christmas is coming...

Have been super busy the last week or so, being stressed, poor, etc etc. 
I have been really focusing on Christmas as a positive thing which I can do. 
Stops me feeling so pointless when things slow right down like they have.

I thought I'd share a journey with you.
Not a big one, but a necessary journey.
Especially at a time when there is untold joy at the end of it.
Today we'll take a trip to the post box.
Lets go check the post.

First we must go down the hill, past the spring which bursts out at the side of the track and trickles down hill pretty much all the time...(not particularly helpful when icy!)

At the bottom we must go over the oak covered stream. 

You can see only a little snow. I'd have expected a little more as we're not far from the North of Wales where they've had quite a lot. This might have something to do with the peat in the hill...maybe it exudes a different temperature? 

Looks lovely though doesn't it?

 We then go past the neighbors! 
And up the hill, past the oak on the hillside...

This is where the farmer parks his tractor. 
He has really old lovely farm machinery, its amazing they all still work!

Finally, we are at the post box!!
We've a little box on the fence, big enough for letters but not big enough for parcels...
So the lovely postman bags the bigger stuff and ties it to the fence! 

Truly a magical sack of joy!
And its not very often one gets to say that!

And back down the track with an arm full of treasure!

This is the hill behind our house, it looks so pretty with a little bit of the special stuff on top.
I think this one might be a bit steep for when we bring the sledges out though!!

 Back up the track on the other side...

 ...to the cottage <3 
Despite having a little wreath, I haven't got around to doing it up, I'm not sure that foliage will work on it, so I will put it in the box for next year...

Inside, I've been really busy making things, writing out cards and trying not to forget people.
Our family is unlucky in the sense that we have a few birthdays around Christmas time...so have been making little treats for those too...

Nadolig Llawen!
(That means Merry Christmas in Welsh)

Here are my handmade parcels of joy, which I got to the the post office today! 
What a last-minute-larry!
Still, there we are...some done and in the post.

Now just the boys family to make for. Phew!

I am a little fussy about how the christmas tree should look, I always did the decorations when I lived at home, so I sort of did most of the tree. 
But we have been hugely lacking in anything to top the tree.
So as not to leave him out! I set Jamz to making something...
Isn't this little guy amazing!

Well...I don't know about you, but all that's tired me out!
Time to have a little sit down, enjoy the tree and keep knitting.
Nadolig Llawen



Thank goodness there was some daylight today!

We did a bit more sawing today, but we still have all this to turn into logs, and its getting chillier...
I'm almost feeling let down by the lack of snow!
I shouldn't wish for snow really... 

 More man-points have been earned today! 
The mister chopped a HUGE log up that I was convinced it needed a chainsaw, but no no no!

What I really love about going outside and chopping the wood is flexing my guns wearing Jamz' boots.
This is mostly because I can wear my slippers and some legwarmers inside... 
and also cause of the happy face in the tongue.
Can you see him?

I'm wearing lots of seasonal red this month. 
Today I cracked out the mohair badboy. 

I also made a paper garland for the kitchen. Just by sticking circles of vintage wallpaper together.
I must say, it looks lovely.
I made a few extra for the tree as well.

Now for some well deserved glasses of mulled wine.


what a miserable day

I have refused to go outside today! 
I'm just not a going-outside-in-horrible-weather-and-taking-it-cause-I-can kind of person. 
Jamz on the other hand, got his waterproof coat on and his 'man' trousers and off he went sawing. YEAH. 
To be honest, I'm glad he is, cause otherwise there'd be no fire tonight!

Was there even a little bit of sunshine today? 
None that I saw. 

It is super windy up here on the hill, we've started to notice where the drafts come into the house. As its a fairly new re-build, the traditional lime and mortar has been settling in, and I think the previous tenants had the house a bit warmer than perhaps it might have liked.

The photo underneath was taken at about half past one this afternoon.
Bleak, huh.

 So, I've started knitting something new. I'm still doing my blanket and I've nearly finished my first panel, slowly slowly.But this new thing will probably be a Christmas present so I will try not to give away too much as I've not yet decided who it might be for. 
As there is little in the pot for Christmas gifts this year, so we're improvising with what we have... this has been knit with some green fabric I found at the bottom of my box. 
I've torn it into rags and used it with my chunky needles.
Its amazing, it feels really warm and heavy. Perhaps a nice way to make a blanket in the future...


Dah Dah Daaaaah!

Oh Yeah!
First SOLO drive
Sweet independance!
and only a pinch of fear

I did my first bit of driving on my own, which is a pretty big thing as I hadn't driven (until recently) since I passed my test, which was around 5 years ago. woah. Its really nice to know that I can just get in the car and go somewhere, anywhere! at my will. 

I would like to go back here, to Artists Valley, in Furnace. 
We went on my birthday, it was raining unfortunately, but still beautiful.
I can't wait to see it in springtime.

I think I'm going to relent and light the fire...I've put it off till now as I am conscious of using all the wood up before we might really need it!
But it is time. 
And I'm also making myself some new decorations, some nice hearts and this chunky ceramic necklace will become little baubles.

Merry Thursday!


...are you sure?!

Today we went into town to do recycling and other necessary things, 
like taking library books back 
(which I couldn't cause it was closed!) 
and food shopping 
(which took ages longer as we bumped into our landlady and had a really long chat)
...we also got some new wool and some PHAT knitting needles to keep me entertained whilst Jamz takes his computer back! 
(mine is broken, so I'm borrowing to blog)

On the way home we stopped to grab a branch of fallen wood so I managed to get a couple of pictures of the 'way to civilization'!

We have been intending to walk into town from our house (about 6/7 miles) before the snow comes so we know we can! But this still hasn't happened...too much other stuff to do it would seem!!

I also managed to get a picture of some lovely graffiti! (YES!! LOVELY!!)
A couple in the parish recently got married, we know this as on the way into town and the church, their families had sprayed messages on to the road.

This one means, "Are you sure"!!! The were others too...perhaps I'll get some snaps of those aswell.
I really love it, this sort of thing just wouldn't happen in a town or city. 

Today we also met one of the farm owners moving his sheep down the road, this chap is called William and he lives near the junction on the road home. 
It's still very weird meeting people in the parish, as they all seem to know where we live, and we know nothing about them!
"how are you finding the track in that car then?" he goes...!!

We said hello and mentioned how happy his sheep looked, and he told us that he'd found some of his sheep had gone a bit lame 
(their feet are susceptible to rot in muddy fields) 
he'd only properly noticed with them on the road and he said he'd 
"done two of them on the road, now"
We're not entirely sure what that meant, but there we no dead sheep up the road, so I'm sure they'll be fine!!

Still no snow here, but about 18 miles away on Cadair Idris there is a smattering of white...!!
The fire is roaring, we've a bottle of wine open and I'm currently making some decorations to hang on my twig tree (the real tree will come nearer to christmas)

These are made super simply by cutting out circles from some Ash bark which I've saved and dried and hanging them with some seasonal tread.

Lovely Lovely Lovely


feeling festive

 It's been really chilly recently, the weather forecast says there might be snow tonight, but I'm not sure, though I've heard we're meant to have some next week...I'm quite looking forward to it now!
Except I'm not entirely convinced we have enough supplies, though the council have scooped up the leaves on the road, and we've grit piles every few metres, so perhaps we will be able to get into town.

 I've decorated the mantle piece in the living room with scots pine, some pretty ribbon and some pinecones. I have been really excited about decorating, gathering all objects which are the 'right' colour! I'm not sure how to decorate the rest of the house yet, so James and I went for a walk by the house to see what sort of foliage was about and get some wood for the fire.

Our huge holly stump is sprouting some new leaves, as well as being host to an ash tree, a blackthorn and a foxglove! I can't wait to see what it looks like in a few months.


(the house is in the top right corner)
 Down here there is a beautiful stream with little water falls, all under a gorgeous oak woodland. 
I love oak.Its so twisty, and it burns so so well, its lovely.

The sloes have all gone now, so no chance of replacing the sloe gin we've already broken into...oops!


We had a really lovely walk, looking at mushrooms, and finding little worlds in the roots of a fallen tree. After getting chilly fingers and slightly damp toes, we came back for some delicious soup.
(I love it when Jamz gets all inspired in the kitchen- he's amazing at food)


I have also made some Christmas bunting for a friend back home in Bridport, I couldn't get a decent photo, so I'll ask get so send me one of it hanging with her own decorations. 

This evening I shall mostly be enjoying some yummy rhubarb and ginger muffins.

Happy Weekend.


a bit of something else...

So, when I was younger I sang...ALOT.
Talent competitions//Choir//Lessons//StageCoach//Musicals//AmDram//Mirror//Karaoke
You name it!!
(though, I'm not saying I was ever any good...!! )
In my youth I was lucky enough to be part of a big choir and performed (Karl Jenkins-Adeamus) in Bournemouth International Centre and The Royal Albert Hall...AMAZING.
I wish I could do it all again now I've a little more of a grown up head.
The last play I did was The Boyfriend in Bridport with BMTC, I had the lead role of Polly, which was so much fun, I loved learning to tap dance (in between cussing at my feet!)

Anyhow, I stopped singing so much when I went to uni to study photography...the world of performing arts just seems way too competitive and bitchy.

When I moved to Totnes, my friend and housemate started singing together, which was so lovely. 
I miss it so much. 
You can listen to her loveliness here

Since moving to Wales, I've begun making some new noises with Jamz' brother-in-law, Quinn and a lovely man named Tom. We have had one 'session' so far, we recorded some bits and bobs as we went, so we can see how far we've come in a few months time!

I have uploaded one song, mostly for my mum's benefit, but I thought I'd share it here anyhow...


storms, chilli and knitting

 I am so glad the geranium still has her flowers, the leaves have mostly left the trees now and the winter pansies are looking pretty sorry for themselves, she is the only proper flower left.

We're getting ready for winter properly now, collecting and chopping wood, we've now got oil in the tank, and the underfloor heating on (which is amazing!). 
And we've also done a big shop, spending far more than we'd initially intended...we have now got enough tins of beans, pasta, flour, uht and toilet roll for at least a few weeks!!   

It would seem that we did the 'apocalypse shop' just in time, as that evening there was a storm, crazy winds and lots of hail stones!! Enough to put the wind up us!!
As last year it hit about -14 up here we are starting to panic a bit as to weather we'd be okay if we couldn't get to town for a few weeks...

(shoddy photo, I know, but it was frrrrreeeeeezing!)

Aside from that, we have begun to bring a big of christmas into the house, I love the smell of christmas, cloves, orange, pine, all of them, I can't wait to get our tree! 
But for now I've settled with a few sprigs of scots pine and some festive cones to get me going....

As it is that time of year, I also get to bring out the goddess...of course, I mean Nigella. 
I totally love her!
I love her face, her cheesyness, her decorations, the dodgy sexual looks she gives the camera...EVERYTHING!


 I stole this book from my mum a few years ago now and I can't see her getting it back any time soon, it has so many lovely recipes in it, great for feasting ideas and also for edible gifts. Usually I make a ton of peanut butter cups, but this year, as I've been making getting into it, I decided to make some chilli jam. You don't need to buy the book to get the recipe, it's available online here.

I've never used jam sugar before, so I was a bit worried about the consistency of the dissolving sugar in the cider vinegar and the amount of time it was taking for the sugar to dissolve, but I think it worked out okay...It looks like jam!! 
James likes it, though I think its a little too vinegary... perhaps it'll become richer once it is cool? 

In other news, 

I have been knitting like a woman possessed and almost finished my first panel for my blanket! Its not entirely like the blanket which I saw and loved, but this way will work just the same. 
I love the colours, and I think I'll carry on the brown/purple/green/cream theme in varying tones in the other panels.

I am so excited about finishing it...as usual, I want it to be finished already!!

I can't wait for fireside cwtches under my own handmade blanket...it's going to be immense!

Though for now, I need to get on with making some more christmas decorations/presents.