Monday, 24 December 2012

Wishing you a...

Here is just one of the designs for my 2012 Christmas cards; a series of four entitled 'Green Christmas'. I am really thrilled with all of them, but I think this is my favourite. 

I just have one more day of work before I can go home to Wiltshire - hooray! It feels weird to be at work on Christmas Eve, but I intend to cheer myself (and hopefully everyone else) up by wearing a Christmas pudding jumper. 

Merry Christmas to all of you!
I hope you have a wonderful time full of joy and family! 

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Weary World Rejoices

There is one word that seems to keep cropping up when I snatch moments to write my blog these days and that is, simplicity. It helps me to rest after even the most complicated days at work and it seems to make room for everything else. It is homemade food and singing old carols. It is the smell of our Christmas tree and the hum of my sewing machine. It is the bite of frost on my cheek and seeing my breath in the air. It is countryside walks and cosy pubs. It is my family, my friends and the time I get to spend with them. In short, it is everything I love about Christmas. Last Saturday, as we pulled-up outside our house, this song started playing on the radio. The Ginge silenced the engine, I rested my head on his shoulder and we sat in the darkness, listening. It is a song we have sung together for many years with our choir and it has a very special place in my heart. Once it was over, we went into the warm and decorated our tree. Christmas began in our little house; simply and beautifully.    

Saturday, 1 December 2012

An Autumn Escape and the Start of Preparations

As you know, the Ginge and I like to partake in the occasional burst of escapism. During this year's very autumnal October, we packed our bags with warm layers, gloves and sturdy shoes and set off for a few days in Appleby-in-Westmorland. We stayed in a perfect little converted Pump House and enjoyed a week of solitude. We reveled in simplicity and ate hearty, homemade risottos, soups and cinnamon oatmeal. We chatted for hours in cafes, explored stone circles and wandered around deserted National Trust gardens, full of apple trees dripping with fruit. In many ways, Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the homeliness, the root vegetables, the spices and the primal need to hunker down in cozy places and take stock ready for the colder months. Those colder months have most certainly arrived and with them bring my other great love, the festive season. Today is the 1st of December and the preparations are soon to begin. We are starting with a trip into the Peak District, where our friends are hosting a Christmas Fair at their pub. Bring on the hot, mulled drinks and the cheery red cheeks, nipped by cold. There is a lot still to do, including making our annual hampers full of goodies, decorating the house, lots of singing and sending out my Christmas cards (they have just arrived from here and look great. More on all of that soon. What are you doing to prepare for Christmas?