Thursday, 29 January 2015



Last night we went to bed knowing that it would snow, for sure. That day it had been snowing on and off but nothing too serious. This morning we woke up to a room bathed in the light which only comes when there's snow on the ground. Funnily enough I'd just bought Mide 'Snow' by Walter de la Mare. Have you read it? It's so sweet and of course we had to have a snuggle and a read to warm him up after snowman building.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

spring colour

Lenten Roses

It's snowing here and we could really do with some Spring time colour! The snowdrops are just about to make an appearance and the crocuses and irises are trying hard too. But in the meantime what about these gorgeous woodblock prints by Matt Underwood. They are lovely- I think the primroses are especially cheering.
Crocus teacup

Aconite wren by Matt Underwood
go to Matt's Folksy page to see more

Sunday, 25 January 2015


Last Friday I had my running away day. I run away occasionally but I don't go far. In fact I pretty much go to the same place- the bookshop and perhaps on to a nice cafe for a quiet coffee. I bought two books - A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli and Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. One from the Second World War and one from the First. I'd previously read and really enjoyed Brittain's Letters from a Lost Generation and I'm hoping to read the book before I see the film but it mightn't work out that way. The other one - A Meal in Winter - is more bite sized (excuse that terrible pun) and at less than 140 pages is more of a novella. Set in the depths of a frozen Polish landscape three German soldiers are out hunting. Hunting for Jews. It's written from one of the soldier's perspective and is utterly, terrifyingly gripping. The writing style is clean and clear, precise yet simple and the descriptions of the cold and snow make me glad I'm reading it tucked up safely beside a blazing fire. 

Friday, 23 January 2015


I have memories, just on the edge of where memories begin, of sitting listening to stories on the radio with my older sister and being terrified - I think it was Nancy Drew Mysteries. With no television the boys have their own ways of entertaining themselves - books, drawing, music, games and of course stories on CD. William is totally engrossed in his Doctor Who CD and luckily has Scooby Doo there to hide behind if it all gets a bit much. Listening to a story allows the imagination greater flexibility. It's also a great activity to do on a damp January afternoon, curled up on the sofa with hot chocolate and Jammie Dodgers (Dr Who's favourite) in your tummy. 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Fumihiro Ooga
I do not live in a black house. Or a spindly house with legs. Or a house which needs a ladder so you have to climb up to get in. I do not live in a house with windows only at the top. And a sheep tucked up underneath. 
Nikoletta Bati
Or a house with bulging sides and spindly legs. But I'm beginning to wish that I did.
Kim Van Someren Fort 11 etching/aquatint/chine colle 9″x 12″ 2011
for more house inspiration look here

Friday, 16 January 2015


A little collection. A tiny poetry book - Emily Dickinson - I've had this forever. A paper Christmas decoration which I liked so much I couldn't pack it away, so it's hanging in the dining room (the diamond room, as Mide calls it. Oh the optimism of youth). A tin of Burt's Bees hand salve. It says it's a farmer's friend. At this time of year it's everybody's friend. And finally Love. Yes, that one word says it all really. A present from a sister I love.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

getting there

The same view from our front door this morning. The top picture taken at 7.50am with the moon in a barely lit sky and then by 8.10am a much brighter view. It's amazing what a difference 20 minutes makes in terms of daylight at this time of year. We are slowly getting there.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

january hymn

What is probably not that obvious from these pictures is the icy wind- it would flay the skin off you and it certainly made our eyes water as we faced into it on the return walk home. There's been a brushing of snow across our bit of the world, just enough to justify lighting the fires early and perhaps making the odd mug of hot chocolate to warm us up. Our evenings have been spent reading, playing Ludo (a Christmas gift to William which has been so popular and, as it requires absolutely no skill, one even I can occasionally win at) and when all children are tucked up in bed we've been watching The Killing. We are now on Series 3 so some strict rationing has been put in place but sometimes that doesn't work and we accidentally overdose. So with winter winds howling outside, Sarah Lund running into Denmark's dark scary places (each time, will she ever learn that's where the baddies are) and our toes toasting by the stove, this January is passing along nicely.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

the sea, the sea

Stormy sea off the coast of Erimel – great nature photography in dark blue colors | photography . Fotografie . photographie | Photo: Stefan Georgi @ flickr |
image from pinterest
This weekend we went to the sea. The crashing foaming leaping sea with its endless celestial push and pull. We walked for a couple of miles alongside it as it roared. It pulled on the shingle with a clacking cracking sound, possibly the best sound in the world - stones being ground into sand. The wind was wild, the spray hit our faces and our words were snatched from our mouths and thrown to the churning saltwater. My blood, which is blended with brine, was happy. So happy. We turned for home and then it snowed. We walked in the snow, the sky leaden. The song of the sea could not be ignored and it flung smoothed pebbles up over the railings to our feet just to remind us who is in charge.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

new beginnings

Paper Whites Wrapped In Gold (+ how to plant, care for, and force)
image via pinterest
A new month and a new year. Outside a new moon shimmers in a starry sky and the fox barks somewhere in the wood. Inside we are warm and sleepy, the end of the day and the return to school and work takes its toll. The new year brings the excitement of the unknown - all those months to fill up doing and living and being. I am looking forward to 2015. I think possibly because the last two years were rubbish. But this one feels different, even though it's only a few days old. This one has the scent and purity of fresh paperwhites barely unfurled but still beautiful. This one will be a good one.