Friday, 31 December 2010

Bon Annee

Before this year finally fades into the wee small hours.. may I wish you all a very Happy New Year with many good times ahead in 2011. Thank you for keeping me company this year.. it has been one hell of a ride!

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. ~Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

In the spirit ...

I must confess that this year it has taken me a long time to warm up to the idea of Christmas, feeling somewhat tepid about the whole occasion, until yesterday, when finally a bit of the old Christmas spirit kicked in with the arrival of the Christmas tree. The annual trip to the attic to search for the boxes of baubles and all things sparkly, was just what I needed to thaw out the humbug I was in danger of becoming.

At the beginning of the month I had attended the beautiful carol concert at my son's end of term service in Bath Abbey. This did stir some of the sense of occasion.. especially when the magnificent school Chamber Choir.. sang from Handel's Messiah.Guaranteed to bring a tear to my eye and more so when sung by bright shiny cheeked young lads and lasses with heavenly voices... Then there was the arrival of the snow..

It certainly makes the world seem a better place .. in many subtle ways. For all the folk that managed to slip and slide into town last Saturday, there was sense of camaraderie amongst some of the shoppers (not sadly .. the tight lipped, gritted teeth of the trolley pushers in Waitrose) but certainly the folk we met in Patisserie Valerie for our traditional Saturday coffee and Almond croissant. Striking up some bonhomie with strangers always warms my heart. Town looked particularly beautiful on this morning.. before the Christmas frenzy of shoppers arrived .. we soaked up the silvery light and snowy landscapes of the parks and Pulteney Weir...

This angel looked as though she was ready to join in the snowball fun in the park..

I had to admire this artist for his heroic efforts to paint in sub zero temperatures .. His poor digits looked frozen ..

Local transport had ground to a halt..

Since the weekend we have had another blanket of snow placed on top of the landscape making it impossibly beautiful.. and as today is the Winter Solstice.. it seemed fitting to go for a walk and embrace the occasion.. however chilly the prospect.
We managed to drive up onto the northern hills of Bath to our favourite walk.. the beginning of the Cotswold Way path...

Here we had the world to ourselves.. acres of white pristine snow and silence.. that beautiful muffled silence that snow brings...

Feet scrunched and crunched the virgin snow..

Hips and berries shone like jewels ...

This gateway reminded me so much of Winnie the Pooh .. where he walks through the snow with Piglet..

Despite a frozen face.. I even managed to crack a smile...

The prospect of a warm welcoming inn was enough to spur me on ...

Festive decor and a roaring fire greeted us within ...

Here I really got into the Christmas spirit with a half pint of favoured tipple ..

So I raise my glass to the Christmas season and all of you good people and friends..
Happy Winter Solstice!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Iced Gems

Yesterday the haw frost arrived in all of it's shimmering, stunning beauty.. so looking much like the Michelin Man.. I ventured out in my lagging and managed a few shaky shots of my local neighbourhood ...

It was a truly magical sight to look up at the majestic trees behind our house .. all cloaked in a brilliant white icicles that gently rained down like glitter onto my nose as I walked underneath their frosted canopy..

There is something so starkly beautiful about a winter landscape, the way the light is softened and muted in these extreme temperatures.. and never more so than this morning as the weak sun broke through and cast a silvery light across the fields on the opposite hill ..

The mercurial colours reminded me of an eighteenth century landscape painting faded by time..

However much I love and admire this extraordinary season.. it is the wildlife and the homeless I think of when I snuggle down under my warm duvet at night. So please spare a thought for our feathered friends and keep your bird table topped up over these winter months..

I, however.. can return to a warm home to take comfort from small things.. and particularly my free copy of Country Living Magazine which arrived with a thump on the mat this morning...

If your feline friends are partial to 'Sheba' cat food then you will be able to collect two tokens to subscribe to two free months of magazines of your choice.. and as these glossy pages have become a bit of a luxury for me this year.. I was so pleased to receive my copy pro gratis.
It was another magazine that caught my attention recently when I was asked if I would like to loan my home for a photo shoot for a local publishing house. The magazine is 'Cross Stitcher' a popular publication for nimble fingered folk who like to cross stitch amongst other needlework projects. ..

Having spent a frenzied week, chasing dust, moving clutter from one room to another and persuading cupboards to accommodate yet more tat.. the day of the shoot arrived and the friendly team of 5 set to work immediately setting up shots for a magazine feature to be published next Spring. It did somewhat amuse me that within five minutes of their arrival.. my spick and span home was totally re-arranged and filled with boxes of props and camera equipment ..

I kept a low profile and spent the day knitting myself a scarf.. whilst pondering what they were up to in my kitchen. I did venture down now and again to grab a biscuit and have a sneaky peep at their work...

This shoot was all thanks to the lovely Nicky Owen who I had the pleasure of welcoming to my home in May this year for another shoot along with the charming David Parmiter photographer. Nicky has an exciting and enviable business finding location homes for television and media editorials.. so if you think your palace or humble abode would look good between the pages of your favourite national magazines, then I am sure that White Rabbit Media Ltd would love to hear from you.