Tag Archives: christmas

A Bird And A Poem ~ Robin.

When walking my dog it is most unusual not to  be accompanied by the chirpy song of a robin. These red breasted beauties seem to be our most friendliest little bird here in the UK.  Indeed they are our national bird and  have lots of links to the festive season too.

In Victorian times postmen wore red jackets, earning them the nickname ‘Robin Redbreasts’ . Christmas cards would feature feathered robins delivering cards , they soon became synonymous with Yuletide.

It is also said that when Mary was giving birth to baby Jesus , a fire that had been lit was so in danger of going out ,that a small brown bird flew close to fan the flame. A stray ember landed on the kindly birds breast causing the robin to gain it’s orangey red colouring.

Robins have appeared in many poems including the first verse of a childs nursery rhyme below.

The North Wind Doth Blow

The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then?
Poor thing.

He’ll sit in a barn,
And keep himself warm,
And hide his head under his wing,
Poor thing!


Robins are actually very plucky little birds, more so than the poem suggests. In Edith Holden’s Country Diary of 1906 she recounted ‘ great battles among the Tits over the cocoa-nut, and once a Robin got right into it and refused to let the Tit approach, until he had all he wanted’ .

I note that the winter of 1906 woke to a snowy Christmas day morning. It looks like Edith’s garden visitors were well looked after though.






I am fortunate that my own feathered visitors  include a robin too.

Merry Christmas and thanks for reading.

Festive Friday Photo ~ Clementine Biscuits. 🍊🌲

Photo courtesy of Erol Ahmed on Unsplash.

Instead of posting photos on the last Friday of the month, Kate is asking us to post one or more each Friday for her popular Scavenger Hunt. Today’s prompt is ….

Baking – festive or otherwise and may be share the recipe so we can all have a taste 🙂

Well I am not a good baker. As you can see below my Clementine Biscuits look nothing like they should !

My biscuits.

What they should have looked like…….

The only change I made to the recipe was to use grated Clementine zest instead of orange zest because I had bought a couple of Clementines from the market . Although they tasted nice , asphetically pleasing they were not. The recipe can be found here. 🍊

The Christmas tradition of putting an orange ,clementine or satsuma in a stocking possibly dates back to the 4th century. A prosperous Greek bishop known as St Nicholas tipped gold coins down the chimney of a man who had been unable to raise the money for his daughters dowries. The coins fell into the girls stockings that were hanging by the fire. Oranges became representative of the coins and stockings continue to be hung by the fireplace on Christmas Eve.

Have you ever received an orange in your Christmas stocking?

🍊

Festive Friday Photo. 🌲❄️⛄

Decorations – a favourite one – was it inherited, did your kids make it or was it one you bought on a whim and love dearly.

That is the prompt from Hawthorns December Photo Hunt , she has asked us to share a photo every Friday in December. A lovely way to spread the cheer.

I have decided to show you my Snow Globe which I bought last Christmas in Keswick. Wil, Hugo and I spent the festive period in one of our favourite towns. This pretty souvineer will forever remind me of our happy holiday.

A fox 🦊 amongst swirling snowflakes. And if you look closely, 2 tiny robins in the branches of the tree.

Confession ~ I leave it out all through the year, as I love it so much. ❤️

❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

Merry Christmas.

Just a quick post to wish you all the best for the festive season!

I will be bobbing back before the year is out with a round-up post of what I’ve got up to in 2018. I have really enjoyed sharing my life with you guys and reading lots of fantastic blogs too.

I’ll be having a quiet Christmas day with my other half and the pets this year, probably interspersed with a morning walk with friends and maybe a Bailey’s or two down the local pub. 🙂

Merry Christmas. Xx

A Festive Afternoon Tea at Mitton Hall.

There was a time when going out for Afternoon Tea was quite the norm for me. I think one year, I managed to devour ten. I know! But in 2018 I had not participated in this delightful institution until Sunday, when I joined some work colleagues for a Festive themed afternoon tea at Mitton Hall.

Mitton Hall near Whalley in Lancashire is a charming country house hotel. It’s the kind of olde worlde pile where a medieval banquet would not look out of place in its traditional oak panelled Great Hall. At this time of year a mahusive Christmas Tree welcomes you on arrival. 🙂 We immediately felt full of festive cheer.

Our Afternoon tea was booked for 5pm, so it was already dark when we arrived. After a quick refreshment in one of the cosy bars, we were lead to our table in the Brasserie.

It wasn’t long before our Afternoon Teas arrived, served on three tiers and piled high with goodies. We had all chosen the standard option which includes any hot drink of your choice and cost £17-50 each.

The bottom tier contained festive finger sandwiches, smoked salmon canopes and pigs in blankets. I always think it’s a shame that afternoon tea is more geared up for the sweet tooth. We would have loved a few more savoury items to feast upon.

However the cakes were to die for. And I am definitely a fan of cake! My personal favourite was the Lemon Drizzle..

Other sweet treats included a mince pie, a chocolate mousse ( unusually flavoured with mango, a hit with me but not for everyone) , a mini macaroon, a stollen bite and of course, plain and fruit scones, served with jam and clotted cream.

And after all that we just had to have a photo in front of the resplendent tree. 🙂

Will you be indulging in a Christmassy afternoon tea this year?

Haworth ~ A Rainy December Walk and a Wander up the Cobbles.

Sunday mornings unpromising weather predictions didn’t put us off our intended trip to Haworth. Our plan was to take a walk from the town, over the surrounding moorland to Top Withens . The wild location of the ruined farmhouse is thought to be where Emily Bronte pictured ‘ Wuthering Heights ‘ in her novel.

We put Hugo in the back of the car, picked up my sister and niece and made our way to Yorkshire, wind screen wipers on the go. Amazingly the rain seemed to clear up once we arrived in Haworth. A walk over Haworth Moor was still on the cards.

Raincoats on, we set off from the Brontë Village Car Park, and would you know it within five minutes, the weather could definitely be described as wuthering! We were blown past the ‘Literary Landscape Sculptures’ two sets of five stone books peering up from the heath. The sweeping rain prevented me from getting any photos. At this point we decided to only walk as far as the Brontë waterfalls, and save Top Withens for another day.

The Brontë Waterfalls lie some 2•5 miles over the moor. A well trodden path leads all the way there and is clearly signposted too, surprisingly in Japanese as well as English. Described by Charlotte Brontë as ‘ a perfect torrent racing over the rocks, white and beautiful’ the falls on Sunday were definitely more of a trickle than a torrent. However the setting is lovely, even on a dreich December day. As yet,shades of copper bracken add colour to the rugged scenery and a babbling beck gives drama to the landscape. You can see why the Brontë siblings enjoyed walking here.

Below the falls a stone footbridge known as the Brontë Bridge crosses the stream and the path continues onwards towards Top Withens. We posed in the rain for a quick selfie and were soon joined by a group of hardy ramblers who chose this glorious spot for a lunch break. It was amazing how many other walkers we had seen along the way, despite the dreary weather. Our tummy’s rumbling and feeling rather like drowned rats, we decided to retrace our steps back to Haworth, where the promise of a hot meal somewhere warm and dry beckoned.

Haworth is definitely somewhere that feels incredibly festive at this time of year. After warming up in a welcoming ( and dog friendly) cafe on Main Street called The Cook House, we went for a wander along the cobbles, listened to Christmas carols, visited some lovely independent shops and found a bustling Christmas market in Central Park.

I’m sure we will return in the Spring, for another stride over the Moors, in the footsteps of the Bronte’s.

Sunday Sevens 31st December.

Here I am back again with the last Sunday Sevens of the year. Cannot quite believe how incredibly quickly 2017 has gone. Here are 7 photos from the last 7 days of December. 🌲

1. Christmas Morning ( beween present opening and lunch! ) a walk with friends and hounds, with a couple of kids thrown in for good measure. Our  friend Fi organizes this every year, so it has fast become tradition for anyone who is available to meet up. The location is always Brungerly Park which is home to the  ‘ Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail’ and we always have a standard photo taken by the festively decorated Sikka Deer sculptures. I think Hugo is in there somewhere,  hiding behind Sophie the deer hound. 🐕

2. Another yearly Xmas Tradition found me joining in with Janet’s Thrifty Christmas Gift Swap. I always love hunting for gifts from craft fairs and charity shops  to send to my recipient, usually another blogger or instagrammer ( is that a word? ) that Janet matches me up with. This year I had to send to Janet herself and I found a few bits and bobs that I hope she likes. These included a Virginia Wolf book, a snowflake tree decoration, a small bottle of toffee vodka and a bundle of pretty fabrics , as I know she is a dab hand with a sewing machine. Sadly I forgot to take any pics but below is the lovely gift stash I got from Hanna , who lives in Washington DC. 🎁 I especially like the frosted fir scented candle and the plush pink mushroom tree decoration. Thanks Hanna. X

3. Hugo loved opening his presents. If he didn’t have his own, he would definitely be trying to open ours. 😁

4. Yet another Christmas Tradition!  When visiting Mum over the festive period ,the whole family gets together for a photo. My brother sets up the camera, then we have 10 seconds to scrabble into position. We basically have the same photo every year, with slight variations. In 2017 Mum is looking startled, Brother in law’s head is almost obscured by a light bulb, my Step Dad has his trouser buttons undone and Hugo is showing us his butt. Ho Ho Ho. 😁

5. My most favourite Christmas Tipple this year has been rhubarb & ginger liqueur from the Edinburgh Gin Distillery served with ice and ginger ale. Bottoms up! 🍸 

6. Well we have booked a holiday! Can you guess where we are going next Summer? Clue ~ rather remote and hopefully we shall see Sea Eagles and Corncrakes, white sandy beaches and crofters cottages. 😊 In fact we shall be staying in the crofters cottage above! 

7. I shall end this post and this year with a piccie of Miss Slinky enjoying her latest comfy spot on the sofa. 🙂

See you in 2018. Enjoy whatever celebrating you do tonight. X

A Winter Warming  Links & Likes. 

 Hello my festive followers!  I thought I would post my last post before Christmas today and spread some Yuletide Blog Love.  ♡ Here is a Christmas Combo of some of my favourite posts through December , so do grab a Mince Pie with your brew and enjoy browsing through these winter warmers. 😁

 

Those Greedy Sisters make a boozy Mince Pie Martini. Sounds scrummy.

On Too Lazy To Weed some surprising Evergreens are found in the garden. 🌲

Meanwhile in New Zealand kristah’s Garden is bursting with Summer blooms and a recipe for Strawberry Shortcake. 🙂

 festive Tiffin on Mathilde Heart Manech.

From Sunshine to  Snow on Paula’s blog where her gorgeous part of the world has been transformed into a Winter-Wonderland.

Stunning pictures on Hike Minded when Santa visits the residents  of  a Berlin Wildlife Park. 🙂

Get an informative low-down on Winter Seasonal Veg over at Roots And Toots.

And heres a Simple Tasty Potato Stew on the Alfresco Family blog. 

Still looking for Christmas Gift Ideas ?  Lots and lots at the  Forkward Thinking Foodinista.

Very hygge pictures on Simple Natural Handmade.

 Simple Natural Handmade is a lovely blog to follow if you love pictures of cute dogs and crochet. 🙂 

 A Winter Walk isn’t quite the same without making one of Lisa’s yummy Walk And Eat recipes. Decembers treat is Festive Tiffin. 

And if you are out walking in the cold make sure you Layer up well !  The Helpful Hiker shows you how. 

 Fancy a winter break in Edinburgh? The Dickins Blog can show you how to spend a cosy day in this charming city. 🙂 

Stunning wildlife shots on Hike Minded.

The Glasgow Gallivanter shares her summer memories of a trip to a Scottish Island, I personally had never heard of.

 And last but not least , Christine shares her wonderful  Wildlife Moments of 2017.  🦋🦎

 Merry Christmas and thanks for reading. X

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens 18th December. 

Its  a  Christmassy Sunday Sevens this week.  If only I had some snow to show you, but its been sadly lacking in Clitheroe. And the snow I did see, whilst travelling with my friend Fi over  Pendle Hill last weekend, was beautiful if  a smidge scary. I did not want to insist that we stop her little smart car for photographic opportunitys, when we were running late for a Willow Angel weaving morning with ‘ The Willow Witch of Pendle.’ Luckily The Willow Witch was lovely about our lateness and a very patient teacher. Can you believe these Angels were constructed out of 16 bendy willow rods. Quite impressive! 

There were 5 of us who took the class and we all came away with an Angel. Some more angelic than others!  I love how Louise has wrapped fairylights round the wings of hers. 🙂 

After braving a snowy Pendle Hill back , Clitheroe was a bit of a non event snow wise..

Last Sunday I went to Skipton with some friends as there was a Christmas market on. Check out the festive Stilt Walkers!  And Christmas is not Christmas without an Afternoon Tea. 🙂  My lovely friend Gill had booked us into Alexander’s
 

, a gorgeous piano bar and restaurant on the main street. It even has a pop up Alpine Den ( very Hygge) throughout December. I want to go back!  My Goddaughter Mady brought her 2 little ones ,and we can definitely say Alexander’s is very family friendly too. 

The Christmas Tree is up at last!  As you can see its laden with an eclectic  mish mash of decorations and baubles. Over the years I have collected and been gifted various bits and pieces. I am one of those people who find myself buying decs for the tree even in the middle of Summer. I once found a Christmas shop in Sorrento, Italy , in the middle of July…..and  a cherry red ‘ Bon Natalie’  bell, has graced our tree every Christmas since. 🌲

The living room is all properly decorated now , thanks to my wonderful other half. 🙂 He has proved himself brilliant at wallpapering, painting, laying the floor and tiling the hearth. I treated myself to a textured black & white cushion from Rafffia in Clitheroe,  to celebrate. 

All that hard work deserves a couple of drinks down the pub. 🔥🍻

Thanks to Natalie at Threads And Bobbins for organizing Sunday Sevens. 

 

Let it Snow …….In The Movies.

So I’m doing a bit of recycling of Christmas Posts again. 🙂 A few snowy snowy movies to enjoy this winter. Let me know of any others I can add. They don’t have to be Christmassy, just snowy. x

sunshine and celandines

We all love a Christmas film to cozy up to at this time of year…..but sometimes all it takes is a flurry of snow or even a twirl of a snowflake, to make us feel like snuggling with a mug of mulled wine. Here are just a few snowy scenes from the movies!

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Heartwarming adventure in the arctic with Paul Walker ~ Eight Below ( 2006).

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Furry hats, Ice palaces and love in the time of war ~ Doctor Zhivago ( 1965).

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An unlikely Bob Sleigh team ( from Jamacia!) qualify for the Winter Olympics in Calgary ~ Cool Runnings(1993).

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Lily Collins finds her handsome prince in this sweet adaption of Snow White ~ Mirror Mirror (2012).

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Inspiring true life tale about how an Alaskan town gathered together to rescue three blue whales trapped under the ice ~ The Big Miracle (2012).

the snowman film 1982

A boy builds a snowman who comes to…

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