Tuesday, 16 January 2018

A light sprinkling...

Well, dear souls, I ventured forth late this evening to open the garden gates at the entrance to our small estate to find, after a stormy day, that we had a light sprinkling of snow across the gardens and a small drift upon the front doorstep. The wind is still making itself known, and carries that cold crisp    
air that has the country dwellers amongst us raising our noses to the air and sniffing, before declaring the imminence of snow, although on this occasion such a declaration was null and void such was the evidence laid out before mine eyes. Thankfully, 'tis but a mere sprinkling and one hopes most ardently that this is all that we shall see, for whilst 'tis-pretty, for those amongst us required to go about their professional toil, it can be a little tedious to say the least. As I write, I sit up in my bedchamber  snuggley ensconsed in a lusciously warm bed awaiting the safe return of the male guardian from his professional toil. I must confess, my dears, to never resting before he is safely home, which can, it has to be said, lead to some rather long and tedious hours of waiting followed by some very short hours of rest before we repeat the cycle once more. No matter, for his safety is paramount and one can only relax when he is home. I do so hope you are all safe and sound during the inclement weather, dear friends.

Sunday, 14 January 2018


Well, t'as been quite a week, my dears. The weather has been largely cold and frosty, much to my delight, although it has made my daily walk to and fro from my professional toil a tad treacherous at times. Why, one morning, I barely kept upon my feet for the ground was most icy; a slippery, slidey  journey, dear souls, most slippery, slidey but oh, so crisply refreshing, enough to bring a rosy glow to one's cheeks for sure.

Following the successful completion of the second garment for my dear friend and colleague, I found myself temporarily without a woollen garment upon the needles. Well, how strange it did feel not to have knitting needles in my grasp. Now, every knitter has a "stash" of delightfully gorgeous yarn to contemplate and consider, which is exactly, dear reader, the position one found oneself in. The problem however, was not the lack of yarn but the decision as to which one would use next and, perhaps more importantly, what to make and for whom. 'Pon my soul, a most perplexing conundrum, why fair took me a week or more to consider pattern, ponder yarn and contemplate style. Hours, my dears, yes hours have been spent caressing the various yarns in said stash and pattern after pattern reviewed. Much to the male guardian's delight a choice has been made and the garment commenced. 'Tis a fine cardigan in lambswool and mohair in a rather becoming shade. The male guardian has persuaded me that perhaps a little something for myself might be in order and thus, this is what I have chosen to do, after much consideration. Such a restful pastime with which to pass the time whilst the evenings remain long and dark and the male guardian is at his professional toil.

Continuing the woolly theme, the male guardian has been wearing a fine Aran jumper knitted for him many years ago, possibly twenty, by my dear late mother. It looks as good today as it did when he first received it and it was so lovely to see him wearing it. My mother was an excellent Aran knitter and the male guardian wearing it today was testament to the longevity and classic lines of a beautifully crafted homemade garment. I do so hope that my attempts at this craft last half as long, dear friends.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Oh the joy...

Dear souls, the sheer and utter, delicious moment of climbing into one's bed to find it made with quite the softest of fine brushed cotton in the midst of winter really is one of life's most sublime of pleasures. Second only, of course, to waking and lingering a while in said warm bed whilst a storm rages forth or, one's cold breath billowing out signals the state of the weather before one actually relinquishes the blessed sumptuousness of said bed. Perhaps the greatest pleasure of all is to linger half past the hour longer than one's professional toil generally allows; why, my dears, it feels positively contentious in our humble home. Such simple pleasures but ones that are truly life's little treasures; the joy and happiness of a warm, soft haven in which to rest ones mind and body cannot be underestimated. We are most fortunate indeed to have worked hard through life to achieve a sanctuary in which we can do just that. We thoroughly recommend it, my dears, on these winter days, for we are mightily convinced that it is good for the soul, do you not agree?

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Glorious bleak mid winter

I know, my dears, I know but, a white frost covered morning in deep mid winter is so much better than a sodden, rain filled day in the same season, do you not think? What is not to love about glistening, diamond covered trees and leaves, ones's breath streaking out before you and that warm ruddy glow as you go about gathering kindling and logs for a crackling blaze. The joy of warming one's fingers and toes before such a glad sight is really quite exquisite, hunkered down, with a cup of something equally heat inducing to wrap ones hands around. Oh, I do so love it. I enjoy enclosing myself in soft woollen layers, enhanced by a little something in quite the most softest of cashmere, a gratefully received inheritance from my dear late Mother's stash. We would often laugh about what she termed "your inheritance" for unlike many, what I had in my head of memories was enough, bar my fondness for her cashmere. Whilst jewels and money are considered as most people's inheritance, mine was memories and cashmere, for money and jewels do not immediately warm you. A piece of cashmere, whilst considered exorbitant in price, will repay the outlay, if cared for well,  through the generations. Dear reader, I am most diligent with my inheritance. 

It is inevitable, that during this short, sharp cold snap that a problem will ensue with the mechanism for heating the water. I do not mind the cold, per se, my dears, but to regularly shower in it at five thirty each morning is perhaps a little more than even I am keen on. We are most fortunate, therefore,  to have been visited today by a most delightful gentleman who, in under two hours, had diagnosed the problem, fitted the new part and had all working again. Such a lovely, tidy gentleman too, which is so gratifying. We are most thankful to him and an orderly queue formed to use the bathing facilities shortly after he had departed - oh, the sheer bliss of a hot shower on a cold day.

I am most delighted to report that the second cardigan for my dear friend and colleague is complete and t'will afford me great pleasure to be able to present it to her next week. I am most pleased with this second effort and the rather becoming button band in a colour chosen by my friend. Such joy in giving, dear friends, such joy; to witness that happy smile and pleasure in a gift is something to behold, do you not agree?

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year

Like many of you, my dears, the male guardian and I are wondering where the last year has gone. Not but five minutes ago did it seem like we were opening the door on a new year, than we are once more stood teetering on the brink of another. As is oft quoted, tempus fugit, dear souls, tempts fugit.

I do so enjoy looking back over the year, to revisit our time, and to consider the new year ahead for it allows one the opportunity to enjoy the highs and consider the lows, to reassess and re-evaluate that which is important to us. As we move forward, there are works still to be undertaken on our little home and maintenance in the gardens require consideration. Plans will be made and executed as funds allow, as well as the importance of including time for enjoyment, rest and recuperation from one's daily toil in one's annual schedule.

I am most fortunate to have made some changes to my daily toil over this last year which means I am able to include a four mile walk in to my schedule, and I must say, my dears, how delightful it has proved. I really do enjoy my daily constitutional, at a brisk pace, of course. It really is quite the ticket, blowing away the proverbial cobwebs and getting the blood flowing. Such a small change but one that raises those endorphins. Added to this is the mileage one undertakes as part of the daily toil, all in all, a bonus for one's mental and physical health. 

I am slowly and tortuously learning to play a musical instrument; I am by no means quick and it is certainly torture for anyone in the vicinity but I will persevere, whilst I am on my own that is. 
The regular get together will two dear friends and colleagues to learn the art of dressmaking continues with a date already set for the new year. These are such fun occasions and afford time away from our professional toils to enjoy ourselves, and that we do in great abundance. I am slowly progressing with my skills in the art of knitting, which I also enjoy, and plan to continue to increase
the standard of garment I can produce. Such fun things to do and also of benefit to "the little grey cells" as dear Monsieur Poirot was apt to say. 

Most importantly, is the time the male guardian and I are able to spend enjoying each other's company around our professional toil commitments. After all these years, we still enjoy each other's company and love to laugh at really quite the most childish of things. It is however this ability to laugh at the absurd together that has allowed us to weather life's storms.  Those moments of joy are like hidden treasures each day, to be sought and savoured as one can, along with my oft quoted simple pleasures. 

We wish you all a happy and healthy new year. Work hard, enjoy life's simple pleasures and laugh often, dear friends.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, my dears. I do so hope you are having a joyful and peaceful day. The male guardian is once more at his professional toil, doing his duty, and therefore we rose early to see in the day, after a late evening upon the electronic device talking face to face with the darling twin sister and partner. It was a late night, dear souls, but, oh, how we did laugh, such food for the soul. It was such fun and a joy to be able to wish them a Merry Christmas in person, so to speak, them being a full eight hours ahead of us in time. 

Prior to this, and before the male guardian completed his day of toil, I attended the glorious Carols in the Cowshed held every Christmas Eve by a lovely local Farming family. As some of you may remember, I have spoken of this before and do so every year I attend for it is such a beautiful, little family service and reminds one of the real message of Christmas. Christmas just is not Christmas without it and I am most saddened when my own professional toil prevents me from attending. The atmosphere really cannot be given full credit in words. Yesterday I was perched high up in the hay bale amphitheater next to a large enclosure of cows and calves nestled in fresh bedding. Over 350 people were snugly fitted in with standing room only. The local Vicar took us through the Nativity story complete with audience participation in sounds and actions, interspersed with some classical festive carols sung with boisterous enthusiasm to make the heart sing. A short, gentle reminder  of those less fortunate and, as proceedings came to an end, warm mince pies were offered along with chocolates for the children, as well as a collection for the homeless. It is a local tradition that I hope will continue for many years and can only add my thanks to the many others to the Farming family who host the event each year. 

Once again, my dear friends, have a Merry Christmas and may all your dreams come true xx

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Winter solstice and Nativity

'Tis the male guardian's favourite day of the winter season, for the winter solstice is the shortest day and hereafter the days do lengthen, minute by minute. We are, it has to be said, chalk and cheese with regards to the weather, for I do so enjoy winter nights, with the log burner alight, warm garments and hunkering down, whereas the male guardian likes nothing better than blazing sunshine and basking in the heat of the sun, much like a lizard (only in relation to the heat, you understand). Opposites attract they do say and there must be some truth in the maxim as we have celebrated our 35th Anniversary this very year.

I have enjoyed this evening, whilst the male guardian is once more at toil, with festive music in the background, a crackling fire and an evening of gift wrapping in preparation for the festivities. Added to these simple pleasures is a good quality scented candle to fill the air with evocatively festive aromas. Oh, how I do so love a quality scented candle, dear souls.  I like to take time to consider how to decorate a festive gift in my own inimitable style. I am fond of  simple colour schemes that denote the season in which we celebrate Christmas, therefore natural greenery more often than not features, along with dashes of red to embellish. Such delightful fun, my dears. 

Last evening the male guardian and I were most delighted to be visited by some of our family. During the visit we were able to view the children's Nativity on an electrical device -  well, pon my soul, dear friends, how charming it all looked with all the children participating. There were even some delightful birds represented, and so well portrayed alongside Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. 
I do remember the importance of the Nativity play from my own childhood. My dear twin sister was always the more extrovert and was Mary, the much coveted part for many a young lady. I, myself, was not so keen as to be centre stage, however, was one year cast as the Angel Gabriel on account of my rather bright and plentiful supply of fiery red hair topped off with a rather becoming gold tinsel halo hovering above my head fashioned from a wire coat hanger, a rather spangly golden dress and, importantly, a pair of large angel wings fashioned from more wire and white stockings, stretched over the wire and coated in glitter that left a glittering trail up the aisle of the local church and in to the pulpit where I perched upon a wooden box during the performance in all my golden glittery splendour for all to see. What five year old young lady would not be tempted by such a glorious ensemble (and it has to be said, a somewhat forthright, bossy twin sister who told me I had to accept the part for fear of jeopardising her own coveted role - dear sister, I do so hope you remember this little bit of "persuasion" as well as I do).
I do not know what was more attractive, the clash of gold and glitter next to my orange hair or the bright puce shade of my face as realisation dawned as to the sheer number of eyes upon us during the performance; ne'er again was it repeated, dear souls, ne'er again.