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Thursday, 31 December 2020

The end ... or the beginning?

It's 7.00pm on 31 December, New Year's Eve, here in the UK.  Elsewhere in the world, it's already the start of a whole new year and by this time tomorrow, we'll all be standing in January 2021 and I hope that it is a better year for us all!

I always think of the year as a clock and the hands are almost back at 12 o'clock.  This might not be the usual way to think of a calendar (or so my husband tells me!) but I've always seen time like that, and I love that moment in January when it's a whole new year with the hands at the top of the clock face and the new year in front of you ready for you to do something with it - a bit like snow on the ground that's waiting for you to walk on it and put your mark where nobody else has been.  

Oh yes, we've had snow - I'm surprised you couldn't hear me cheering from where you are!  Big daughter woke me up early a couple of days ago to tell me look out of the window (she'd got up in the middle of the night and didn't want it to have melted before the alarm clock went off) and I spent a long time looking out of the window into that snowy, orangey half-light, grinning from ear to ear, until I realised that I was really cold and got back into bed.

It was good news for the sprouts which had their first dusting of frost on Christmas morning (sprouts always taste better after frost!) ...

I never thought I'd be so excited about sprouts at Christmas, but home grown ones taste so much nicer than bought ones and it's a happy memory of my Dad who always used to grow his own sprouts and then bring them over to whichever house we were eating Christmas dinner in (we usually take it in turns to host between our family - although not this year!).

Monday, 28 December 2020

Monthly Musing - December 2020 - Happy birthday!

Winwick Mum was 10 years old this year.
It was in August, to be precise, but in the gradual way that Winwick Mum started as a column in our local church magazine and has grown to fill my every waking thought as a blog, books, yarn and sock patterns, it feels quite natural to be talking about an anniversary a few months later!  And besides, as we reach the end of this peculiar year, it’s quite nice to have something to celebrate!
I had absolutely no idea, all those years ago (when even the thought of writing something to be published for and read by my local community filled me with some kind of terror) that I would be feeling extraordinarily grateful that my husband said “What a great idea!” when I showed him the request in the church magazine for some extra content and said I thought I could write something, and telling you now that 10 years have passed and I am still writing my Monthly Musings.  I certainly had no idea that writing my musings each month (and not being tapped on the shoulder in the village shop by someone who though they were terrible!) would help me to feel brave enough to publish them online as a blog, which later became far more about socks that I would have ever thought, led to friendships I never dreamed of and opportunities I never imagined.

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Merry Christmas!

An angel decoration sits amid the pine needles of a Christmas tree, surrounded by coloured fairy lights

Our plans might have changed, but whatever goes on in the world, the days pass and Christmas Eve is here.  

The curtains are closed, shutting out the world and leaving us in our own cosy space; our family is together, we're safe and we're thankful for that.  I know it's not the same for everyone this year and I'm sending lots of love and good wishes, hoping that you will have the best Christmas you possibly can.

With much love, and thoughts of joy and peace xxx

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Christmas countdown

Hello, hello, how are you doing? 

It's Thursday today and we're rushing towards Christmas ... small daughter breaks up from school this week and my husband is taking some well-deserved time off work.  

I don't know about your working situation, but he's worked harder than ever since lockdown and needing to be based at home.  My theory is that because many people aren't commuting at the moment, they are filling their commuting time with work instead of having an extra hour to themselves to have another five minutes under the duvet, or a more leisurely breakfast, or perhaps even do something restful like read a book - I think it probably all started at the beginning of the first lockdown when people felt guilty about taking time for themselves when they felt they should be working and the commute is, after all, part of the working day - and now there's an extra two hours or more of work generated in the day and nobody can take any time off because it all needs to be done.  Everybody is exhausted from working too hard, from coronavirus restrictions that seem to change daily, and because it's that's time of year.  We all need a rest - and it's OK to have one!

And now I'm going to show you a photo of a cauliflower.

An orange cauliflower on a chopping board, surrounded by kitchen implements

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

December days

Hello!  How are you doing?

I think I'm going to stop announcing any intentions because as soon as I do (and in this case, it was "I'm going to chat to you more often"), everything seems to conspire against me and I have been busier this week with house things and my other job things than I have for the last month! 😀    

Anyway, here I am at last, and I hope this finds you very well and gearing up towards our very odd Christmas in a few weeks.  We actually had frost last week which started to make everywhere feel quite Christmassy.  

The morning sun is shining through the brick arches of a railway bridge.  The path and grass to the side of it is covered with frost

The sun is shining on the brick arches, lighting up the brickwork.  The sky is blue, with a few wispy clouds

Sunshine through frosted thistle stalks

Frost on green bramble leaves.  The veins are outline and the leaves look very pretty

The low morning sunshine and a blue sky with clouds

The dog and I were at the Nine Arches as that's a good walk for us to do in the morning.  It's a there-and-back walk rather than a circular walk (although I've discovered a new-to-us circular route around there now which I'm very pleased about as I prefer those) which is just about the right distance and length of time for us to be out.

I mentioned the other week that the reason the dog isn't often on the photos is because he's busy disappearing into the bushes, and look where he's off to ... he usually takes one look at me with camera in hand and takes it as an opportunity to go minesweeping for things that he shouldn't be eating - you'll be amazed at what people throw into the bushes!

The frosty canal side.  The water is very still, the path is empty and the dog is heading off into the bushes on the right

Whilst I'm talking about feeling Christmassy, I want to thank you for all your comments on my monthly musing - I think sometimes we think that we are alone in not being able to see our relatives - certainly when you see the news you think that you're an exception rather than the rule - but I don't think we are, are we?  I hope we can all take some comfort in knowing that what we're giving up this year will hopefully mean that next year is so much better for everybody.
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