Saturday, 21 November 2009

Counting Down

Christmas comes but once a year .... and for us at No 25 it all begins around the end of November when the festive lights in town are turned on. Last night the weather was calm and cool but not too cold and thankfully dry as a bone.

All this rain is getting a pretty unbearable isn't it and very worrying for our family in Cumbria. Luckily they're fine being up on a hill but my heart goes out for everyone bereaved, flooded, frightened and bereft at the moment.
So we particularly appreciated our lovely trip into town last night for all its joy, charm and festiveness. Standing there with my little family all beaming and excited sent my stomach and heart all hop-skippetty let me tell you. There's something ever so joyful about being with the people you love, in a place you feel at home with familiar sights and faces around you, all anticipating a special time of year.

And seems plenty of people thought the same; town was packed and there was tons to see and do. Market square was full of amazing smells from the continent thanks to a touring market selling authentic sausages, paella, cheeses, bread and delicious biscuits.
Down the main street the crowds grew thick, everyone enjoying free mulled wine, mince pies, Christmas music and the odd game of smash the crocks and tombola.

In front of the Monument the stage was set and we didn't have to wait long for the parade to arrive, headed by the Salvation Army band (its just not Christmas without them is it?), a lantern procession, some pipers and finally the man in red himself because only genuine celebrities are allowed to flick the lights on in our little town you see.
And after some pretty hearty carol singing we counted down and the dark night was lit up and all the town around.

It was such a simple occasion which was what made it all the lovelier in my book. After the big switch on we poottled around the streets for a while taking in the lovely window displays and even more lights.

Last night the Christmas spirit most definitely began to bubble up and all sort of plans are forming in my mind. More vintage decorations, a go at some new recipes, cosy family gatherings and some exciting outings.
Only five weeks to go, which doesn't seem many at all to me; especially after our ropey choir practice on Thursday - we need a few months I reckon. But no doubt it'll all come together in the usual lovely, panicky jumble as ever - fingers crossed!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Time for Treasures

Ooooh the treasure hunting has been rather good over the last few weeks. Going to Ludlow with its beautiful vintage shops and rather decent charity shops definitely helped, but I've picked up a few treasures closer to home too and had some very beautiful birthday presents. And I want to say a huge thank you for all your lovely birthday wishes, thanks ever so much. Blogging friends are a real, real treasure (thanks Anna for your lovely surprise card and gift)!
So first of all my newest find is the gorgeously blue enamel coffee pot, bought from Zani Lady in Ludlow and uncannily you can see it here on a picture taken in this amazing shop by the lovely Hen, who it turns out I share a birthday with and happened to be in Ludlow at exactly the same time - bloggers really do think alike!

I've gathered some wonderfully soft and pretty fabric too from various places. Not completely sure what I'm going to do with them yet but maybe a new duvet cover and if I'm feeling very ambitious, a loose cover for the ancient armchair in our conservatory.
More vintage books which Woody practically mugged me for when I got in from town. The train book is a huge favourite already with the boys and I love the Dandy Wonder Dog cover.
Sorry not to have taken any pictures but my little vintage Ladybird collection is really growing and this week I picked up What to Look for in Winter and Seashore Life, Trees and Hymns & Songs too. I had all of these as a child and they make me giddily excited to own them again.

And more Ladybird again. This is my wonderful present from Woody, a print from a book about Toys he bought online and it made me cry when I opened it. This is the image of our two little boys, shells and saucepans still keeps them busy for hours. My husband is such a precious treasure.

Another bevelled mirror to add to the collection. £3! I'm completely in love with it and I've got plans to put lots of lovely vintage postcards around it for Christmas.

Couldn't resist this little Brixton pottery sponge wear bowl from a Ludlow charity shop - full of conkers for the minute but it might make a home for a few vintage baubles.

Oh and this is the other part of my present from Woody, a book I've had my eye on for quite a while and is just fabulous. Full of everything you ever wanted to know about the countryside.

But I'm not quite sure about this one - a crochet step too far?! Its from Next but I discovered it in a charity shop for £3.50 and thought I could turn it into a cover for the back of the sofa but I tried it on and its not too bad. But I do get a little voice in my head saying "are you quite sure?" when I wear it!

So I'm feeling a very lucky girl. Must buzz off now to sort out Sunday lunch, get the garden into some sort of shape and start to have a think about the jumble of festive plans in my head. More of that next time.
Have a lovely week everyone x

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Best Days

Late Autumn is stuffed full of my very favourite things.

#1 Cosy days snuggled up at home, battening down the hatches against the wind and rain and spending time cutting, sticking and generally covering the house in glitter.

#2 The beginning of house decorating season

#3 Wrapping up warm and heading out in the dark to a great fire, watch bright lights in the sky and gaze at my smallest boy hold his first ever sparkler.

# 4 And today's my birthday so we must be here again , spending a most smashing day pottering down tiny streets, browsing (well shopping!) in vintage treasure troves, eating deliciously good food and taking in outstanding scenery.

Hope you're enjoying all the delights of autumn too (and that you've got better pictures to show for it than me! Not great light and an even worse camera).