I absolutely adore the films that British Pathé produced. It is incredible to think that this footage still exists and beyond that has been saved and digitised. They are films that are a real piece of their time. You just can’t help, but to love them.
We had our first snowfall of the season yesterday and it was magical. Above, is a photo I snapped yesterday morning. I went for a run and as I rounded the corner that was my view. I crossed the street and slowly made my way across the common until I came to the woodland path. The snow was half a foot deep in some places.
Once I entered the woods I just took my time. I walked, breathed in the clean fresh snow air and listened to that silence, the silence only snow can bring. I was happy to walk, I couldn’t have run if I wanted too anyway, the tree boughs were so heavy with snow that a lot of them were laying on the path. I had to shimmy my way over, under and around them.
It’s snowing again as I type this. Big fat velvety flakes are gently coming down. I don’t think too much of it will stick this time, it’s pretty icy out there. But, it is lovely to watch.
The candles are lit, Christmas music is playing and we’re staying toasty under blankets on this wintry Monday morning.
This morning, there was magic in the air. I could feel it. The world was iced in a hoar frost. The sun was rising and it was warm when it fell on my face. The sky was crystal clear and a robin egg blue hue. I saw a bit of a rainbow, a muntjac nibbling acorns in the woods and one of my favourite four-legged buddies was waiting at their gate for me, for my good morning “hello” and kisses.
I couldn’t ask for a better way to start my day then surrounded by the beauty of the world at my feet. And I’m thankful and blessed that I’ve been given the eyes to see it. There is beauty everywhere, sometimes we might have to look a little harder for it, but it is there nonetheless.
It was overcast when I headed out for my run this morning. The clouds were low and the way they wove into one another made me think of snow clouds. As I made my way onto the woodland trails, I started to see glimmers here and there of the sun trying to peek out.
When I came out onto the main path, the sun suddenly burst through the clouds. The wind picked up and forced the tree branches to sway and so many leaves that had been holding on with all their might, started to fall. Some came down quickly, some spun around and around in a dizzying circle and some slowly drifted. It was like leaf snow the way they all floated down and came to rest on the ground around me and it made me smile.
We had our first hoar frost of the season this week. It was beautiful! The grass looked like sugared sticks of spearmint. The ducks were huddled together in the middle of the pond with the heron walking amongst them. Little wrens hopped around the edges where ice had formed and dipped their beaks in and out of the water, slowly drinking.
Today I worked on making my first batch of gingerbread of the season. Just gingerbread rounds, no fancy shapes this time, it won’t be long though before I pull out my special gingerbread lady cookie cutter. Tomorrow I’ll ice them while I work on making the rest of a meal we are putting together for a friend.
I might have snuck a cookie while putting the last batch on the cooling rack. There just wasn’t room for all of them, I figured my eating one was just making space!
The evenings are coming quicker, soon it will start getting dark not long after 3pm. I don’t mind this time of year. I light my candles, I put my music on. I try to absorb as much from each season as I can.
My Mom introduced me to Kyle Pederson a few years ago and this particular album is one I can’t get enough of. I’ve been listening to it non stop today. Below is one of my favourites on the album as well as one of my most favourite carols, Lo, How A Rose.
I hope you’re having a lovely Wednesday wherever you may be today and that you find beauty in the little things.
I woke up this morning thinking it was Wednesday. So, I wasn’t really off to great a start when I realised it was only Tuesday.
It is cool, bordering on chilly and gorgeously sunny outside and I’m stuck indoors waiting for a package to arrive that was supposed to have arrived yesterday. I’ve been assured it is on the delivery truck making its way to my front door. But I don’t quite believe it, since this process of trying to get it delivered has been going on for about a week now. In the grand scheme of things, I know this isn’t a big deal, there are bigger deals going on in the world right now, then worrying about a package. But, in my own little world, I find it frustrating to be stuck indoors on a day like this.
I’m using the time to my advantage and catching up on some paperwork and articles that I have been meaning to read. Getting laundry done and listening to music.
One article I read related to British Pathé. They were a company who created newsreels and documentary films from 1910-1970. Their work is now digitised and you can watch them online. There are a number of their films that completely enchant me. The first film reel of theirs that I truly remember seeing was “The House That Jack Built”. It was projected on the wall of an exhibition I attended on British Folk Art. It was so very British and absolutely hypnotic!
This article was specifically about their “how it’s made” film series. While I’m waiting for a knock at my door, I thought I’d share with you three of my favourites. I especially love how thermoses are made. I’ve got my eyes peeled for an old thermos to make something out of. I’ll know the right one when I see it! These films are fascinating, charming and jolly good fun. I just adore the clothes and the hair. Especially the blue dress the Wedgwood lass is wearing with her hair piled high (she’s painting a coffee pot)!
I’ve lived in England for a long time now and there is one thing that you very rarely, if ever see. In fact, I’ve never seen one here outside of a zoo. I’m talking about SNAKES! I can’t stand snakes. I grew up in an area of the States where you needed to be watchful for venomous snakes and spiders and where cockroaches, or as we call them “Palmetto Bugs”, do in fact fly. So I always pay attention.
Last year, while walking home along the footpath, I heard a noise that you only hear in horror films. The noise where something big is being dragged. I don’t know how I missed this thing, usually I’m constantly looking up and down as I walk the footpaths as there are always little mice who I don’t want to squash and normally dog poop.
But somehow I was looking up and stepped straight over something and it was only when I heard the noise of something huge being dragged through leaves did I turn around and witness the last two feet of a snake disappear down the hill to the train tracks. I kid you not when I say this, but it’s girth was the size of an Amazonian python that had just eaten a village cow.
There was a horrible smell in the air and after a mini panic attack where I didn’t think I could walk, I all but ran home and after a long internet search came across a site that informed me that that horrible almost rancid garlic odour I smelled was from a grass snake. It’s their defensive move. That snake and I crossed paths many times last summer, even when I avoided the footpath. The first time was enough for me, I didn’t need to see it ever again.
So, last night as I walked home, I stopped short as something almost golden in appearance caught my eye. I looked at it and it looked at me and I thought to myself, Mr. Michie is never going to believe me so I better snap a picture and before I could get a good one it took off.
After a few deep breaths, all but running home and lots of research, we came to the conclusion that it was in fact not a snake, but a legless lizard. As their skin is smooth and very shiny. Still, it’s enough for me to warily stare down that footpath.
Here’s to the weekend, I hope yours is legless lizard free! In fact, I hope mine is too, because they look way too much like a snake to me.
I haven’t had the time or the energy to come here lately. I don’t feel I have a voice right now. Since I wrote my last post, I’ve been working on putting myself back together. It is a bittersweet thing to think I exist in a world that my Nana does not. I’m happy that I had her for so long, but sad to think that we will no longer exchange letters, or telephone calls, or have our little chats over lunch or dinner when we can be together. Sad is such a poor adjective to describe how I feel right now.
We rarely watch TV and were on no social media networks last night, so we had no idea what had occurred in Manchester until we awoke today. I don’t like to use this space as a political forum, or a soap box. But this goes beyond that; this was an attack on humanity. As I ran through the woods this morning, I kept going over the news story in my head. It has sickened me. What a cowardly act, to go after children, young adults and people who were simply out enjoying themselves.
I know how excited everyone must have been, how far some people probably traveled, what a big deal it would be to see a concert on a “school night”. To have such a wonderful evening finish on such a sour note. Last night must have been the longest night of their lives for the poor families who spent it wondering if their children were safe? Would they ever walk through the front door again?
How you could do this to people, to plan to carry out an action like this is beyond me. To go into an place, watching the faces around, laughing, talking, singing and know that you will take it all away from them, makes you more than a monster.
The saddest part of all of this, is that these events are happening more and more and we are shocked, saddened, can’t get enough information about it, but the news cycle is brief. Something will come to fill its place. These atrocities need to be stopped.
And through this barbaric act, what shone through? LIGHT! People offering their homes, a safe place to stay, a free taxi ride, phone chargers, food… the list goes on. Goodness will prevail. The darkness shall be defeated. As Leonard Cohen said, “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” We must continue to seek out the cracks, to look for the light and the kindness that exists within humanity. When you’re out and about today, commit a random act of kindness. You never know how one kind word, a friendly gesture or even a smile could make all the difference.
To the good people of Manchester, we stand with YOU in solidarity.
I’m in the process of cleaning up my computer files and I’ve gone through thousands upon thousands of photos. I found these from a long ago visit to a English manor house and their gardens. It was early Summer and the blossoms were in full bloom. The scent was intoxicating as you made your way down the gravel paths. The bees were buzzing too and fro. The back of their legs were covered in golden hued humps of powdery pollen from their endeavours. The birds were flittering and the sun was playing peek-a-boo with the clouds. It was a magical day.
We took a long walk through the countryside yesterday. Rambling along the paths. We strolled by a stream, through the church yard where an 800 year old church still stands (with medieval paintings still on the walls) and headed to the deli for lunch.
We sat by the duck pond for a bit after lunch and then decided to continue down the lanes, where we saw fields of grazing sheep and cattle. After following the trail through one particular paddock, we were greeted by four gorgeous horses who all came to say hello. There was lots of petting by us and nuzzling by the horses.
The day was perfect, the sun was out, but there was a delicious breeze going. We ended up doing about a 10 mile stretch. It was bliss.