Thursday, 31 December 2015

A look back at 2015

Well it has reached that time where we look back at the year just ending and I must say that 2015 has been a fantastic year for me. 

I reduced my working hours at the start of the year which has meant that I have had lots more time to spend with my DH and also on my hobbies - this year it has been mainly walking and crocheting.

In late January/early February we had a major kitchen refurbishment (long overdue) ...

We have undertaken lots of walks.  Some near to home ...

and some further away ...

We have seen lots of flora/fauna ...

We enjoyed two holidays in the West Country and a few weekends away ...

I joined Slimming World at the end of March and to date have lost 4 st 2.5 lbs and won the Miss Slinky competition ...

and I have done lots of crocheting ...

I am hoping that 2016 will prove to be as good as this year has been.

All that remains is for me to wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2016. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Mum's 90th Birthday

Not only have we celebrated Christmas in the last week but also my Mum's 90th Birthday on Boxing Day and a party for 30 of her family and friends today. 

It has been an exciting time but also a worrying one for me hoping everything would go smoothly and I wouldn't mess up my speech and toast. I am pleased to say everything went really well and the meal and the party was a huge success. I produced a slide show of photos of Mum throughout her life which we were able to project onto a screen which everyone enjoyed and lots of talking points came out of that! Mum had a fantastic, albeit an emotional day and I think we did her proud. 

Now I can begin to relax before going back to work next week although before that I have weigh-in at Slimming World tomorrow which I am definitely not looking forward to!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Post Christmas Walks

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are managing to relax in this period between Christmas and New Year.

We have made time to do a couple of walks since Christmas in between the  preparations for my Mum's birthday party (she was 90 on Boxing Day but the party for family and friends is taking place tomorrow). I will blog about in my next post hopefully.

The weather hasn't been particularly good so we haven't walked so much as planned, it has been very mild for the time of year but with rain at times, gusty winds, grey skies and plenty of mud. However we are extremely lucky compared with some parts of the country (especially Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire) that have suffered devastating flooding so we mustn't complain about grey skies!

We walked around my home village on Boxing Day after visiting my Mum with her birthday cards and presents. I didn't take many photos but wanted to show you these two. With the unseasonably mild weather the primroses and celandines are already starting to bloom. I can never remember seeing these flowers out at Christmas time before. I noticed as I was driving past the park in town that there are daffodils out as well.

We also saw a kingfisher but he was too quick for me to grab a photograph but what a lovely sight it was as we watched him fly down the river.

Today we went for an after lunch walk to St. Mary Bourne. The sky was very grey and flat so not ideal for photography but I still could not resist snapping away.

Until next time ....

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my blog readers. Thank you for following me this year. 

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Christmas is fast approaching!

I live with three men folk, my DH and two sons (30 & 28), who aren't exactly enthusiastic about the festive season so I have had to do a bit of nagging to get them to go up into the loft to fetch the Christmas tree and decs down. Finally my nagging paid off and I am able to start making the house look as if Christmas is coming.

I love reacquainting myself each year with my Christmas tablecloth and stitched tree ornaments that I have made over many years. Looking at them again has made me want to start stitching again, crochet has taken over my life lately with only one new ornament made this year but I think I might be inspired to get out my needle and thread over the Christmas period and make some more!

I am still looking for something to put on the top of my tree, for years I have had a raffia angel which is a bit worse for wear now and I would like something different this year but so far haven't seen anything I like. At least I now have the tree up, I am sure if the men folk had their way it wouldn't go up until Christmas Eve (if at all)!!!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

December Walks

December has so far been a mild, damp and windy month with just one day of cold dry weather. We haven't been out and about that much because of the weather and being busy in the run up to Christmas. We have managed a couple of local walks though, so firstly I will show you photos from our first walk, somewhere that I think regular readers of my blog will recognise, yes it is our favourite walking location in the village of St. Mary Bourne. Not surprisingly because of all the wet weather we have been experiencing it was quite muddy in places so we mainly chose to walk on the built up paths and roads this time around.

We have walked along this path many times this year.

The view across this field has changed so much throughout the year as the crop cycle takes place

This path was very boggy today

Mud, glorious mud!

No idea how this tree manages to remain upright given the exposed roots!

Butlers Farm, such a beautiful house.

The river bed is still dry, it won't be too long before the springs come up again.

You don't see too many of these staddle stone barns these days

Wonder how long before the river is flowing along this dry river bed again?

Love these boxing hares!

The old chapel has seen better days, remember going in there with a friend to Sunday School one time when I was staying at my Granny & Grandad's when I was young.

A fairly new bridge but otherwise a familiar view, I used to look out of my Aunt's and Uncle's farmhouse window and look across the river to the house on the hill.

They are proposing to build on this field soon so took a view to remember it as it has always been!

We also enjoyed a late afternoon visit to Rooksbury Mill, a local nature reserve. We first discovered this place almost a year ago and it is good to watch the scenery change throughout the year. The light was perfect for photography and the water was very still leading to lovely reflections in the water. We spent quite a lot of time watching the water vole who was busy gnawing through the weed and swimming with it upstream, whether to stash away for eating later or to line his nest I am not sure, but while we were watching he made three trips, each time dragging quite a large piece of water weed with him.

I am looking forward to putting some collages together at the end of the year that will hopefully show the changes to familiar landscapes throughout the seasons. Until next time ...