Sunday, 25 November 2012

Winter Weekend

Phew,what a week! From Sunday to Friday we had an extra little friend staying with us; Robbie from Poland. As part of the exchange programme B was on last year, we hosted one of the 12 ten year olds from schools across Europe.

It was great to be part of the whole thing and Robbie was a smashing and very brave little chap. The language barrier was pretty vast though - thank goodness for Google translate (even if it wasn't always telling us quite the right things!)

So we waved goodbye on Friday morning and decided after our very busy week (of bleeugh work hassle and annoying stuff too) to take things easy this weekend. Well some of us did - Woody decided to run the annual village 10k run yesterday - the Christmas Pudding race and yes you've guessed what the prize for finishing was....
I don't know how on earth he does it or everyone else, but we do a good line in cheering, even in the pouring raining.

And boy did it rain yesterday, a good solid 15 hours of being lashed by the storm. After a slow start we gathered ourselves up after a cosy lunch of soup and fantastic bread from the London Road bakery and ventured up to the woods to see what the damage was.
Winter has arrived for certain. Hardly a leaf left hanging and everything is so dark and skeletal already. But beautiful in a stark and bare sort of way that I really love.
And there was water absolutely everywhere. Tiny trickles of water that usually we hardly notice seeping through the mossy banks, today were absolute torrents. This waterfall is usually a small dribble but look at this!
Our walk brings us out where the river and the canal run alongside but now they've overun into each other and the weir is a force of nature. The power, the speed and the noise were completely overwhelming; an amazing sight that terrified me quite a bit. We were behind a fence but I couldn't let go of our two precious boys.
When the steam train thundered past we hardly heard it over the surging water.
As much as I love the canalside houses I thought twice today about longing to live here and felt for everyone around the country washed out of their homes tonight.
Since April it has hardly stopped. I wonder if this much rain is going to be with us forever and perhaps we should wish for arks for Christmas?...

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Autumn Fades...

This was the last time I felt the golden rays of autumn were still touching us.
A lovely Sunday afternoon over the hills in Derbyshire at the farm at Chatsworth House.
A golden afternoon admiring fancy hens, counting piglets and climbing all over the fabulous adventure playground.
The boy's love it here and it brought back sweet memories of gentle afternoons we've spent there since they were little.
As the afternoon wore on the sun dropped lower and cast golden shadows all around.
We drank delicious hot chocolate as it got chillier and dusk fell.
A special, beautiful afternoon. xxx

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Whizz, Bang!

I don't know about you but I have absolutely no idea where the year is disappearing too!

It was only 5 minutes ago since we were buying new uniforms and having mild wobbles about middle schools, buses and homework but already now I'm buying Christmas cards and putting in orders.

Must be true, time definitely flies when you're having fun and since we spent that Saturday with the geese and swans there's been such fun at No. 25.

Half term whizzed by and I had a lovely time at home with my manems cutting and sticking, baking and loafing about. Hallowe'en is fairly low key here but we carved a pumkin, the boys dressed up and some kind neighbours dished up sweeties.

Bonfire Night is much more fun though I think. We have a little tradition now of inviting our good friends over for a tea of jacket potatoes, chilli, ginger cake and delicious mulled cider. The menfolk take charge of the fireworks while the ladies do our best to keep three over excited boys in check (not easy!)

We were having such a good time this year we completely missed the start of the village bonfire at the top of the hill, so we watched their amazing display from our back garden while our more modest fireworks went off too.
And then it was my birthday and I've been a very lucky girl. New Fat Face pyjamas, brilliant books, cosy slippers and my favourite toiletries - perfect. Then I headed down to London with my smashing friend for a day at the Country Living Christmas Fair.

I can get rather over excited about these sort of big events and inevitably end up disappointed but it was a total joy to find the Fair even more than I'd hoped it would be; inspiring, atmospheric and full of treasures. There was row upon row of real artisans, craftpeople and artists displaying such beautful wares it made me gasp. And most of it was pretty fairly priced considering the amount of work on display. I absolutely loved it!

P and I made a pact that we wouldn't buy anything that we could pick up at home or in a garden centre/supermarket and to be honest that didn't narrow things down all that much! I came home with a much longed for braided rug, some cermaic, hand painted tree decorations and beautiful candles. Sadly I ran out of funds for the stained glass and knitted paper chains but I might just have a go at making some of those myself.

Even the lunch was amazing; baked salmon, delicious salad and puy lentils with beetroot and for a lower price that I'd expect to pay for any main course in London. So all in all a wonderful day and a smashing few weeks. Can't wait for the next few to come - so much to pack in though!

P.S. Time is ridiculously short and working full time means I don't often get online to catch up with blogging. Thank you so very much for all your lovely comments. I read and treasure them all and I'm really sorry if you've asked me a question and I've not got back to you. Hope you'll forgive