The wet weather has put them off.  No foxes or badgers for over a week.  We are hoping that all the road works and heavy machinery haven't stopped them getting to us although it is the time of year when foxes do move around a bit more looking for mates. Up until last week the older fox we had treated for mange was visting at lunchtime for a few dog biscuits but he's not been seen for ages.  Several local cats, grey squirrels, collard doves, magpies, goldfinches, chaffinches plus great tits and blue tits make up the rest of the visitors.
It's going to be colder this weekend so stay safe and warm.