Sunday 5 February 2012

Winter Whirlwind

Blimey what a week. I can't believe we're at Sunday afternoon again so quickly. Where did last week go? It started off for us with some brilliant news; my second nephew, little Charlie, arrived safe and sound and right on cue so there has been much visiting, cooing and baby talk around these parts let me tell you and pretty fantastic it is too.

Last Sunday was the birthday party for one our boys' closest friends. Since they've known each other we've become really firm friends with his mum and dad and really enjoy getting out and about with them and having many a good old laugh. One of their traditions is to have an outdoor party, despite their chap's birthday being in deepest January. Every year they plan a walk around the valley, a different route each time, and all his friends come along for an afternoon of fresh air, adventure and discovery.
It's such a brilliant afternoon and somehow the cold and chill adds to the whole event. This year we were walking around the old Victorian waterworks down the valley that were restored long ago to leave pools, water meadows and woodlands behind. We ventured along the canal too which even with 10 adults to chaperone 11 kids was a bit hair raising at times, but there were no splashes or incidents and we had a pretty marvellous time with a picnic lunch and hot chocolates at the pub playground the round things off.
Mind you it was absolutely freezing! The kids never noticed once but it was definitely one of those afternoons where you have to keep moving along or you just might freeze to the spot.
All this bunch needed was a stick and some ice on a marshy pond to keep them happy though.
I do love this time of year and find the bleached stems, stark branches and misty hollows quite amazing. You can see so much bleak beauty in the different textures and washed out colours all about.
And then the week got colder again, the air dry and still. Until yesterday when the wind got up and the clouds came down. The first flakes fell around lunchtime here and were that curious, powdery type that you think will never amount to much and then you turn back and the next time you look out of the window the trees are covered, the lawn has gone and you can't see the hills anymore.
All afternoon and evening it fell so we cancelled plans and stayed home to play and cook. By the boys' bedtime the radio brought news that the city roads had ground to a halt (as usual), cars were being abandoned and the football crowds were stuck at the stadium. I was so glad to be home ringing out soggy trousers, gloves and coats and getting ready for bed in our little house, covered in a deep blanket of snow.
Today we're warming up under dripping rooves and trees. Woody's igloo is holding it's own but the roads are clear again and it looks like we'll be back to normal in the morning. Fun while it lasted though.

P.S. Thank you ever so much for all the lovely comments on my scribbling! They made me smile so much and blush rather too. Bless you and thanks 


Emily said...

Your writing is so lovely - you need to write a book, I think!

Pipany said...

Beautiful pictures Steph and lucky you with the snow - none here, but no surprises really as it is Cornwall after all! Have a lovely week x

Lyn said...

what a lovely day you all had! good job it came at the weekend when we could all enjoy it!

pinkgreen said...

What a great idea for a birthday party - it sounds (and looks) like you all had a lovely time. Hope you are nice and cosy now! XX

Emma Bradshaw said...

Hi Steph,
I love keeping up with your adventures and daydreaming.
Emma x

p.s. fancy taking part in den building day next week, in half term? I'll let you make it vintage style!!! ;0)

bellaboo said...

Lovely,lovely photos..what a great day out!
Lovely news about the baby too!:0)

Katy Noelle said...


As you were describing the walk, I could just see the hair standing straight up on ten heads of mindful adults while their eleven kids (mostly boys, perhaps?;)) were completely and blissfully oblivious of their close brushes with frozen ruin.

I really love the kind of wintry countryside you're describing. Usually, it disappears under a blanket of white but with the come and go snow that we've had this year, I've observed how fragile that world is. A foot of snow mushes it to pulp. =( I miss it; so, it's nice to see your lovely brown landscape! =]

Jelly Jam said...

What a fab way to spend a birthday - lucky boy!
Just dreaming of snow down here in Dorset...

Annie said...

What a great way to spend a January birthday. I bet the kids are wishing though that it had snowed last weekend, nothing beats a walk in the snow!

Cait O'Connor said...

That's my kind of birthday party.

Bobo Bun said...

What a great idea for a birthday.

I don't want back to normal tommorow. We've been moaning about the need for the three day weekend again today.

Will be posting tommorow. Sorry not emailed you lovely.


Elderberry-Rob said...

What a lovely way to celebrate a birthday - I wouldn't mind one like that myself! Lovely pictures.

silverpebble said...

That sounds like the very best kind of birthday party Steph. To be honest, I'd be very happy poking ice with a stick!

Emma Herian said...

What a brilliant way to celebrate a Birthday, hair raising yes, but just what boys need to do! We had the snow and squealed as it came down but boos as its slushy now and the school is open! I love your images of the bleached stems, very pretty!
Stay warm x

Barri-Jayne said...

Hello and welcome baby Charlie!

Lovely post, sounds like an amazing week x We had snow the other night, London went into it's usual panic mode, but it's all gone now.

Barrina xx

Country Rabbit said...

so enjoy your part of the country and seeing the delightful walks and landscape around you, how lovely by the canal...just a dusting of snow in Cornwall and none in devon, mainly was on the moor's. I would of liked just two days of the white stuff!...oh well...enjoy the winter wonderlands in blog land instead x

have a lovely week ;0)x

Ayala Westgrove Heights said...

This place is SO beautiful. I absolutely love it.

- Lanie

Fi - Teacups and Tiskets said...

Beautiful post, as per usual.

I,too am a January birthday, but since moving down-under, don't get to spend it in the icy snowy landscape.

I appreciate looking at your landscape, and the canal boat photo is great.

New photos on your sidebar too, if Im not mistaken.
Nice to chat with you,


xo.sorcha.ox said...

Gosh, I just love your photographs, especially of the marshlands. It all just looks so different to here, especially now as we've just come to the end of summer. Besides which, I've never seen so much water as that in your photos! We have creeks, but they're bone dry.

(found my way to your blog via Down to Earth)