Tuesday 30 December 2008

A Late Christmas

It was a peculiar Christmas this year...

We did not have holly

no baubles either

and most certainly it did not snow

but we have Eden back home again - a few pounds lighter, very pale and rather weak and home is home once more.

Hope your Christmas was both bright and beautiful. I'll see you sometime in the new year.

Friday 19 December 2008

From Bad to Worse

I have gone deaf. Deaf I tell you! And it is bloody unamusing. My children are fed up of yelling at me and I feel exactly like the terminally daft and grumpy bat that is all deaf old women. The house is still in something of a mess and I have not finished the shopping let alone started wrapping. But lets be British shall we?

and I can...well I might be able to if what had started off today as a check up at the Doctor's for Eden, who has been off colour since the weekend had not all of a sudden turned into V dashing to the hospital with her with the suggestion of appendicitis leering at us all. I am trying very hard not to worry.
But the impulse is there...

Thursday 18 December 2008

Ab Fab!

Thank you my dear Technodoll, I think you are fabulous too.

Along with this I have to list five addictions and pass the baby along. So

1. Spinning obviously
2. Merino wool, cashmere, silk equally obviously
3. Really cute underwear sets
4. Shoes (must be frivolous in the extreme)
5. And because it is Christmas I will own up to my addiction to Tinsel. I know it is tacky, I know that the whitewashed and gingerbread look should be my spiritual home cos I am a country girl and all that. I know, I know, I know and I just love the stuff. Bury me in its glitzy, flashy prettiness cos you just can't beat tinsel at Christmas.

I am supposed to pass this on but honestly I think you are all fabulous. So if you are reading this then please take this award from me. I am not and never will be a big blogger. I have maybe fifteen regular readers but I reckon I know most of you quite well and I love your comments and your visits. So You are Fabulous Too in my opinion.

Sunday 14 December 2008

All I Want For Christmas...

Rose is writing her letter to Father Christmas. On it are items of such ambition I feel dizzy just looking at it. Never the less, the lady knows what she wants.

Surveying the devastation around us after what is now nearly a fortnight of illness in one member of the family or other and knowing what a herculean effort it is going to take to get the house in order, let alone pretty for the season, I declare that I would like a slave for Christmas.

V: That wouldn't be much use.
Me: What?
V: We haven't had any snow.
Me: Slave...not sleigh.

Ho ho ho.

Friday 12 December 2008

The Feast of St Nicholas

The 6th of December is the Feast of St Nick. Not the jolly fat bloke in the red suit (that was hijacked by the Victorians.) But still suitably festive. We decorated the largest tower with holly and ivy and a minstrel strummed carols on a dulcimer while we were at work. Yes, it was cold but not desperately so. Minus 4.5 C at night but we were quite cosy in the tent. Thanks to the large gas heater that we swiped from my dad.

V in the outer bailey
We were dressed very warmly too - linen, silk and wool cannot be beaten for their thermal properties and V even had a fur collar (fake cos it's hard to get real wolf round here any more )

That very elegantly shaped window that you can see behind V's left shoulder belongs to the large kitchen so you can imagine that the chap who built this castle was not short of a penny or two. However, we cooked in the small kitchen tower which with two fires blazing and the bread oven going was the warmest spot to be - apart from our tent of course :o)

Myself and Mistress Pat in the small kitchen tower.

I spent most of my time helping to prepare the feast- pottage (vegetable stew) roast beef and spit roast lamb, roasted vegetables including potatoes which although they weren't around in Britain the 1300s it was felt that beef wouldn't be beef unless there was a roastie cuddled up next to it. The beef and the vegetables were cooked in the bread oven built into the tower wall but the lamb was spit roasted over an open fire. They tasted magnificent - I think I am ruined for beef now. There was a sweet furmenty for pudding - I had never tried this before and it was an acquired taste, flavoured with rose water and sugar it was unusual but fun to eat food made to a really ancient recipe. There were also dates stuffed with marchpane (marzipan) and crispalls which are some kind of small, intensely sweet cake. I don't really know what they tasted like because the archers scarfed the lot down as a kind of aperitif. We also had mulled wine and mulled cider to keep the chill out which worked very nicely.

Above is a picture of the outer bailey where we camped. Our tent is the one to the right, next to the fancy blue and yellow stripey one. It was rather hard getting out into the chill of the early morning. The girls elected to stay in bed until lunchtime and it later turned out that what I thought was tiredness brought on by a late night and fresh air was in fact the starting of tonsillitis which they in turn passed on to me - blah - so we have been busy with that most of this week. Back to earth with a thump as usual!

However, there has been one consolation when stuck in bed with sick children who will not let me move one inch away from them lest I get weak, queroulous calls of Mummy, Mummy! And that is that I finally managed to read all of Ken Follets World Without End which at about a thousand pages is a proper cockroach killer of a book. Thoroughly absorbing stuff if you can leave behind the taint of the horror that the Black Death must have been. Still 600 years is a long time to brood over something like that. Shake it off girl, shake it off.

Hope you and yours are well and blooming. Prayers and good vibes welcomed for three kids and a mum who aren't really.

Saturday 6 December 2008

Feast day

home for the weekend - only ours is white

Rise and shine for the day is upon me and we are off to try out the new tent...yes in December. Srsly.

Yes, blue skies and bright eyes. Today we are heading for Chepstow and the Yuletide feast.
The costumes are all made, the gingerbread has been baked and the wine and cider have been purchased waiting to be mulled on site. I have filtered the Blackberry whiskey* which I laid down in September and the dough for the fairings is made, wrapped and ready to be popped into the handy dandy bread oven built into the castle wall.

We will be cosy enough in the tent I know - we can hardly move in the car (packed tight as a drum by the way) for wool blankets** But how I wish wish wish that I had managed to weave up those snuggly fleece sleeping mats.

Have a warm and delightful weekend won't you. I think we will :o)

*and very pretty it is too with a deceptively warming glow as it goes down and then when you get to the bottom of the glass you realise that your feet have gone numb.

**and a calor gas heater

Tuesday 2 December 2008

On the Loom

We have a wool sleeping mat. And it is taking flipping ages! I have been working on this for days and it is not getting any longer it seems.
I will not be finished in time.

It is beautifully thick and warm, just the thing for chilly mornings in a tent. I meant to make three of course but what a drag they are turning out to be.
I won't be finishing it on time

And it is not as if I am ill equipped - those spikes are actually longer than my fingers! I can comb up a lot of wool and threading the resulting fluff through a diz and turning it into a roving is almost as much fun as spinning.

But I am not quick enough at the weaving and I have to face it that I am not going to finish it in time...

Monday 1 December 2008

One Single Impression - Welcoming

I haven't done a haiku prompt for a very long time but this one felt so pretty...

Advent is one of my favourite seasons - the waiting, sometimes counting the days - that quiet sense of anticipation heightened by the stillness of winter - welcoming the birth of light once more
and so the year goes round...

leafless wood, sky like bone
watch and wait
soon a son

do take a look to see how others keep a welcome at One Single Impression