Monday, 29 November 2010

Jack Frost ...

... has been in our garden again and this is how it looked this morning.
Jack Frost was in the garden;
I saw him there at dawn;
He was dancing round the bushes
And prancing on the lawn.
He had a cloak of silver,
A hat all shimm'ring white,
A wand of glittering star-dust,
And shoes of sunbeam light.
(from the poem "Jack Frost in the Garden" by John P. Smeeton)
Sunday, Jack Frost painted the greenhouse roof.
It was -7'C in there yesterday afternoon. I didn't stay there for long! Just enough time to throw an extra blanket of bubble wrap over my seedlings.
The best place to be was in the kitchen. I roasted some chestnuts, ready for my Christmas nut roast and popped them into the freezer.
And I made some mini mincepies to store in the freezer for Christmas.
The recipe for the orange pastry can be found here.
A seemingly suitable job for the first Sunday of Advent.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Brrrrrrrr ...

... November has quickly gone from being unseasonably warm to very cold. Jack Frost has been visiting our garden and the shady parts of garden haven't defrosted at all today. The wisteria is finally discarding its leaves.
This beady-eyed robin has taken up residence in our front garden.

Wednesday, Jay had an inset day so we went swimming together. Here he is with his Maurice. He was carrying him outside in style before we went out!
These boys love each other. Maurice was supposed to be my husband's cat, but from day one he has only had eyes for Jay.
Yesterday, I suddenly remembered that I hadn't planted up my Paperwhites. I had saved the bulbs from last year, by hanging them up in the garage and when I retrieved them they were already sprouting. Last year they bloomed too early for Christmas, so I am breaking all the rules this time and taking pot luck by putting them straight onto a window sill, rather than forcing them in the dark. The moss is from the far end of my garden, which is quite shady.

Yesterday, I also baked this coconut cake which is now a family favourite.
And I have been busy crocheting for a Christmas swap. I love Christmas and have started to feel very Christmassy already! :) I still have lots to do and think I need to sit down and write some lists to get myself organised. I have also discovered PhotoScape, as you can probably tell. I have been using the free download and have been having fun playing with my photos. :)
Hope you are keeping warm, best wishes Pj x

Monday, 22 November 2010

This Weekend ...

... we had a family trip to the cinema to see the latest Harry Potter film. Our daughter is a big Harry Potter fan.

I spent the remainder of the weekend gardening, baking, knitting and crocheting.

And now it is Monday and I'm off to work. Hope you all enjoy your week, Pj x

Monday, 15 November 2010

Shades of Grey

Sunday morning arrived shrouded in mist. I went out for an early morning walk with only the birds for company and a lone jogger.

Back home I settled down to some needlework. I am making Christmas gifts and I also finally finished this cushion for my son. When he was aged 11/12 he had a pair of jeans that he loved, made out of this grey skull material and when he grew out of them I kept them with the intention of making a Union Jack cushion for him. I started hand-stitching the tape onto the material some time ago, but I didn't get around to sewing up the cushion until now!

Hopefully I will get the Christmas presents made more quickly! :)

Monday, 8 November 2010

A Woodland Walk

Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny; the ideal opportunity to explore our favourite woodland in all its autumn glory.
We spent a very pleasurable couple of hours strolling around Morganston Woods, stopping frequently to admire the views and to take lots of photographs.
And to watch this little Nuthatch.
Today it is very wet and windy and the best place to be is snuggled up indoors, preferably with some crochet and Christmas magazines.
I have now completed half of the centre panel of my Country Garden lap blanket. Progress is slow, but I am loving it.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The End of British Summertime?

Midnight on Saturday, the clocks went back an hour signalling the end of British summertime, but the weather seems to have other ideas. Last night at 5pm it was 15'C! It felt warmer than some summer evenings. It was so warm in fact that I spent yesterday gardening in a suntop - in November!! At 6:30pm my husband and I decided to go for a walk around the village. Lit by the street lights, the autumn trees looked beautiful.

We walked through the woods which were lit by moonlight and they looked magical with a mist hanging over the treetops. It was a very romantic walk.
Today another sunny day has dawned and I think more gardening is called for. :)
(Apologises for the quality of these photos, I couldn't keep the camera still for long enough in this light.)

Monday, 1 November 2010

October 2010

October has been a mixture of some very frosty mornings and some very mild days. In the garden the roses have been blooming throughout the month and some of the summer annuals are still flowering.
Due to the weather, the trees have looked spectacular this year in their autumn finery.

Many of the leaves are still green and the lane looks magical with its green roof and carpet of fallen leaves.
I love the architectural shapes of the seed heads that dominate the meadow at this time of year.

Rose hips are still adding colour to the hedgerows
and so are the berries of the hawthorn.
The mild weather has tricked some of the hawthorn into producing its May blossom!
I hope this warm weather continues for a little longer.