Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Getting Festive

Hello, dear readers. I'm just starting to feel a bit Christmassy, rather later than usual this year.

Already I've been to two of D's music concerts, to two work Christmas meals and on two cinema trips (to see 'The Lady in the Van' and 'Carol', both excellent). Yes, it's definitely that time of year again, but I haven't done anything remotely crafty yet for Christmas! This must surely be a world record for me, as by now I am usually in the midst of making several presents at once, as well as cooking and producing all sorts of decorations. Perhaps it's a new, more relaxed me at Christmas? Or maybe I should get my skates on...

We may not yet have put up any decorations, but I have been opening my new advent calendar. Unlike the rest of my family, I prefer those with pictures to chocolate ones. Here's my new Angela Harding calendar which I love for its wintriness and countryside theme.

In a similar vein I've just finished reading this book below, which is a beautiful description of a year in the life of the flora and fauna of a village in the Somerset Levels, which is not far from here. It was a lovely read, full of detailed descriptions of nature and fascinating information.

On a more festive note we went recently to Winchester Christmas market with my brother and his family, which I have to say was a very jolly afternoon out. There were twinkly star lanterns,

coppery vats of steaming mulled wine,

and sizzling hot chestnuts.

Some of the stalls were extremely ornate, things of beauty in their own right.

I must confess to finding it very difficult to photograph a Christmas market without getting lots of people in the foreground. As you can see, I've gone for an over-the-head view of it here.

The cathedral was as Gothically gorgeous as ever with its front window a giant, stained-glass collage after Cromwell and his army smashed it to pieces during the Civil War.

I love to walk underneath its flying buttresses in all their medieval splendour.

The ice rink was in full swing next to the cathedral and we watched with my little nephews, mesmerised as the tractor drove around the rink, making the ice smooth for the next session. My nephews really rather fancied the idea of a job in which you get to drive a tractor around an ice rink.

Similar icy patterns appeared the next morning on the outside of the Velux window in our bedroom. We had a frost in the night and wonderful tiny twirly fronds and frosty leaves spread themselves across the surface of the glass, like a beautiful wintry doodle. I edited these photos to enhance the definition of the patterns, as the sky wasn't really that blue that day, but the sparkly designs are truly amazing.

By contrast most of the mornings lately have dawned windy and wet and look like this. December in recent years is so often mild and wet in our part of the world.  Never mind, we are very fortunate in not having suffered any flood damage, unlike so many people this week, so I really can't complain.

I shall leave you with a photo of one of the roses still blooming in our garden. Not very Christmassy, I know, but I'm getting there.

 See you soon x


  1. Gorgeous photos, the Christmas market looks lovely, and the cathedral is beautiful. It's a long time since I've been to Winchester, I'd like to visit again one day. The book sounds like an excellent read. I've spent some time on the Somerset levels, I can imagine it's a brilliant place to live if you like wildlife. Well done on a calm laid-back approach to Christmas. Long may it last! CJ xx

  2. Winchester looks wonderful as usual, such a lovely city. I love your frosty windows. :-)

  3. Winchester is a lovely place all through the year, it's Christmas market has a good reputation.

  4. I love Winchester Christmas market - the year before last we were lucky enough to see the choristers skating on the rink; it was such a special Christmasy moment. I love your advent calendar and frosty photos. xx

  5. Your advent calendar reminds me of the ones I had as a child. There was always the thrill of seeing a new picture each day. Winchester market looks lovely and not as busy as the one in Bath. Sarah x

  6. What a lovely selection of very festive pictures, love the first two with the deer and the hares on the book - my sort of favourite style of art :)

  7. Love your photos, it sounds like a fab day out. I hope to visit Winchester cathedral one day. Love your advent calendar too. Hx

  8. Glad you are feeling Christmassy and have been doing fun things! xx

  9. Lovely photos, especially of Winchester. A friend and her husband set out to go to Winchester Market a few days ago, a round trip of 80 miles. However, they tried to 'park and ride' at 2 different venues with no success (both full up and queues waiting), then tried the multi-storey car park - that was gridlocked as cars were continuing to go in so that cars couldn't get out! Finally, they gave up and drove all the way home again.

  10. I loved reading your Christmassy post, I have to admit I haven't got into the festive mood yet but perhaps that comes of living with three men who are real bah humbugs about this time of the year. I live so close to Winchester so perhaps a visit to the Christmas market there will make me feel more festive. I have nagged my sons to get my Christmas tree out of the loft but as yet it still has to make an appearance. We are going to see The Lady In The Van this afternoon so pleased to hear you enjoyed it. xx

  11. I love the sound of Wild Hares and Hummingbirds...definitely my kind of book. Must go to Winchester market one of theses days , I love the look of the ice rink. Have a good week..Barbara

  12. It is nice to find you so busy and festive, Cathy. I wish I could have joined you for the market outing, looks like a fun place.


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