Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dark November.....

This month I have been mostly staggering around the lanes in the dark, pretending to be brave.

Summer seems a distant memory

I am by no means scared of the dark or of walking on my own in the middle of nowhere but even I find it hard not to be spooked when walking the dog in COMPLETE darkness with rustling sounds all around me! For some strange reason the 6.30am dark walk never seems as spooky as the 5.00pm dark walk.  May be it is the feeling that people are waking up, lights are coming on in the valley and the knowledge that the sky will gradually get lighter.


- We have been decorating every weekend.  I completely missed autumn's final flourish and my walk in Grovely woods.  By the time the plasterer, builder, roofer, carpet layers etc had gone - so had the leaves......

- We visited the autumn book fair at the 'sausage roll church' (don't ask, it's a long story).  Found some bargains!  'The Spire' William Golding, several Agatha Christie and 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' - all for under a pound each.  Yes!

-  I sang Mozart's Requiem to a sold out audience - not on my own, I hasten to add.

- The ducks have gone to a better place - not heaven, the New Forest.

- Frank has ventured outside, briefly.  He has been institutionalised, living indoors for four years and finds the big world outside a bit scary.  He ducks every time a bird flies over, bless.

- Had lunch at Fisherton Mill gallery with my colleague and ex-colleague.  Had hummus, chickpea and olive open sandwich - yum.  I wanted cake too but didn't want to appear greedy.

- I watched a fabulous documentary on Sarah's kindle called 'Fabulous Fashionistas' that was originally shown on Channel Four.  So inspiring to see women in their 80's not giving in to age or stereotypes and wearing bright, mad, vibrant clothes.  I won't be watching anything else on the kindle as Sarah dropped it in the bath last night.  I say nothing.....

- I made chocolate chip muffins.  They didn't last long enough for a photo shoot.

- We booked two holidays for next year!

Going back to Halloween....

The pumpkin pie was nice - sort of custardy in flavour

There is still colour to be found if you look hard enough.

Spindle tree - it thrives on chalky soil 

Their wood is extremely hard and was once used for wool spindles.  I love the combination of bright pink fruit and orange seeds.

Colour in the front garden

I helped Sarah to make her mincemeat - home made mince pies, can't wait!

No more duckies....

I remember the day we brought the ducklings home - they were so cute

But we were struggling with the noise (Indian Runner ducks are supposed to be quiet!) and worrying about the neighbours.  They have gone to a friend of the roofer who has a two and a half acre plot in the New Forest where they can run and quack as much a they like, with lots of other animals to play with, including two Emu's!!

The garden is so quiet and their pen looks very empty.

The Mozart concert went well.  This is the symbol for 'full chest voice' - we have a mad choir master.


We have had the first hard frosts this month

Quick, get that vitamin D!

We've had our first fires 

Been warming the beer up at the local!! 

A rare visit to Salisbury to buy curtains and a pleasant walk -


The Greencroft in Salisbury 

It's hard to believe this was once used as a place of execution and a burial plot for plague victims in the 17th Century!

I saw lots of squirrels scrambling up and down the trees.

These gardens still hold some of the original city ramparts built around 1415.  

Bourne Hill House gardens

Sarah said that when she played here as a child this structure was always referred to as 'Devil's Gate'.  I'm still trying to find out what this is.....In 1791 the 15th century gothic porch from Salisbury Cathedral was erected in the parkland - could this be it?

Frank has ventured outside but not very far.

Before retiring back in to the warm and commandeering MY chair!

I am having a snooze......

The cows are nice and warm in the barn

The sun is so low this time of year

A walk to see the autumn colour at Hare Warren yesterday - alas, I'm about a week too late.  

So I kicked through the leaves instead

I found what I think could be honey fungus

The last few leaves, clinging on for dear life

The pigs were being fed.  They were very noisy. 

One fellow walker said it sounded like a dinosaur as she emerged from the woods!

Who said that?

Leaves from the Ribus in the front garden 

I have been studying shapes

And treating myself to a splash of colour   

I bought these in a gorgeous little craft shop in Wilton shopping village.  The home made, crafty looking items and woman painting in the window drew me in and I ended up buying some Christmas pressies - everything was made locally.

I was inspired to get my paints out when I got home!

I yearn for colour at the moment.  

I want to wear it, paint it, eat it (I can't stop eating Clementines).  

I'm looking forward to decorating the tree next month with my much loved decorations that I have been collecting over the years and from different countries (before Frank pulls it over) and surrounding myself with lots of sparkly lights, glitter and brightly coloured wrapping paper.....

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