Sunday, 11 January 2015

Winter ponderings . . .

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The colour of winter is pure and lovely . . .  with long blue shadows and purple stalks . . .  and skies punctuated with the latticed pattern of dark branches lifting intricate patterns up against their grey stillness.   Winter in the UK is not like winter in North America.  Unless you live in the very far North there is very little snow to embroider our days . . .   only cold fogs and mists and a light dusting here and there . . . now and again.

I cannot say I miss the shoveling and the scraping . . .  for I do not.

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Occasionally we will get a day which flies in the face of winter . . .  a tantalizing teasing taste of spring.  A bonus day.   The sun will be clear and warm, soft as lake water and casting a golden hue on all proceedings.   Even tree trunks glow in it's light and a hundred misty colours appear above pond, river and trickling brook.   Even the birds liven up and seem very happy.  They fly on lighter wings . . .  and Mitzie sits by the back gate longingly wanting to bound across the crisp frozen grass at the back, nose to the ground, inhaling the scents of a million creatures which have passed this way since her last dash down the length of the frozen garden . . .

Life is just one long series of tantalizing scents and smells to an exciteable cocker . . .

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Quiet is the norm as daylight hours imperceptively get a minute or two longer with the passing days.   Hours are spent by the roaring fire . . .  hands cupped around warm cups of herbal tea, toes toasting by flickering flame.  The steam feels good on frozen cheeks after long solitary walks on frozen ground . . . each bush and blade having been sheathed with ice.

After a few chilly hours out of doors, we enjoy the warmth of cuddly chair, blanketed knees and flickering fire even more . . .

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We wait for the snow drops to appear.   The tips of green are there . . .  having just pushed through the frozen mulch.   Small jewels set in the silver band of winter.  The promise of spring to come . . .

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A thought to carry with you through the day . . .

There is no season
such delight can bring,
As summer, winter
autumn and spring."
~William Browne

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Baking in The English Kitchen today . . .  Ginger Oat Sandwich Cookies, with a lime buttercream filling.   Perfect with a nice hot cup of herbal tea.

A Blessed Sunday to each of you.   Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!



  1. Lime buttercream! I love buttercream, so I'm intrigued. I imagine lime would be quite good.

  2. Winter here at my house does mean some scraping and shoveling. The days I have to shovel leave me with little energy to do anything else. We've been so cold the past few days that to get out and shovel is even a greater feat as the wind blows right through you too. BrrrChill ! I hope your Sunday is a warm and relaxing one.

  3. Dear Marie,

    I can only imagine snow and shovelling it. I am told it is very heavy. Our winters are mild.

    I have spent my evening at a 20/20 cricket match with Will and Pip and am now tired. At least this time I did fall.

  4. More snow expected tonight..When can you start gardening there Marie?:)
    Just curious..Here as you know..usually we wait until May 23rd..etc..
    I hope my garlic grows.
    We have to figure out a recipe with chocolate and candied ginger..we bought a choolate bar in the states and I am not even a chocolate bar person..but that dk choco w/ the candied ginger ..winner:)
    I do warm my hands around herbal does J:)

  5. Gosh you were all poetic this morning Marie...what lovely words you use to describe so many different things. Thankfully I have not had to shovel snow for many a year..When up in Scotland it was quite regular as everyone always swept their paths and the pavements ouside their homes clear...maybe 2,3.4 times a day if need be. I remember many a time watching our neighbour across the road from us a lovely gentleman who had only one arm he swept and swept from morn to night it appeared and not only did he do his own bit of pavemenet he just kept sweeping till he got both his neighbours on either side of hime cleared as well...I was once so upset I came in and started knitting him a warm glove to try to keep his poor hand warm !!! Not been a very nice day down here very grey and just a miserable kind of feeeling...just like me today. I even missed going to church which is a very rare event for me but I just didn't feel up to it ...Must make a move tomorrow and perk up a bit..
    Hope you are ok and keeping warm xx

  6. I love the pictures you post. Especially the first wintery scene from today. Winter can be cold, sometimes dreary but what is really going on within the trees and plants is an unseen preparation of the new growth that will spring forth in a few months. We can relate to this in our own lives as we go through our "winter" of tests and trials. After that, we see the growth and experience a feeling of new life. Thanks for the great post! xoxo

  7. Lime buttercream is very good Val!! Almost too good! xoxo

    Pam, I cannot imagine how you cope with it all. I can only think you are in very good shape!!xoxo

    Suzan, I know nothing at all about cricket. Wet snow is the heaviest. People die each year from shoveling and having heart attacks. It's not for the weak hearted! xoxo

    They have a saying here Monique, "Don't cast a clout til May is out!" So no real gardening is done until May, but lots of prep before then and of course the hardier plants go in prior to then also. Right now we are harvesting our purple sprouting broccoli as the season is at it's height, and I have roses still blooming believe it or not. I think they are confused! I have some chocolate and candied ginger cookies. Very tasty. The recipe for them is here:

    They are a ginger butter cookie with a dark chocolate drizzle. xoxo

    Thanks Sybil! I know it is a lot colder in Scotland, more Canadian like. It's still very cold and windy here! I hope you stay warm, dry and safe! xoxo

  8. Valerie, I love your allegory. It's so true. Thank YOU! xoxo

  9. Just pure poetry today; I loved reading it all.
    Blessings, love and hugs for the feelings today.

  10. Thank you LeAnn! Same to you! xxoo


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