Thursday, 30 December 2010

Low lying mists..

.. are everywhere just now.  The snow has slowly disappeared but as always after snow everywhere is left looking so drab.


Billy and I took a trip over to Pendle Heritage Centre yesterday.  Photos can be seen in a previous post here.  The countryside over there is beautiful but much of it was hidden by the low lying mists. 

Our initial plan was to have lunch at the Heritage Centre, do a bit of shopping in Boundary Mill, then go for a walk. We had the lunch, quickly mooched round an extremely busy Boundary Mill, full of sales bargain hunters (not my idea of fun when it's so busy) and then couldn't summon up the energy for a walk.  I think all the over-eating that has been going on round here lately has left us feeling very lethargic.  Does anybody else have that problem?

So instead of the walk we drove around the area and admired the scenery from the car.  We did stop however while I snapped this scene, which looks out over Barrowford, 

Despite the dreary weather the views were still amazing and winter or summer I love "England's green and pleasant lands"!


Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The Magic of Christmas...

... is a memory once again.  All the anticipation and preparation and it's over in a flash! 

xmas2010circle7Early Christmas morning William and I went round to both our daughter's homes to visit, see the boys with their new toys and exchange gifts.  The three little boys were all very excited and very happy with the presents Father Christmas left in their stockings.  I think the grown ups were all happy too. 

Christmas dinner was at our house with my son in law, Trev, ably doing the cooking. Aren't I the lucky one?  I just got to sit back with the girls, a glass of Croft Original and enjoy the day.

I couldn't make up my mind which photos to share and finally decided to go with a collage of lots of them.  For anybody interested these collages are free and easy to do.  Just go to and follow the instructions.


Tuesday, 21 December 2010

On Route 66


On the Leeds to Liverpool canal, that is.


  Completely frozen over and no hope of thawing 'til Boxing Day so the weathermen tell us.


I feel so sorry for all the would be travellers stranded at Heathrow Airport and other places. My daughter and her family are hoping to fly off on holiday from Liverpool Airport on the 28th and John and Lesley are hoping to jet off to New Zealand on the same day from Manchester Airport.  I hope the weather men get it right.  We need that thaw don't we people?



Monday, 20 December 2010

Making Mince Pies

We've still got plenty of snow and ice in these parts, so the option..


..of staying in, warm and cosy, making mince pies with the boys seemed like the better option yesterday.

Mince Pies

Despite the enthusiastic bashing the pastry got the pies turned out really well!



Saturday, 18 December 2010

Away to the Window I Flew Like a Flash.

There was the sound of a helicopter flying low and close to the house on Saturday afternoon.  I looked out and saw it land in the field behind the houses behind our house.


There's a very steep hill out there and whenever it snows young people flock to it to do some sledging.  Unfortunately sledges are not easy to steer and one poor young girl smashed into a tree in her way. It turns out the helicopter was the Air Ambulance and for a while we thought her injuries must have been serious. An ordinary ambulance turned up too after a while and the injured girl was transferred to hospital by road.  I'm sure her injuries were bad enough but luckily for her if she wasn't airlifted to hospital then they weren't life threatening.

On a less dramatic note.  My little craft project is taking shape.


I found several helpful video tutorials on Youtube. It was fun to do and nowhere near as fiddly as I thought paper-crafting would be.  Now all I have to do is wait until Christmas is over, I'll then put some photos, text and whatever other embellishments I can think of in it.



Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Christmas Markets.

I spent this afternoon with my lovely cousin, Sylvia, in Manchester.  The Continental Christmas Markets are on again in the streets and squares of Manchester.


These markets are very popular year after year and can get very busy as the day goes on. Fortunately Sylvia and I had arranged to meet at 11 a.m. and were able to look round with ease. 



I bought some beautiful Belgian chocolates from this stall.


Sylvia had come with a list of goodies she had to buy.  She bought several variations of sausage from this French stall.


I loved these Norwegian sweaters.


Here's Syl checking out the leather goods on offer. In particular the red handbags.  She loves red, definitely in particular red shoes.  Always has and probably always will!

We had a lovely time wandering around, stopping off for a coffee break a time or two and nattering away quite merrily all the while.  DSC_7928


Our last stop was Marks and Spencer's and that was the highlight of the afternoon for me.  We were met by the sound of beautiful music being performed live by two classical singers.  They were Jon Christos and Jenny Williams and we were just in time to catch their last two songs, the last one of which was "You Raise Me Up". That is a song I absolutely love, especially sung by the Irish singer Brian Kennedy.  Anyway this young couple were excellent and you can see them on You Tube here.

The whole afternoon had been a pleasure, it always is spending time with Syl but the unexpected simple pleasure of listening to these two great singers was magical. What's more they were raising money for the charity, MacMillan Nurses and are on a fund raising tour of the UK.

Linking to Dayle's blog A Collection of This and That for this week's Simple Pleasures.




Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Three French Hens

Well, okay, not quite.


These Silkie chickens according to Wikipedia are actually from China.  This picture doesn't do them justice. They are beautiful creatures, all fluffy and cute.  They even make good pets.  The funny thing about these chickens though is the fact that their flesh is black.  I looked them up on Google and you can see pictures of them plucked, ready for the oven.  I prefer them looking like this.

I came across these three little beauties in Wales at the weekend in Jackson's Boutique Garden Centre, Dyserth.  Saturday afternoon we finally made our trip down to Wales to see my sister in law and her husband.  We stayed just the one night and really enjoyed catching up with them.  We even had an early Christmas Dinner with them as they won't be coming up to us on Christmas Day this year.   We had Christmas pudding with Bailey's Cream (as in Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur) poured over.  Delicious!

There really wasn't time to go very far so Brenda suggested we go to Jackson's on Sunday for a visit.  It's a wonderful garden centre, in a lovely countryside location, full of lots of good stuff and of course dripping in Christmas decor just now.  A lovely coffee shop too. What more can one ask?  Jackson's is definitely on my places-to-go-back-to list.



Monday, 13 December 2010

Friday night...

...George and Nicholas stayed over at our house and while they were here they helped to decorate the house and the Christmas tree.


William had erected the tree and the decorations were ready and waiting for them.  I know, looking at the pictures you could be forgiven for thinking I'm making it up about the tree because there's not a tree to be seen anywhere is there?.  I just didn't have time to take pictures, not any decent ones anyway.  We had two very excited little boys. I couldn't keep up with them. It got a little fraught there for a time.  It was like a tornado had hit the house!  Both of them whirling round trying to "decorate".  George was excited remembering all the different ornaments. He's done this with us for the last few years now and Nicholas was just plain excited.  It really was very sweet to see them but at the time I couldn't appreciate it, it all happened in fast-forward.

Anyway, we made it and by bathtime and bedtime they both settled down very nicely and weren't a bit of trouble.  Bless their little cotton socks!


Charlie wasn't there on Friday night, it was a bit too late for him.  But he was here on Wednesday.  He was very tired watching the telly and sucking his thumb.  Minutes after this he was asleep.  Bless his little cotton socks too.



Friday, 10 December 2010

Getting Crafty.

I was thrilled earlier this week when I came across this chipboard album in a local craft shop.PMA 110100I love browsing through all the crafty blogs out there and I've long been fascinated with these chipboard albums and the wonderful creations they turn into.  I don't ever make my own cards or anything like that but for some reason I love looking at all the products needed to do it.  Websites such as Two Peas in a Bucket and a Cherry on Top are full of wonderful crafty creations. There are some seriously talented people out there.  I'm not one of them but I'm desperate to have a go.  I just need a good tutorial to get me going and I'm sure I'll find one in blogland.


So with the help of these gorgeous Christmas papers I found on sale at the same time as the album and one or two embellishments...


...I'm hoping to transform that plain chipboard album into something like this.  I'll be more than happy with something that even in a little way resembles this!

This is my simple pleasure this week.  I missed the link up  over at Dayle's but I'm going to have a look at what everybody has been up to just the same.



Wednesday, 8 December 2010

A Roundup.

William was busy all the weekend and Monday morning (he'd booked two days off work which should have been spent in Wales) decorating the dining room and one of the spare bedrooms - the one where the computer now lives.  Once he gets a paintbrush in his hand it's better to give him a wide berth and let him get on with it.  So that's what I did.

Sunday afternoon I went along with Caroline to her works'  Children's Christmas Party in Uppermill.  It was a lovely afternoon and Charlie was thrilled with Father Christmas but only from a distance -definitely not sit-on-his-knee-and-have-your-photo-taken thrilled!


Monday afternoon William had all but finished the decorating and so we ventured out to Hebden Bridge for some lunch and a mooch around the town's shops.  Everywhere still covered in icy snow as you can see.


Then yesterday afternoon we arranged to go to Towneley Hall with two of our favourite people, John and Lesley.  We had lunch first at Towneley Hall Garden Centre (very nice place, worth a visit in itself) and then set off up the beautiful tree lined avenue to the Hall.  It was cold but sooo pretty.

The main reason for the visit was to see the Christmas Tree Festival in the Hall. It was billed as a magical event.  I'm afraid you could have them there on Trades Descriptions.  The Tree Festival was a disappointment but the Hall itself is great and there was a fantastic Photographic Exhibition of Harold Crompton Robinson's work.  I'd never heard of him before yesterday but I can guarantee that I'll now see his name crop up all over the place!


Yep, that's a four poster bed in the background and I can not remember the story behind it - shame on me!


When we came out of the Hall the snow had begun to fall.  We trudged back down the hill through the snow and ice to the car.


We stopped on the way home at The Ram Inn for a drink.  A lovely old pub, it had a couple of roaring fires going and we nattered away feeling all warm and cosy.  I took some pictures but sadly none of them were any good.

We had a really lovely afternoon and the good company and all that snow only added to it.



Saturday, 4 December 2010

Believe it or not..

..this is not a black and white photograph.


It's just the way the lake looks today - black and white.

We should have gone to Wales for the weekend this afternoon but because of this yukky weather we (well William really) decided not to go.  All is not lost though, we're still hoping to make it before Christmas when we'll be able to get out and about when we get there.



Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Sunday papers..

..went through a phase sometime ago of giving away a DVD every week.   One of the DVDs that came with the paper my husband bought was On Golden Pond, starring Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn. Filmed in 1981 amidst beautiful, beautiful scenery it is without doubt my favourite film. 

I'm probably enchanted with the film as much for its location as its storyline. That log cabin set on the shores of a lake has got it all for me.  Woods to wander in, birds to watch, a canoe to mess about on the water in, a porch to read a good book on, - yep, it's got the lot. 


Here's my DVD sitting on top of a pile of shirts that are waiting to be ironed.  I quite often watch it while I'm doing the ironing and in fact that's what I was doing just a little while ago and that's what my Simple Pleasure is this week.  No, not doing the ironing but watching On Golden Pond while I did it.

More Simple Pleasures can be found at Dayle's lovely blog, A Collection of This and That.



Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Earlier this week...

.. Caroline, Charlie and I made a trip to an Ikea store just a few miles away.


Caroline and Charlie made themselves at home.  Charlie settled down in front of a telly and put his feet up!

We enjoyed our mooch round this huge store but were both a bit disappointed that there wasn't more Christmas stuff on offer.  I was looking forward to seeing some Scandinavian Christmas things but there really wasn't a lot on offer.  It didn't matter too much we still made a few purchases and came away happy.


On a different note.  We got snow!  I took this picture of my car earlier this afternoon.  Schools closed early round here today and kids were out sledging.   We haven't got as much snow as a lot of other places across the UK but we've got enough.

We're planning a trip to Wales to see my sister in law and her husband this weekend.  I hope this snow goes away or we'll be going nowhere.