Sunday, 21 December 2014

Sparkle and Shine II

Hello Lovelies,
yesterday we travelled into the city to pay a visit to the Christmas market. It's the second year of this new addition to our build up to Christmas and I'm happy we have at least found something we enjoy doing together, now the days of  happy primary school advent events are behind us.

The city was bustling and ( not having to shop) I loved the atmosphere.......


we waited until it was almost dark ( 4pm) to arrive as we simply love all the twinkling fairy lights......


It's set up near a posh arcade...so we popped in there too...........


It all looked lovely with the deep blue twilight sky above........


and in an expensive gallery this gorgeous print caught our eye.........it's such a dream like winter image....perfect for the shortest days..........

You can see it more clearly HERE...click on the picture in the link to enlarge.

Outside again the sky still had a tinge of pink...........


But it was dark enough for these delightful cabins, and the equally delightful surrounding buildings, to look their festive best........


Everything was pretty much identical to last year.....I was so happy to see the carousel again.........


and there was fun for the smaller children too............


My boys were happy to see the hot chocolate stall was exactly how they remembered it......



time for a treat....with all the trimmings...........


the traditional fairground "hook-a-duck" was transformed into "rescue rudolf".........


We don't actually do much here, except wander around soaking up the atmosphere. The boys are good ice skaters, but they are happy to simply watch the action on the outdoor rink. And I'm happy just taking photos ....it's such a feast for the eyes and a brilliant way to wake up your festive spirit......


I tried to get an arty shot, using the reflections in the fountains here, copying a man with a huge camera :0) but I'm not sure it came out that well..........



I think I'm best just snapping away at whatever catches my eye..........


And recording how it made me feel. That's what's great about blogging.

If you read last years post this will all be quiet familiar.
 And like last year my treat was a cup of Mushy peas from the Hot Pea House :0)


Last year I remember I got  lots of comments about this traditional Northern and Midlands  British food.....so here's a picture of mine with loads of mint sauce.........

Slightly odd looking.......but oh so yummy!

Happy Winter ( or Summer ) Solstice Lovelies.
Jacquie x

Saturday, 20 December 2014

A Grey Walk and A Colourful Surprise

Hello Lovelies,
Gosh it's been a busy week. No time for my little blog.
On Wednesday I spent the day wrapping prezzies and doing last minute shopping....so that  I could squeeze in one last group walk before the Christmas holidays.

The forecast was for cloud, but no rain.....and that's what we got. The day was grey with just an occasional, tantalising glimpse of the sun...........


It really didn't matter as it was still a joy to get out in the remarkably mild, but still deliciously fresh air. I  enjoyed the wintry landscape............



along with  the companionable chat and the exercise...........


It's just a shame my camera doesn't cope well with the low light levels ....most of my pictures turned out all blurry and very disappointing.

Lunch as in a churchyard as usual...simply because there are plenty benches to sit on ....I do like a church view.........


and once again there was generously shared and delicious home baking, that tasted even better after the exercise............



It was so mild I didn't even feel cold, but I wore this Christmas Pudding hat on the return leg of the walk .....to add a touch of festive fun and colour to the grey day............


It's just a shop bought version....there were loads around as I dashed from shop to shop on Wednesday and I couldn't resist picking one up for a couple of pounds, in Home Bargains



After a very pleasant nine mile walk I dashed home to carry in with the jobs on my list....then my neighbour knocked on the door, grasping a delightful looking parcel........

I know she was intrigued by the name on the envelope, but I don't think she even has the internet, so I didn't try and explain my "nickname" 

It looked so lovely sitting on the coffee table that I hesitated over opening it....enjoying the anticipation.

Then inside there was even more prettiness. Crinkly tissue paper parcels containing what I knew would be thoughtful gifts.........


Slowly I unwrapped each one, ooohing and ahhing and grinning broardly.....


This wonderfully happy delivery came from a lovely blogger I met up with at Yarndale. Jones is much younger than me and a busy mum of the cutest baby boy. She is at at super busy phase in her motherhood journey right now....and has no time to blog, and yet she had found time to send me such thoughtful gifts....I was very, very touched (there were happy tears).

I love this colourful cotton reel postcard with it's Skipton connection.........

It's a linocut by a Skipton artist Helen Peyton.

As is this card, which is the same one Lucy had in her studio. It was one of the MANY things that made us smile when we visited .............


In the third parcel there was this sweet little chicken hook.....isn't it adorable..........


and in the final package ....the most precious thing.....a gorgeous handmade decoration......


I LOVE it Jones, It's beautifully made....and backed with matching felt ........

Look at that wonderful hand sewing.

This happy chap leapt onto our Christmas tree, where he is making me smile daily.........


Jones tells my you can find the free pattern HERE.

It's a new site to me and there are loads of free patterns to enjoy. I'll enjoy having a proper look around when I get the time.

Apparently this little pattern is quiet addictive...Jones sent me this photo to prove it....where they are "cooling" in her kitchen :0)


Thank you so much for such  happy, colourful and thoughtful gifts Jones...you chose perfectly.

It makes me quiet emotional when I think of  the brilliant friendships I'm blessed with in all areas of my life....they enrich my world daily.

I'll wish you, my lovely bloggy friends and readers,  all the joy of the festive season. I have so much still to do and I'm looking forward to Christmas eve, when all the jobs are done....or it's too late to do any I haven't managed to get around to.

In case I'm not able to get back here till after the big day.....

HAPPY CHRISTMAS

Jacquie x

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Happy Winter Things

Hello Lovelies,
I hope you have had an enjoyable weekend. I'm by no means ready for the big day....but I'm not feeling too stressed about it just yet.

Here are a few happy things from our weekend.

1. An early morning walk on Saturday. I'm happy that the boys  join me on these daybreak wanders. All three came out with me yesterday. That's a rarity these days.
I love watching a new day begin and it's easy to be around to see it at this time of year.

This was about 8 am, the sky was getting light, but the moon still shone brightly........



It was COLD..........


A flock of birds rested in the bare tree branches.........


then took flight in the icy morning air...........

How different this view looks to how it did HERE....I do love being able to look back at my photos and see the contrast .

on the way back these frosty ferns caught my eye..............



2. My first hyacinth bulbs flowering. It takes a couple of weeks from buying them as little, emerging plants, to flowering. I love watching them grow.............



And then when they open the colour and the scent is heavenly...............


3.Gradually   adding more decorations around the home. I'll most likely be doing this untill Christmas eve. Rooting through boxes and discovering all the festive touches we have gathered over the years. I was very happy to find a tiny nativity set I thought we had lost. This charming decoration is so small it fits into a match box. It was part of a Anne's lovely give-away prize  a few years back..........


today we have been making Pomanders. It's been a few years since the boys last made these simple and deliciously scented decorations. When middle son said he would like to make one this year I was delighted. Who knows if this simple activity will appeal next year.........


I simply tied a ribbon around an orange and held it in place with a pin top and bottom. Then we found a bamboo kebab stick was the best tool to make holes for the cloves........


Eldest made one too as he sat watching a Christmas movie.

It's hanging with my door-frame greenery now. And I think it looks great............


I still love this spot where I can be a bit restrained with the colour scheme. I've made many red and white decorations over the years. Simple gingham hearts, scotty dogs
 ( from HERE) and crochet snowflakes ( from HERE )


4. My indoor bulb garden in the room without a view...........


when the days are so short and it's cold outside it makes me very happy to have flowers to look at as do all those kitchen things...........


My pot holders are a miss matched  mixure of old bowls, and holders. But I think they look O.K. and it's the plants that I notice from day to day.

So many simple joys to be thankful for. I'm happy to have this space to record them, and share them with you lovelies.
Jacquie x

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Thursday's Walk

Hello lovelies,
on Thursday, after a two week gap, I managed to go out walking with the group I joined back in November. 
Once again the sun shone, but unlike our last walk, this one was icy cold. 
Never mind, I had wrapped up in lots of layers and walking warms you up after a while.

This route was mostly flat and open. We came  across many  pretty cottages..........


and walked by some impressively neat allotments.........


did you spot the frog prince :0)

then along this tree lined lane..........



where there were Donkeys and Alpaca ( I think)...........


The landscape was often many mellow shades of brown.........

and rather beautiful in the winter sunshine, I thought.

Here we were walking across an open field and the wind was biting, making your eyes and nose run, but it was certainly fresh and I loved that sky.........


Again it was so nice to just follow everybody else and not worry about which route to take........


and it was great to arrive at this lane, where the wind was not so strong..........


We headed through a small village.........


and I smiled at the unusual grassy drive to the squat little church............


Then it was across more fields, chatting as we walked.........


It's all to easy to keep your eyes down, watching your footing, and nearly miss the pretty spots you pass.....



This walk was eight miles long. As usual we stopped for coffee ( when the walk leader gave out delicious home made brownies) and later we stopped again for a picnic lunch.

But we still seemed to get back to the start quickly. I guess we were walking fast to warm up, and the stops were short as it was too cold to sit around for long......better to keep going.....there's always something new to discover around the next corner.

I loved this Wendy house..............


And this view..........

In this photo it's only 1.30 pm, but the low sun makes it look much later I think.

It was my third group walk and another great time with this lovely group. I'm so happy we were able to get out in the countryside on a sunny day.

Jacquie x