Tuesday 29 December 2015

The Days Between

A winter storm arrived on Sunday morning.  In less than three hours, there was already a significant accumulation of snow, which continued to fall on Monday.  We set about digging ourselves out.

The snow on our side deck was quite deep.

Although this photo does not give a good perspective, it took about twenty minutes just to clear my car of the accumulated snow.

The house looks lie it did when we first viewed it last winter, although there is a lot more snow in the garden.

The plough had been down our street a couple of times, so the road was fairly clear and we were surprised when they came round to empty the green bins!

I love the beauty of the trees in winter, devoid of leave and dusted with snow.  After an hour of digging, I was ready to head indoors to dry out.  Thankfully, we have a small plough to tackle the larger part of the drive and only have to dig out the entrances and less accessible areas.

There is more snow in the forecast during the next few days, so we may not be finished yet.

Monday 28 December 2015

Christmas Day Walk

Christmas Day was so mild and bright that it was far too good an opportunity to miss going for a walk and what better place to walk than the beach?

It was a beautiful day and we set out with eager anticipation of fresh air, exercise and sunshine.

Our only companion on the beach was this seagull.  

The sand stretched out in both directions.  We did not venture further than this point, as the channel was quite deep and fast moving.

This view along the beach shows how deserted it was on Christmas Day.  We had our walk before our Christmas dinner, as we had guests coming later in the afternoon.

The action of the waves carves and smooths the rocks.

The distant shore in this photograph is Cape Breton Island.

It was a refreshing change to escape for a while and enjoy the beauty of nature and the glorious weather.  It certainly gave us an appetite for Christmas dinner.

Thursday 24 December 2015

A Warm Christmas Welcome

I have been gone far longer than I intended, but it has been a very busy month.  Christmas Eve is upon us and I still haven't wrapped the presents, but I suppose Christmas will be here in a few hours ~ ready or not.  So feel free to drop by and wish us a Merry Christmas.

The tree is more or less done, though it took almost two weeks to find the time to decorate it.  We went and chose a tree together this year and selected a Fraser Fir, which is a beauty.

Our kitchen looks slightly different this year, as I'm limited in what I can hang, due to lack of window space in our new home.  There was room for this little festive display in the dining area.

And this sweet little nativity scene is a new addition to our tree.  So all that remains, aside from wrapping the presents, laying the table and some baking is to listen to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols as the festivities begin.

Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous Christmas with those you love.

Monday 30 November 2015

Christmas In Sherbrooke Village

Yesterday afternoon, we visited Sherbrooke Village.  It was cold but the sun shone for the short time that we wandered around after we had a Victorian afternoon tea.

Santa's laundry was drying on the line outside his workshop.

It looks like he arrived by boat as this one was nearby, complete with Christmas tree.

The old houses were all decked out for Christmas.  It looks magical after dark with all the lights, but we didn't manage to visit for the lights ceremony this year.

The icy wind coming off the Ocean meant that we cut our visit short.  After tea and a brief walk around, we headed for home, but it was a pleasant afternoon out.

The end of November marks the end of the NaBloPoMo challenge.  I haven't managed to post every day this month, though I did my best.  This is the first year that I've participated in the challenge, but failed to complete it.  Sometimes, life gets in the way of blogging.

Sunday 29 November 2015

Thought For The Day - Part Four


This Advent moon shines cold and clear,
These Advent nights are long;
Our lamps have burned year after year
And still their flame is strong.

Christina Rossetti

Friday 27 November 2015

WI Fruitcake

I love fruitcake, so when I discovered this recipe to mark the Centenary of the Women's Institute, I had to try it.  

The cake was delicious - we had cut into it even before it was completely cooled.  I took this photo whilst it was hot out of the oven - it didn't last long!

Thursday 26 November 2015


We have been busy trying to tidy up the garden before the onset of winter, but time is rapidly running out.  One of the jobs was to move this holly bush, which was so close to the drive that it was going to be damaged in the event of heavy snowfall and ploughing.  It is now located closer to the house and seems quite perky after the soil was prepared with the addition of lots of compost.

Bulb planting has been underway for the last few weeks.  English Bluebells were the first bulbs to go in and are planted under the maple tree in the front garden.  There are still many daffodil bulbs to get in before the ground freezes, so I'm hoping to have them in by the end of this week.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Winter Forest

Imagine my delight when on a recent trip to the supermarket, I discovered an addition to the Winter Forest dinner set which I purchased a couple of years ago for our Christmas table!  I had gone looking for some extra mugs and discovered this gravy boat - a delightful addition to my collection.  

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Homely Touches

What makes a house a home?  For me, it is the addition of personal touches of treasured possessions which hold special memories.  Homely scenes like the one that I found at Poole Pottery on a holiday with my family many years ago.

My knitted sampler of a sweet little house with smoke curling from the chimney.

And a framed postcard for Yorkshire Tea complete with scenic view of the Yorkshire Dales.  All of these hang on the walls of my kitchen and remind me of home.

Monday 23 November 2015

Thought For The Day - Part Three

"And what is a stitch for?  To hold.
It binds past to present, old century to 
new, generation to generation."

Veronica Patterson 1993

Sunday 22 November 2015

Stir-up Sunday

The opening words of The Book of Common Prayer for the Sunday before Advent are 'Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord'.  These words were interpreted by churchgoers as a reminder to make the Christmas pudding.

The tradition dates from Victorian times when the family gathered together and each took a turn at stirring the pudding and making a wish.

There is a sense of satisfaction in laying away tasty delicacies to be enjoyed in few weeks from now.  

Saturday 21 November 2015

Light In The Darkness

The nights are drawing in and it is time to be warm and cosy at home.  What better time to place this pretty lamp on display and enjoy the winter scene?  

Friday 20 November 2015

Seed Saving

This year, I thought that I would like to try saving seeds from rose hips.  I had my eye on some on a route that I often walk and checked their progress each time I passed, until eventually, they looked ripe.  

Once I got them home, I left them in the kitchen for a couple of days, wondering just how to go about extracting the seeds.  I found a helpful tutorial on YouTube and set to work extracting, cleaning and drying the seeds.

Once dry, I bagged them and have put them away until the spring.  I only collected two hips, but I have lots of seed and hope to grow some pretty roses.  Only time will tell...

Thursday 19 November 2015


Tuesday morning was cold with frost on the roof tops.  

The last of the autumn colour was visible in the neighbouring gardens.

A few berries still clinging to the Rowan tree.

What a difference a day makes!  Wednesday morning dawned cold and snowy.  Wet snow, which does not last for long, but acts as a reminder that winter is fast approaching.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Luscious Lemon Drizzle

One of my favourite quick and easy cake recipes which always gives great results is from Gill Holcombe's book How To Feed Your Whole Family......(the title is long).  

Honey Lemon and Yoghurt cake is fragrant and delicious.  After the cake comes out of the oven, it is drizzled in that wonderful lemon drizzle which infuses the cake with so much flavour.  

I find that it is best eaten whilst still warm out of the oven ~ delicious!

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Pansy Plate

This pretty plate was an unexpected find at last spring's Mayfest.  It is labelled 'hand decorated in Prince Edward Island'.

I love pansies because they always seem such happy flowers with their smiling faces.  Although they look delicate, they are quite hardy too, flowering at times when other flowers have yet to emerge.

This photograph does not do the plate justice, as the colours are much more vibrant, but it was not possible to get a good picture indoors and now is not the time for outdoor photography.

Monday 16 November 2015


When I started this sweater in September 2014, I optomistically thought that I would have it completed within two months, but more than a year later, I still have a couple of finishing jobs to do.

This is my first attempt at knitting a garment which is seamless, made on circular needles and with steeks, from which the sleeves were also knitted without seams.  

The photos show it after blocking, which really brought out the pattern detail.  My goal is to complete the hand finishing this week, so that I will finally be able to wear it.

Sunday 15 November 2015

Thought For The Day - Part Two

Home is where the heart is.

19th Century Proverb

Saturday 14 November 2015


After working 35 hours in two days, it comes as no surprise that I have not been able to keep up with my NaBloPoMo challenge.  Exhaustion hit me like a wall and the last thing on my mind was blogging.

It has been an extremely challenging week for personal reasons too.  My dear Aunt passed away recently and her funeral was on Wednesday.  I was unable to get home for it at a time when I was already extremely homesick.

If I could have one wish granted it would be to return to the UK.  I don't know how that will happen, but I've got to find a way.

Thursday 12 November 2015

Vintage Scarf

Take one vintage scarf with a hole in it and repair, as invisibly as possible.

That was the challenge that I faced when I bought this pretty scarf on Etsy.  

I believe that it dates from the 1950s and after that minor repair and a good press, it looks as good as new.  I love the bright colours of the seaside design.  Just the thing to go with a vintage sweater that I have on my project list, if ever I can find time to make it.

Wednesday 11 November 2015


The Crosses
I stood there before the crosses 
glowing white in row on row
Everyone a young life cut short
as the names upon them show.

The dates they died below the names
tell of wars now past and gone
Passchendaele, the Somme, and Mons
of battles fought, and lost or won.

History remembers, as it should
these men who fought and died 
Whilst for their families left behind
a dull sorrow tinged with pride.

The faces of boys held now in Sepia
who died in days long gone
yet living on in memories 
and hearts, still holding on.

Yet despite the hurt and grief here 
what with horror makes me fill
Is that when I look behind me
there are more new crosses growing still.

Bill Mitton

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Deck Renovation

The days are getting shorter and the opportunities for working outdoors are limited as we approach mid-November.  The garden work has been delayed due to cold, wet weather.

One of the projects which was started involved raising the level of the bottom deck.  For some reason, the lower level was so far down that it was impossible to actually have a conversation with anyone on the upper level without staring at their knees!

The lower level has now been raised and is secure on new piers, but the deck boards still need to be replaced.  It is looks like this job may be postponed until the spring and the boards stacked up until the warmer temperatures return.

Monday 9 November 2015

On Our Street

The leaves have been blown down since Saturday when this picture was taken.  Winter is fast approaching now and with it, hail and snow squalls.

I'm late getting into the garden this year and have lots of bulbs still to plant if I am ever to have a good display of spring colour.  I did manage to plant snowdrops, crocus and bluebells, but I still have 120 daffodil bulbs to get into the ground before it starts to freeze.  They should have been in weeks ago, but better late than never.