Full of things that have never been.
Rainer Maria Rilke
January, the month of new beginnings and cherished memories, beckons.
Come, let Winter weave her wondrous spell: Cold, crisp, woollen-muffler days, long dark evenings of savoury suppers, lively conversations, or solitary joys. Outside the temperature drops as the snow falls softly. All of nature is at peace. We should be too. Draw hearth side. This is the month to dream, to look forwards to the year ahead and the journey within.
Sarah Ban Breathnach
A warm welcome to the New Year. 365 new days and scope for many fresh and exciting new adventures ;-)
Having plans pencilled into my diary always offers a sense of hope and things to look forwards to.
This year, one of my major aims is to try and remember to acknowledge birthday's on time. Everyone else surrounding my space seems to be very efficient and organised in this area. I do have good intentions but some how such matters always manage to slip my mind or get put off. I am a self confessed 'rubbish friend' being on time with such acknowledgements!
My grandmother's birthday is in February, and although last year I did probably manage to call her on her birthday, however, it took me until June to actually post her a gift!
I had huge plans to write to my niece and nephews in the US on their birthdays, but after failing on the 5th January with the first child, I'd blown all good intentions from the onset. Perhaps I'm destined to always been the one who remembers such events late??!!
Last July it was my good friend Jen's birthday. As usual I was totally absorbed in the moment and totally forgot until several days later and it took until last Friday for me to actually get around to organising her birthday treat. She was kind to me and actually said it was rather nice to have a treat between birthdays!
So 'treat day with Jen' became the first 'real' entry into my 2014 diary.
With all children paired off with suitable sitters (well apart from one), we tracked off to Stratford Upon Avon for our little outing.
Stratford is only a 45 minute drive from where I live, the children and I love to go there for an afternoon excursion. Much of the town is dedicated to William Shakespeare and as a result of that it attracts an interesting variety of people. The communal ground in the centre, is the place to see entertainers of all kinds (especially during the Summer months) and the river and canal are home to beautiful narrow boats and host of wildlife.
The wind was blowing a gale on Friday and the copious amounts of rain that have recently fallen, meant that the river banks were under strain with the extra volume of water. On a dry day it's a pleasure to stop and watch the dozens of geese and swans that gather to relieve visitors of their bread offerings and to stand in awe of the many folk who spend the day busking with their talents. Very few people were standing around Friday. My usual casual meander across the park was a definite determined walk snuggled within my thickest Winter coat.
We were heading to a gem of a place for afternoon tea.
The colour even cheers up the dull text in this blog!!
Winter can be such a dull season with darkened days, bare trees and lack of colour, and on our walk from the car park it was just that. ........that was until we were struck by a rainbow of colours. The local yarn bombers had been out in force and had decorated the biggest and most splendid tree in the park with a colourful blanket of crochet squares. What a delight to see!
On closer inspection, everyone of those delightful colourful creations had been carefully crocheted and stitched together in memory of a loved soul past by. Such beauty stemming from such sadness.
**(Note made to self of wonderful idea for future fund raising activity.....)**
Onwards we go......
Last year a couple of my friends told me about 'The Four Teas' (www.thefourteas.co.uk). It's a little 1940's themed tea room (very up my street). Honestly, I should have been born earlier in time!
I know the war years must have been tough for those who lived through them, but I do find myself rather drawn to the fashion, family life and community values, plus all the hard work that was endured.
We studied the war years as our Home Ed project a few years ago and as a family, spent a week living on War-time rations. (Tim was thrilled of course!!) You can read my blog back in the archive.
The Four Teas, was quite obviously dedicated to the post rationing era, judging by the array of sugary treats that we sampled, but we didn't complain.
The spirit of the era was there in her glory with 40's music playing, propaganda posters adorning the walls and the vintage crockery that the tea was served on, not to mention the waiting staff who worn tea dresses with pinny's and house caps!
What a wonderfully justifiable treat -
Belated Happy Birthday friend :-)