Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone.
We finished off 2016 with a visit to the cinema to see Rogue One
and a shopping trip so that I could buy a new dress for J's upcoming graduation ceremony.

The rest of the time was spent  
quietly at home.

I worked on my Christmas Eve cast on 

 and New Year's Eve we watched the London fireworks on the television.

I recently discovered that my husband likes vol-au-vents, so New Year's Day I baked some to have with our cocktails and game of Monopoly.  I made three different fillings for them; blueberry jam and Stilton - egg mayonnaise and ham - cranberry Wensleydale and caramelised shallots.

M's winning streak at Monopoly is unbroken!

I was doing so badly that I considered hopping on the Hogwarts Express! ;)

The Laverstoke cocktails that I made might have had something to do with it! :)

We have also been playing Mystery at Hogwarts ... M has won each time too! I don't know how she does it! :)

Yesterday morning I took down all the Christmas decorations
and the beautiful cards that we had received

and in the afternoon we went for a walk to kick start this year's exercise regime.  It was icy underfoot with a nip in the air.





We are now back into our normal routine, as the menfolk are back at work today.  They had a cold start to the morning!

I think I'll stay indoors with my knitting! :)

Friday, 30 December 2016

Christmas 2016

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.  Or maybe just this little mouse that I made.

Christmas Eve is always busy for me, I usually end up decorating the cake last minute!  This year I decided on a simple snow scene.
I also decorated the Ikea flat-pack gingerbread house that we had purchased.
All preparations for the next day completed, I was determined to join in with Dani's Christmas Eve Cast On this year #lbkchristmasevesocks2016 and knit my first pair of socks.  11:30 at night I managed to cast on! :)
I am knitting the cuffs, heels and toes in Schoppel-Wolle Admiral and the main part of the socks in Bad Santa from Mother of Purl.  It has been good to sit down with some knitting for a few minutes each day.
Christmas morning I was awake first to hang up my children's stockings!  They go to bed later than I do now, so I have to fill their stockings Christmas morning! :)
My parents came to stay with us for a few days, which was lovely as we all get on so well and much laughter ensued!


After our Christmas lunch
which included the Christmas pudding made by me using my paternal Nana's recipe,
we exchanged gifts.
I love the sweet card that I received from my husband.
We went for a walk after dark to see the Christmas lights around the neighbourhood.
 

The weather was very mild over Christmas, just perfect for a walk Boxing Day morning through our favourite woods,
before it was time for lunch.
After Christmas the weather turned colder and we had some beautiful frosts.










Essential winter walking equipment! ;)
My parents have returned home now and we are spending the remainder of the holidays quietly at home.  Who knows, I may even finish one sock! :)

Winter Celebrations of Light

Mid December my husband and I visited RHS Wisley for a magical wander around the gardens after dark.
I say magical, because the gardens had been 'planted' with gigantic, illuminated flowers

which we discovered as we followed the trail of fairy lights.



Many trees were lit up and huge waterlilies floated in the ponds, creating beautiful reflections in the water.

The glasshouse was adorned within with many lights.









Back outside we followed the fairy lights



to the pagoda.





These flowers were interactive

and we pressed buttons to change their colour.







It was such a special evening.

On the day of the winter solstice we were up early and headed to Stonehenge.

This has become a family tradition and I feel that it is the start of Christmas for us.

It is always busy, but with a very friendly atmosphere.


It was cloudy again this year so this was all we saw of the sun at sunrise.




Some people celebrate with music
while others sit and meditate.
We finally saw the sun at 9:30 as we headed back towards the car.