Sunday, 27 January 2013

and the sun came out

The snow has gone now and we have had two days of sunshine, a welcome change after a week of grey days.

I took photographs of hazel catkins

and "Old Man's Beard", silhouetted against a blue sky.

It has been windy so these photographs are a bit blurry, catkins

and young honeysuckle leaves, some fresh colour after the snow.

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Thawing, melting, then some more snow, then thawing, some snow melting, then more snow.

It has been a week since the first flakes fell and I am already fed up with this snow, or more particularly with the  icy road outside our house.  Yet each time the temperature rises slightly and a little snow melts, it is immediately followed by a fresh fall.

This time though I think that this really is the thaw. The temperature is set to rise and as far as I know we are not forecast to get any more snow.

It has been very pretty but I won't be sorry to see it go,

although it does create interesting shapes and patterns as it melts.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

pretty and cold

The snow reached us yesterday as predicted. The school I work at was open first thing in the morning and then everybody was sent home as the snow fell thick and fast.

By lunch time the main roads in the village were clear but our road, which is a cul-de-sac and so has less traffic and no gritting remains white, icy and treacherous. I drove my son to work this morning and will be picking him up this evening but other than that I am staying warm at home.

Yesterday, when the snow was fresh I went for a walk.

The snow is very pretty, outlining all the branches

and twigs. I would enjoy snow if I didn't have to drive in it.

Back at home I noticed individual snow flakes getting caught in cob webs outside the window. They were only there for a few minutes before melting but I managed to photograph just one.

Hope everybody with snow is keeping safe and warm.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

knitting update

The top photograph is Everglade. I like this hat very much, it seems to suit me better than the beanie style Snawheid which although I loved knitting it, hasn't been worn much. The yarn is Jamiesons (as distinct from Jamieson and Smith) Shetland double knitting. Jamiesons wool is produced in Shetland. When we were on holiday a few years ago I looked round the spinning mill at Sandness and having seen where it was produced, I have a fondness for this wool. This colour is loganberry and is a lovely purple marl.

The rest of the photographs are my progress with Rams and Yowes blanket by Kate Davies. For this I am using Jamieson and Smith wool, Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight in natural undyed colours. I enjoy fair isle knitting and this is a fun pattern.

I have completed one section of yowes (ewes)

and am part way through the rams.

The weather has turned colder, there is a forecast of snow later in the week, exactly the right season to spend my evenings knitting with a growing blanket on my lap.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

A day in my life

A while back I wrote "A Day in my Life" posts on the same day each month, building up a snapshot of daily life. Between April 2008 and January 2010, I wrote twenty two posts and then I stopped, I'm not sure why.

Back in april 2008 I had two children at school and my days revolved around them and their activities. Now almost five years later, my eldest has been away to University and is now back at home while the youngest is now in his second year away at University. Life has changed and so I thought that I would restart my "Day in my Life" posts to record this new stage in my life.

Since this is 2013, I have decided to record the 13th of each month.

Sunday 13th January

Today started fairly early for a Sunday. The alarm was set for 6:25am so that I was up in time to drive eldest son to work. One thing that hasn't changed in five years is that I am needed for driving duty.

This morning my husband and I decided to go into town. We walked beside the river to the centre.

Although we haven't had too much heavy rain in the last few days, the river level is still high and it is flowing very fast. You might just be able to see in the photograph below that the water is flowing over the lock gates.

We had coffee near the river watching the world go by and then came back home.

Salad for lunch.

It was bright and sunny here this afternoon, a nice change from the recent gloomy grey weather so we headed out for a walk. 

In the shade on the higher ground there was still some ice, not sure if was a heavy frost or a light fall of snow. The temperature was around freezing and in the wind it was cold.

The frost lingered in any shaded place like this sheeps' wool caught on the shady side of the fence.

It was a bracing walk but great to be out in the fresh air.

After this I forgot to take any more pictures, I am obviously out of practice with these posts.

We followed our walk with a visit to a tea shop and then came back in time to pick eldest son from work. Dinner was roasted vegetables for all of us and sausages for the two male meat eaters.

Now I am upstairs with my laptop while downstairs there is a Bond movie being watched. We have all the Bond Films and my husband and son are watching them in date order. They watch one every couple of weeks, this week it is Live and Let Die.

So that was my Sunday 13th January. I hope I remember to post next month - please remind me if I forget!

Friday, 11 January 2013

bare branches

Earlier this week I walked near Greenham Common. Between 1941 and 1993 this was a military airfield but in 1997 it was open to the public once again. The area is managed to benefit wild life and most of the Common is now an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

These photographs are from the area known as the bomb site where munitions were stored during the Second World War. The concrete paths and some of the earthworks are still visible.

Now that nature is taking over, it is a very peaceful wooded area. In the summer when I walked here, it was green and lush. The leaves have fallen now although the branches are not totally bare but covered with lichen.

The trees looked pretty with their white ragged coats,

I don't know much about lichen but looking at pictures I wonder if this is Ramalina farinacea.

It looks so beautiful, I was surprised to find that it is a poisonous species.

Back at home, in the garden, the bare branches, or rather the leafless twigs which are catching my attention belong to the winter jasmine.

It is covered in bright yellow flowers

which brighten up the grey January days.

Monday, 7 January 2013

return to routine

The holidays are over. We took the student back to university yesterday and we are back to our normal routine. After a week and a half of gentle waking as daylight arrived, we are back to six o'clock alarms - we have two alarm clocks, one each, in case one of us forgets to set the time.

It is so dark at six in the morning and it feels like the middle of the night when I drive down to the station at six thirty. I am lucky I can come home to a mug of coffee, my husband has to cope with commuting. Then its dark again when I pick him up from the station at seven in the evening. Wouldn't it be great if we could have shorter working hours in the dark days of winter so we could be at home for longer - a sort of mini-hibernation. I wonder if it would catch on.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year.

The photographs were taken in Shetland on our holiday last November. Here, at the moment, all is grey, rain and sodden. For the start of a new year I wanted something brighter and more optimistic. I love the sea and the coast, the feeling of openness and space.

I have posted the second photograph before, it is one of my favourites from our trip. I hope there will be adventures and opportunities to explore in 2013, like the little red boat leaving the harbour for the wider sea.

All the best for 2013.