I think I can bear many things in life, like feeling hungry, having nothing to read, boredom or even losing connectivity on my 4g phone (hello O2!) but I cannot abide feeling cold. Not bitterly cold. Not that bone-chilling, been outside too long with the wrong clothing, my toes are no longer responding, my hands are chilled and I am shivering kind of cold. I … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Warmth
Christmas is the season for sweetness, in food at least. Could you imagine a season without mince pies, cake, cookies, candy canes, chocolates or any one of the hundred other sugar-filled treats that have become associated with Christmas? Even the Danes, a healthy bunch most of the year, celebrate Christmas with a marzipan pig and potatoes cooked in sugar (yes, seriously). Sweetness is a pleasurable … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Sweetness
When I look back at my childhood Christmases, the one facial expression I remember most often is a smile. The smile on my brother’s face as he opened up that much-longed-for LP, the smile on my Nan’s voice as she opened up a cheap, tacky present carefully chosen and paid for by a grandchild, the smile on everybody’s face as we ate a carefully prepared … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Smiles
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Beauty is only skin deep. Beauty. It’s a peculiar word, and it means different things to different people. It’s quite possible to think of beauty just as a physical attribute, but I think real beauty in people is always more to do with their nature than their looks. The … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Beauty
It’s December 1st, the first day of advent. It’s the day I like to start decorating for and thinking of as Christmas. The first thing that ever I put up is my Christmas wreath. Middle of the front door, for all to see. A real sign that this house celebrates Christmas. Not that I need to advertise that. I’ve been told by visitors to my … Continue reading All is Calm, All is Bright: Hygge
Choco-lit Reading, for me, is that branch of romance novels that sits well alongside a big mug of tea and a bar of something sweet. Chocolate, for preference, but a decent slice of cake or a couple of biscuits works well. It’s sometimes sneered at by the well-read Literati, including one writer whose work I admire, who wrote this weekend ” Book Title Trends I … Continue reading My Christmas Choco-lit Reading List
Wassailing used to happen in Britain around Christmas time: it was a custom for groups of people to gather together and share a large bowl of warmed drink, usually a warmed or ‘mulled’ apple cider, with the call ‘Waes Hael!’ meaning good health being shouted before everybody drank it down. The original wassail cup had mulled ale, curdled cream, eggs, roasted apples and spices. Using … Continue reading Waes Hael! Good health in an apple drink!
It’s properly Autumn now, with chilly mornings that brighten into golden showered days when the Sun smiles with a last gasp of heat. Days when the sky flashes between the blue of a robin’s eggs into a silver streaked grey that lowers and threatens to rain. In the countryside, nature’s harvest falls thick and fast, with conkers, acorns, beech nuts and seeds aplenty scattered along … Continue reading Ten Easy Ways to Pamper Yourself in Autumn for Around £10