Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone in Blogland.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night:
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Lord Alfred Tennyson.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind,
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We`ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

"Clouded with snow
The cold winds blow,
And robin with its burning breast
Alone sings now".

The rayless sun,
Day`s journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light,
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Unearthly white.
Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon.
Walter de la Mare.

"Winter dawn is the colour of metal
The trees stiffen into place like burnt nerves.
Sylvia Plath.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Well, we had a lovely lazy Christmas day, but we decided one was enough, so headed out to the moor, the sun was shining and the sky a lovely windy blue. We parked up, and tramped over the long beige grasses to Kestor, our faces freezing in the cold Easterly wind.
On top of the tor is a wonderful rock basin, its about six foot across, and thirty inches deep. Its amazing to think that this was the result of wind and stone erosion. We walked on to Shoveldown, to look at the striking Menhir there, standing infront of it was a lovely white horse, we were hoping it was a unicorn, but unfortunately not...
She was very heavily pregnant though..
This Menhir is called the Longstone, the surrounding area is covered in double stone rows, Kistavens, and a fourfold stone circle, the site of a grave.
This is a lovely open part of the moor, hemmed in with dark green firs, and the dark hunched shoulders of the moor all around. We followed a path down to the river Teign
Its surrounded by huge black boulders, covered in white lichens like snowflakes, and edged with crabbed hawthorn trees. The waters rush and froth in icy swirls over the stones, and under the ancient clapper bridges
We crossed this, then another on the Walla brook which runs along side the Teign down to this wonderful Tolmen, which means `holed stone`
The hole in this boulder is about three feet in diameter, and country folk used to bring their children who were suffering from whooping cough, and pass them through the hole, as it was believed it would cure them. Adults also believed it would cure rheumatism
I would think a sharp dunk in that icy cold water would kill or cure!

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone in Blogland.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her `kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter`s nap-
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter,
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash,
The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave the luster of midday to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick,
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!"
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!".........
Clement Clarke Moore.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Frosty days and ice-still nights,
Fir trees trimmed with tiny lights,
Sound of sleigh bells in the snow,
That was christmas long ago.

Tykes on sleds and shouts of glee,
Icy-window filigree,
Sugarplums and candle glow,
Part of christmas long ago.

Footsteps stealthy on the stair,
Sweet-voiced carols in the air,
Stockings hanging in a row,
Tell of christmas long ago.

Starry nights so still and blue,
Good friends calling out to you,
Life, so fact, will always slow...
For dreams of christmas long ago.
Jo Geis.
The holly in the windy hedge,
And round the Manor house the yew,
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say,
`The church looks nice` on christmas day.
John Betjamin.
In the bleak mid-winter,
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone,
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter,
Long ago.
Christina Rossetti.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

A trip to Dartmoor

We decided to take a trip up to Dartmoor today, even though the weather was a bit grey, the moor was beautiful as ever, with lots of ginger bracken, red berries shining on the Hollies, and the sheep on the distant hills like grains of rice. We saw lots of ponies too, and this rather lovely one, obviously in foal.
This is called the `Watching Place` which I always find a bit chilling, its set at a crossroads, as often crosses were, the actual name of the cross is Beetor Cross, but one of the myths as to the other name is that this site is where in medieval times the local lord of the manor erected his gallows, and any relatives or friends of the condemned person, would watch and wait for the Lords permission to remove the corpse.
We drove on to Buckland in the Moor, a lovely little `chocolate box pretty` village. We stopped and looked round this nice church St. Peters, which has wonderful views from the graveyard across the Webburn valley. Inside there is a beautiful rood screen, intricately carved, and outside an unusual clockface..
Instead of the usual numbers, it reads `My Dear Mother`. It was donated to the church by William Whitley in 1931 as a memorial to his mother who died shortly before. He also donated three bells, and every quarter of an hour the chimes play `All things bright and beautiful` but unfortunately, we didnt hear this, much as I would have liked too.
At the bottom of the hill from the church, I found this delightful little stream gushing over the smooth boulders, and gurgling under the road, with crystal clear icy water. The rocks and boulders surrounding the stream were dressed in wonderful emerald green mossy coats, and tucked up in drifts of crispy brown beech leaves....Dartmoor indeed is a very magical place...

Twinkle Twinkle

Well here we are all decorated up, I spent my last days off sorting everything out, its suprising how long it takes to do, but worth the stress!
Its nice to unwrap and arrange all the favourite pieces collected over the years
I always have a tree in the kitchen too, its what I call my `Shaker tree` as it has lots of handmade decorations on, as well as the usual baubles, lights etc.,
Gingham doves
Gingham hearts
Little hessian stockings
Red felt hearts
and last but not gingerbread man, which always makes my daughter laugh..cant think why lol..he was very fiddly to make actually, so there was no chance he wasnt going on!

Friday, 5 December 2008

We woke to wind and rain this morning, but decided to go out anyway, and by the time we were ready, the sun was shining and the sky had cleared. We went to Teignmouth, where the air was fresh, and the wind gusty, and walked along the seafront. There were some funny shaped boats
on the horizon, and we were amazed to count fourteen in all! the wind ruffled the water and
snatched at the flags on the boats, but it was nice to walk in the winter sunshine, we browsed the charity shops, and I found a lovely vintage plate, decorated with poppies, I liked the fact that it was shaped like a poppy, I`ll hang it on my kitchen wall, it should look nice against the green
I was also delighted to find a vintage biscuit tin, decorated with the seasons

I remember my Mother having one exactly the same, when I was a child, but with London scenes on it, so a bit of nostalgia there.

On the way home we stopped at Brunel woods, where there are these interesting carvings, commerating Brunel and his achievements, the detail is very good on the totem pole
It was lovely and peaceful walking through the wood, with the sun shining on the glossy leaves of the holly and the ivy, and the lovely bare bones of the winter trees
From the top of the path we caught a glimpse of a hazy St. Marychurch and the bay with the sun glinting on the water
and walking back to the car, the ghost of a moon peeping over the skeletal trees

Monday, 1 December 2008


The hedgerows glitter, the dark woods shine
In dresses of sparkling white,
For while we slumbered, the Ice Queen passed
All over the earth last night.
Lucy Diamond.
Dawn turned on her purple pillow
And late, late came the winter day,
Snow was curved to the boughs of the willow,
The sunless world was white and gray.

At noon we heard a blue-jay scolding,
At five the last thin light was lost
From snow-banked windows faintly holding
The feathery filigree of frost.
Sara Teasdale.
My window-pane is starred with frost,
The world is bitter cold tonight,
The moon is cruel, and the wind
Is like a two-edged sword to smite.....
Sara Teasdale.
The winter comes: the frozen rut
Is bound with silver bars;
The snow-drift heaps against the hut;
And night is pierced with stars.
Coventry Patamore.