Saturday, December 26, 2009

Good wishes to all

Yes, it's one of those, relaxed, possibly under the influence of a good glass of wine, Christmas blog posts. Father Christmas has been, our goose was cooked, presents were joyfully received and given.

This year we sucumbed to the march of popularity and accepted the very generous gift of a Wii from Grandad. This has turned out to be so much more fun than I could have imagined. Yes, I, the wooden spoon waving, let's play a board game, card carying member of the family. Wakeboarding is my particular favourite. Who knew that standing in your lounge waving a black plastic thing-um-a-jig around your head could be so much fun. For Oaps and small children collectively, surprisingly good fun. Although I am still very much loo
king forward to an afternoon of Cluedo and knitting.

But you still cannot beat a bit of outdoors joy. The rosy cheeked, frozen variety.

I need to thank all of you who read here, those who comment and those who quietly appear in my statcounter. Thank you so much for reading, because much as I love to write and photograph for this little corner of mine it really would not be the same without anyone to read. I am sorry that I do not always respond to comments of late, time too often has had the better of me but please know how much I appreciate you taking the time to visit. My very good wishes to all of you out there.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow day

Friday was due to be the last day of term but a thick blanket of snow meant the holidays started early for us in Suffolk. I knew that snow had been forecast but wasn't betting on a proper covering and as I awoke on Friday morning I lay in bed wondering, that childish feeling of excitement fluttering in the depths of my stomach as I tried to guess the weather. It did seem quiet outside, hopefully quiet. Eventually I slid out of bed and made my chilly dash across the hallway to the bathroom, I lifted the blind and was firmly rewarded with a muffled, frozen landscape. Proper snow, thickly covering every roof, lawn and fence. Perfect.

When I went into the kitchen later, the children still asleep and unaware of the excitement outside their windows, I was able to enjoy that quiet morning feeling a little more than usual. I like to be the first one down in the morning, the house still dark and quiet, I enjoy my peaceful start to the day, of course the dog normally joins me, she hears me putting together the days lunches and comes through, she demonstrates a luxurious "downward facing dog" as she stretches out her aging limbs, she goes to the glass door to inspect the day outside, I always open the door for her but she doesn't always rush out. She has a bladder of iron and can hold on for hours on a rainy day. I wonder what she will make of today.

Today she is eager to go out, her ears are pricked and she looks to me, urging me to hurry with the key. She tiptoes straight out
and I sense her shock and thrill, she rushes straight to the gazebo and shelters there for a moment, then she ventures back out, under the bushes, taking a gently sheltered route to the garden, eventually she walks properly through the snow, sniffing and wondering. Enjoying the newness of it all. Having completed her investigations finished her toilet she scampers back up to the house and into the kitchen, skittish and puppy like for a few minutes, she flicks and shakes then rushes straight back out again.

I put on the coffee and return upstairs. Time to wake the house and spread the good news.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Small things

Today began blanketed in a wintry fog. I am not at all fond of foggy days, those dull, dim and unremittingly grey winter days. However as I returned from the school drop I was surprised to see that the wide East Anglian skies were doing their very best to excuse the fog. Where the big Suffolk sky meets the flat, open landscape below was all obscured, thrown into misty soft focus
but the trees and hedgerows in my immediate, eyeline were thrown into sharp, colourful relief. The coppery beeches, red and orange leaves not yet fallen, branches glistening and conker coloured. All these colours made sharp and bright against their soft-focus background, a sort of Bokeh effect.

So I forgave the fog and thought about some of the little things that make life good. This time last year we had some big worries and a great many things going on, not least The Technical Advisor's forthcoming redundancy. Here we are almost a year later, on the other side of the country (in fact a different country come to that) and we still have some unresolved worries and concerns but those are the things that we cannot alter for the moment and therefore, as I see it, there is simply no point in spending all our time worrying about those things, the things that are big and blurry and hard to take charge of. Our time is better spent enjoying the little things, the things that are sharp and bright in the forefront of our vision. The things that make us glad.

And we have so much to be glad for. Our coughs and colds are gone in time for Christmas and we feel fit and ready for the festivities ahead. This weekend we will find our tree and the enjoy the thrill of opening the boxes of decorations, the excitement of unwrapping those baubles and trinkets and the excitement of re-discovering forgotten treasure.

Tilly was promoted from Angel number 5 to Mary in last night's school nativity and money just couldn't buy those seven year old smiles.

By my bedside I have a vase of fresh flowers, they make me feel pampered and raise a smile each time they catch my eye. Bought cheaply at the market and supplemented by some stems from the garden.

And of course the knitter can always find something to be glad of, I recently began working on this Libby Sweater by Leslie of A Friend to Knit With. Gorgeous, muted tweedy yarn and a well written pattern.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Jumping back in
Do you remember the skipping rope games from yo
ur childhood playground? Do you remember how the girls would play all lunch-break with a skipping rope, strange nonsensical chants, murmured in singsong voices. Never taught, just absorbed. Small girls would watch the big girls, longing to be allowed or capable of joining in and eventually a rite of passage would take place and you would somehow be able to skip, having practised for hours at home and then maybe with a few good friends or a couple of adults willing to turn the rope you would learn how to jump right in. It was so nerve wracking, it took such courage, watching the rope turn, listening to that swish of the rope, the click as it hit the ground, watching how the others did it, knowing just the right moment to take a deep breath and make that leap of faith.

Do you remember the first time you did it in a playground full of your peers? How terrified you felt as you waited your turn and then the relief, the exhilaration when you made it, when you timed it right. How the rope kept turning smoothly and for one verse of the rhyme it was your turn to skip whilst the next anxiously excited girl awaited her turn.

I thought of those games today, returning to blogging after a week or so absence is certainly not as nerve-wracking as taking your turn in the skipping game but it is surprising how quickly ones blogging can seize up. How hard it can seem to post again even after a short absence.

But here I am jumping right in, nothing terribly exciting to show but it's a start, it gets the rope turning and even as I write this post my ideas begin to grow and other posts pop into my head.

I think the household is just about returned to full health and I eagerly cheered November out the door and my mood is much improved by the arrival of a crisp, frosty December. I bottled jars of mincemeat yesterday and a festive feeling is gently creeping in.

The scarf is River from Rowan 38 , a simple lace stole, it knitted up quickly in Diana 2ply from Poshyarn , it is light and comfortable to wear, long enough to wrap around several times if necessary and thankfully this attempt at River was rather more successful than the first time I made it, several years ago. That particular River was the victim of a dog with a thing for Kidsilk Haze......