Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Treats and Tricks!

Hello everyone, hope that this stormy weather isn't having any adverse effects for you. Very blustery and heavy showers here with spells of bright sunshine - but could be a lot worse.

Thank you so, so much for all your kind comments about my Darling Mum, she seems quite a bit improved today when I visited her earlier so hopefully that will continue as the days go by.

I have spent today (even though it is half term) working on reports and referrals, but now I can say that I am officially on holiday as I have ticked off all the items on my to-do list!!  Hip-hip-hooray!! I firmly believe in that old trick of a to-do list, keeps me on track and I find it so, so satisfying when I eventually tick everything off!

Yesterday I worked in the morning, then took my DD out and about to our local villages on a tea and gift shop tour.  We love to do this when we can, there are so many lovely places and little shops, all so different from the usual High Street fare.  First of all we visited a little tea shop and treated ourselves to a very yummy hot chocolate...after all, it had been a long, hard morning of work...


I love the idea of popping a mini-gingerbread man in amongst the cream and chocolate flake, but a close up made it look quite creepy and Halloween-like, almost like a mummy emerging from its tomb...would be a great drink to serve up on the 31st...


After investigating more local village shops, including a newsagent that sells everything and 2 gift shops we went to the local garden centre, always a treat at any time of year, but they had really gone to town with the Halloween theme...




Onto another village, where my kids have attended school (and DD still attends there). I also attended school there "back in the day".  I loved the autumn colours on this tree.  The old building in the background was a fully-operational mill in my young day, but is now converted into upmarket apartments...


It was so lovely to spend time with DD, we share so many interests, we didn't stop chatting the whole time we were out!

Hope you have a lovely and cosy evening, Helenxx

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Colourful October

This week has been quite trying.  My Darling Mum has been poorly, which has been a big worry, but thankfully she is slowly improving.  Usual stresses at work.  But trying to find little glimmers of colour along the way - after all, this is quite possibly my favourite month of the year.

A couple of weeks ago I finished this crochet cushion in October Oranges -




I always associate October with these shades of orange.  Here is the completed article lounging on my armchair...


it is so squishy and comfy!  Just the thing to cosy up to on these darker evenings.  I am almost finished making another Autumnal cushion, same yarn but different shades - this time rusty reds.  All to be revealed soon I hope!

On with the October Orange theme, I have decorated my mantel with lots of suitable candle holders. 


Cue a few close-ups of my collection...




Rocking the pumpkin loveliness!!

And just to show that there are sometimes colours other than orange in October, here is a sunset from last week...


The whole neighbourhood was lit up with pink for about 5 minutes, then it was gone. 

Hope you have a lovely, and colour-filled Sunday!

Helenxx

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Fungi Foray

Since being a young child I have been fascinated by fungi.  We used to go walking in the local woods, looking at all the extraordinary examples of fungi and then have a go at identifying them with a Collins Little Gem book. 

These days I love to take photos of the fleeting beauty of fungi - many species are here today - gone tomorrow.  So, with long-suffering DH in tow I visited our local Outwoods and started snapping away, often crawling on the floor to get the best shots.  Love that macro setting :)

So, here are some of the shots I managed to get - sit back and enjoy!

Love the green of the moss in this photo...


peeking from amongst the fallen leaves...


Parasol mushroom, can almost imagine fairies sheltering beneath it...


bracket fungi on a fallen birch log...


Small cluster of toadstools, these really were quite tiny...


Beefsteak fungi, this was blood red in reality...


I love the way that fungi makes the most of dead wood, true recycling at its best...

spotted these just at the edge of the path amongst a cluster of hazel trees...




Underside of bracket fungi, I love the patterning.  I can just imagine how Marimekko use natural inspiration for their designs when I see this picture. 


A fun afternoon, even DH got into the act in the end, pointing out examples I had missed.  However, I will need to go back to the woods soon as I did not, on this occasion, see any examples of the red and white spotted Fly Agaric.  Any excuse really to visit the woods, especially in the Autumn, is fine by me!

Helenxx

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Season of mists...

...and mellow fruitfulness.  And this morning is certainly misty and mellow.  Last night was very clear, with the moon and stars shining brightly.  DH and I went out for a night-time walk, I love walking later on in the evening, walking down the so-familiar streets that seem somehow much less familiar when it is dark.  I love walking past the houses, with the lamps shining through the windows, makes me feel cosy somehow!

This morning however, the mist has fallen and everything looks different yet again.  So, jacket on and outside with the camera, to capture the moment before the mist disappears as silently as it arrived.

Trees, shrouded by mists, but autumn colour still visible...





 
 
Everything silent in the early morning...
 


Fruitfulness...with spiders busy at their work...


Quite chilly out this morning at 7.30 when these photos were taken, so when I came back inside, the kettle was switched on for a coffee.  And I noticed that there were still some of the delicious spiced cookies left from my DD's cooking session yesterday...


She has made a new recipe, this includes all the usual spices but includes a spoonful of pumpkin puree - and the difference this makes is extraordinary!  Perhaps I should put her forward for Great British Bake Off next year!  Bless her, she wouldn't  like to be on TV.  Did you watch the final this week?  I don't think the standard was quite as good as in previous weeks, but to be fair the pressure really was on.  My DD and I watched each episode avidly each week, and we are now feeling quite lost as it was the only bit of TV we watched that didn't involve sport or the news!  Hopefully they will do a Christmas special or something like that.

Well, the rest of the family are beginning to stir so had better away and get on with a few jobs.  Have a lovely Sunday!

Helenxx

Friday, 10 October 2014

Cosy Comforts

Friday at last - what a week!!  Very busy, mostly positive, but the weather has been very wet and windy- such a change after the driest September on record.  The leaves are starting to fall with a vengeance. 

But, with the weather certainly turning very Autumnal, this means there are lots of excuses  jolly good reasons to engage with lots of cosy, comforting things.

Here is a random collection of things that have generally helped to conjure up a sense of cosy, homeliness...

Delicious Scandinavian-inspired lemon cake...


Autumnal bouquet...


Victoria sponge with lashings of cream and jam...


Oreo and chocolate cheesecake...


Even the cats have been cosying up together...


All of this is a great antidote to the grey skies...


Hope you have a lovely and cosy weekend!

Helenxx

Monday, 6 October 2014

A stroll around Stratford upon Avon

Good evening everyone, how nice it is to be back at home, nice and cosy - the weather has been much more seasonal today, and hasn't really got properly light.

Yesterday however we had a very pleasant afternoon in Stratford-upon-Avon, home of William Shakespeare.  This charming town is less than an hours drive away.  It was nice to see that even this late in the season there were a lot of people there, tourists from across the globe.  We had a lovely time wandering the streets, taking in the sights.  Are you ready with a cuppa as I share some photos with you? OK, here we go!

A bustling craft market led up to the doors of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre...


So many beautiful buildings that The Bard himself frequented ....









A lot of windows to gaze into, some showing items from times gone by...


some showing seasonal goodies...



and even the Bard himself peeking from behind the window pane...


I happened upon this lovely sewing shop, sadly closed as we visited on a Sunday.  They sell lovely sewing patterns, amongst lots of other goodies, I have drooled over their website on several occasions...


Lots of feathered friends up to entertaining antics on the River Avon...



The river is host to many interesting boats...



 
Another interesting building, if you look closely you can just make out the phrase "God Save the King" in very faint letters...
 

 
bit of a close up...
 
 
Lovely view of Shakespeare's final resting place across the river...


And, a light-bulb moment...


I think Stratford would be a lovely place to go with a dear friend and our daughters for a girly day out - lovely shops, including a sewing emporium, lots of photo opportunities - Sue, how about it??!!

Helenxx