seasons :: in the depth of winter

There can be no doubt that we are well into the middle of winter now; dark nights, even darker mornings, icy cold fingers, heavy falls of pristine white snow, roaring fires, woollen blankets, hot water bottles, piping hot mugs of cocoa or ginger tea laced with honey and the remains of the Christmas cake – I love it all.

Well maybe not the dark mornings.

Even though I always think of January and February as hibernation time this year I do feel we have had weeks of hibernation already with the restrictions we have been under in our area since………………..well I can’t even remember now but it has been a long time.

So walking has become the new norm for us each day for our allotted hour of exercise; a brisk walk down to the village and back if the weather is very cold, sometimes with little Freddie wrapped up snuggly in his pushchair and sometimes on our own. This week we woke up to even more snow and it was truly a walk in a winter wonderland with a wealth of delightful sights to capture…… and even our sprawling village with rows of soot blackened terraced houses looks rather pretty in the snow.

And of course our back garden has just as many interesting corners here and there. The sunlight sweeping across the snow on Friday was so beautiful……….and beneath this snowy carpet are little signs that the snowdrops are emerging…….

…and I know I am a little crazy but who doesn’t want to hang out the sheets and pillowcases in the sunshine, even with all the snow around. I love the way the sheets freeze into stiff boards but thaw out again as soon as I bring them inside to iron and I just adore that fresh outdoor smell – nothing beats it.

The snow was so deep on Thursday childcare had to be abandoned and little Freddie had to stay home with mum and dad. We missed him. Instead we spent a leisurely day keeping warm and just pottering; a little light pottering after a few energetic days with a two year old was very welcome.

I had managed to clear the Christmas decorations away last weekend and they are all back in their boxes in the loft (nothing much was decluttered so I had to find a little more space for the one or two new bits I had bought) – the Christmas tree is back in the greenhouse for a while until the worst of this cold spell is over and we can repot it in some decent compost.

On my January task list I wrote ‘ make bird feeders’.

I had saved an article from my mum’s Woman’s Weekly magazine with a recipe to make your own using half coconut shells and a pack of lard. I had bought the lard before Christmas as it is not something I normally use being vegetarian and during last year I saved the coconut shells from the ready made feeders I bought in Sainsbury’s to feed the birds during the winter months and they were far too nice to throw away. So I had a go – the recipe was easy – just melt the fat and pour onto a mix of different bird foods – grated cheese, raisins, chopped peanuts and wild bird seeds. Then leave to set……

….hang out and wait.

In and amongst the childcare I have been busy making little thank you cards with the last of the pressed flowers to deliver or post to my friends on our walks – I like to write a personal thank you for any Christmas presents I receive and I did have some rather nice ones this year from my friends – a little bird must have mentioned to them that I have a new greenhouse.

This handmade seed tray and tamper was one of my favourites together with this tin of string by Emma Bridgewater. My friends know me so well.

There has been a great deal of tea drinking going on this week – I always start the day with a cup of ginger tea and Manuka honey with a slice of orange or lemon – whatever is to hand – and my afternoon cup of tea is not quite the same without a slice of cake.

Soon the Christmas cake will be finished – which is really no bad thing as I intend to restore our more healthy diet soon but that will have to wait until after the birthday cake I am making is eaten up too.

I have quite a few birthdays this month none more important than my mum’s (she is 95 this year) and little Freddie who will be two. I made and froze the sponges yesterday afternoon and bought some cute dinosaur cutters on the internet and a pack of multi coloured neon roll out icing to make a cake for Freddie, (maybe mum would like a dinosaur cake too but she is getting a posy of flowers delivered….I hope).

Looking after Freddie has meant early mornings – he arrives at 8am – so that has meant earlier bedtimes for us the night before but this has given me a chance to begin reading one or two of the new books I received for Christmas as well as one or two old favourites – and the new issue of Country Living magazine dropped onto the mat the other day – that always makes it a good day.

Presently, I am struggling with sewing up the jumper I knitted way back for Little Freddie for his birthday (in fact I should be doing it now and not get distracted blogging). It was going to be a Christmas present but guess what – I ran out of time to finish it. Thank goodness for You Tube is all I can say and although my efforts are not brilliant it has been a satisfying project and I will probably attempt to knit something else especially as there is very little else we can do during lockdown. But I do enjoy making things and I have a few balls of wool waiting for me in my craft drawer and a piece of pretty soft corduroy fabric to make something for the girls, Little L and Sweetie.

I have so many plans to finish a lot of the half started projects and I need to overhaul our finances and soon it will be time for the big spring clean – the house is beginning to feel a little grubby and jaded in places but maybe that is because of the contrast to the spanking new kitchen…………….but before that can happen I need to do a little decluttering and this might even extend to throwing out more old papers in the files. I don’t know about you but I find maintaining a balance of keeping what we need and what we might need is pretty hard. Once or twice I have regretted giving something away or shredding a document.

I strive to make everything we keep in our house useful and used. The clutter always builds up again quickly if you take your eye off the ball for any length of time – I am positive it breeds – it certainly does in dark corners or hidden away at the back of drawers and any flat surface. I have this idea that I need to go through the house and make every area organised, sparkling clean and well presented.

Once the birthdays are out of the way this week I will endeavour to blog about the new kitchen and show you some before and after photos. We have Eddie the kitchen fitter coming on Tuesday to replace a cupboard door that hides the fridge as a tiny piece of the coating had chipped off during the first few days of use and the manufacturer though it might have been a defective one.

DH has got a bad back at the moment so that lets him off starting to prepare the laundry room beyond the kitchen for painting and the new flooring. It won’t however get him out of the Zoom call we are having with the family and my mum to wish her a happy 95th birthday.

Well I think that is all for this week – I do hope everyone is well and managing to overcome this doom and gloom. Everything is now hinging on the vaccine – I hope nothing goes wrong.

Have a good week everyone. xx

28 Replies to “seasons :: in the depth of winter”

  1. what a lovely post to enjoy with my morning coffee in london, ontario. thank you for sharing your life and goings on and bringing a smile to our day. take care dear lady. (-:


  2. Glad to see you are back posting again. I do enjoy reading about your crafting and baking. I don’t have a blog but am a fellow Yorkshire woman from a village not very far from yours. Walkers by the hundreds have descended on our village during these Covid times making us drive to other villages for our walks.



  3. Well there is certainly no doom and gloom in this post – you sound to have been busy doing interesting things and enjoying yourself. Long may it continue. Hope your Mum has had her vaccine.


  4. Goodness, you have had loads of snow. What does Freddie make of it all?
    Happy Birthday to your Mum 🌺

    I shall have to try your Pukka 3 Ginger tea (if I can find it around here), I am currently on their Lemon, Ginger & Manuka but finding it a bit bluuurrr

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A lovely round up of your week…I am such a hoarder, I am trying to be hard and clear out but it’s just not me! I do have lots of half done projects all over the place and I keep thinking if I finish those that will clear some mess! It’s sad we can not celebrate special days with our friends and family, wish your mum happy birthday from me! Xxx


  6. That pretty pink floral corduroy is beautiful. I can’t wait to see what you make with it. We haven’t had snow here in London yet. Can’t say that I’m disappointed, if I’m totally honest. I like your bird feeder recipe. I might try it. Enjoy the upcoming birthdays.


  7. Happy new year. I took a break from blogging too. For me this included reading blogs. Some things have to give, and I will blog soon about what I have put on the way side and what has taken centre stage.

    Your full days of child care will be demanding. I understand why you’d do it – the news we hear from the UK isn’t good. I am sure you sleep well on the nights following Little Freddie’s visits.

    As always, I love your photos. And I love your consistency with thank you cards. Lovely!

    Take care and enjoy the birthday celebrations.


  8. Your photographs are a delight, Vivien. Just look at those snowmen 🙂
    All the snow here on the lower levels has vanished and we have been left with lots of mud. X


    1. All snow now gone other than a few lumps of unmelted snowmen here and there. back to dismal and grey and like you a bit muddy underfoot. Snowmen built by a neighbour down the road but just had to have a picture. x


  9. A very happy birthday to your mum and little Freddie ❤️.

    What lovely bird-feeder treats you made….I’m sure your feathered friends were most appreciative. And yes, I agree that clutter is a prolific multiplier….I thought I’d done a good job decluttering last year when we moved but it apparently is creeping up on me again 🙂


    1. I managed to get a few bags to charity before Christmas – a lot of the things were actually bits and pieces from my daughters that I had stored in our loft intended for a car boot sale – but that wasn’t going to happen any time soon and the charities are needing donations so I got rid of it all.


  10. You are so lucky to be able to help with childcare and keeping Freddie safe.the bird feeders look lovely and I’m sure are much appreciated.
    If you would rather not sew up the next jumper, take a look at a pattern called Flax by Tin Can Knits, it’s free and comes in many sizes, knit top down so you can custom the sleeve and body length. Knit on circular needle it is mostly plain and very quick.
    I’ve done 8…3 adult and 4 toddler and 1 doll size .


  11. I’m amazed at how much snow you have had! We have had very little but I am OK with that. I am reading the new Joanna Trollope book at the moment but am finding the characters rather wimpy and annoying. Let me know what you think when you have read it. Lovely photos as usual, Viv!


    1. To be honest I started reading it at Christmas but I could not get into it and swapped it for Escape to the Chateau which I can’t put down – will try again soon though with the Trollope. I haven’t read many of her latest ones – I read all her earlier books and liked them – so we shall see.


  12. As always, a lovely post. Happy Birthday to Mum and Freddie! January is a significant birthday month in my family, too, but all of them live away far from here so cards, calls and text messages are the only means of celebration.

    Looking forward to seeing the new kitchen and whatever crafts you tackle next. Take care and stay safe. x


    1. We had a Zoom call with mum and family joined in as we won’t see her. We will see Freddie as his birthday falls our a childcare day so DH and I will have a little birthday tea with him and then he will have another when he goes back home to mum and dad, Under the rules we can’t all be together but the best we can do.
      Have just finished the jumper for Freddie – whilst I am in sewing up mode I will do the cushion cover my mum knitted for me about 3 years ago!xx


  13. Happy Birthday to Little Freddie (he’s adorable) and to your mom, as well, a 95th birthday is definitely something to celebrate! I love the idea of adding a slice of orange to hot tea. I drink several cups of Earl Grey and green tea every day and I’m looking forward to switching it up a bit. I’m very much looking forward to seeing photos of your new kitchen soon! Take care and stay warm and cozy.


    1. I am not an Earl Grey fan – must be like Marmite – I used to drink Green Tea but then realised it was this that gave me slight digestive problems so have had to stop – hence my switiching to the Ginger. I do like Nettle though as well and any with blackcurrant in.


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