Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas is coming . . .

It has been frosty this week, but now has warmed up quite a bit and I think rain is forecast.  Here (before I forget which folder they were in) is another frosty picture to start things off.  From 2014 - a Copper Beech near Allt-y-Gog, Whitemill.

As you can see, I had another weak moment in TK-Maxx and this little chap came home to help make Christmas special in our household.  A nice Torquay pottery tray to his right, and my favourite beautifully-decorated big vase (Torquay or possibly Exeter Pottery) behind him.

We have been standing at the Militaria Fair at Brecon today.  On the way home we stopped for some Festive Cheer at Trecastle Antiques Centre.  Whilst my OH had a cup of tea, I nursed a rather large glass of alcoholic punch (yummy it was) and we munched mince pies and looked round at what was on offer.  The green of this lovely 1930s  jelly mould caught my eye (I am having a Green Moment in my kitchen at the moment, for ceramics and enamel items).  It doesn't all match exactly but most of the shades are near enough, when not under direct light or flash . . .  I just HAD to have this mould because . . .

it was made by Bovey Pottery.  Now, Bovey Tracey is where my dad grew up, so of course, I couldn't leave this lovely piece in the shop.  I intend to use it regularly as it is ready to go, as they say, and will give a lovely design to the jelly.

This is Phil Rickman writing in 2001 as Will Kingdom.  The main characters in this book are the same as in The Cold Calling, which is the book of his I downloaded to my Kindle and read at top speed last week.  It is good to see DI Bobby Maiden, the American Grayle Underwood,  Marcus Bacton who runs an ailing paranormal journal and the end-of-the-pier entertainer Cindy Mars-Lewis back in action again.

I blew the dust off some of my Christmas cookery magazines yesterday.  Somewhat baking-orientated, as you can see.  I keep these magazines for years and years and dust them off annually.

Finally, a first for Ynyswen - outside Christmas lights - they were reduced in Tesco yesterday to half price (£7.50), so I thought I would invest in these frosted berry lights.  If nothing else, they help light the way to the car when it is pitch black and we have an early start . . .

So, another fair under our belt, and it was good to catch up with old friends again.  On the way home, the shadows were lengthening across the fields, and the mountains smudged by mist although the road home was still bathed in sunshine.  The last bit of narrow lanes down our valley side held the last sunlight as it sank behind the trees and the mossy central stripe down the lane was emerald and orange, just as it had been white with frost a few evenings earlier as we made our way homewards.

It is nearly the shortest day now and already I have spotted catkins on a small hazel bush at the top of our yard.  Think positive, after winter comes the spring!


  1. Jelly! Yes, must get round to making one!

  2. I am not a fan of jelly but love the mould. I did have a stack of Christmas food magazines
    but last year I cut all the recipes that I would use out and put them in a folder. Now I do use them and not just at Christmas. I used to love going to all the fairs but over the years have come to hate the crowded in feeling. I do most of my "looking" in the spring to autumn period.

  3. I love the fact we're on the final furlong to the shortest day, not long now and it all begins again. Lovely :) We also invested in some of the Tesco 1/2 price lights. Hopefully they will last a good few years!

  4. Pretty lights, Paul invested into laser lights on the house, and can't wait to use them!

  5. My granny used to have a jelly dish like that I remember it well, I wonder what happened to it :-)

  6. Love the jelly mould! and I may have to make a trip to TK Max! I have a pile of Christmas magazines too plus a folder stuffed full of recipes! My pantry shelves are too full of cook books! Re-reading The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley at the moment then I am going to read the Cold Calling.

  7. I'm glad you all liked the jelly mould. I couldn't resist it! I shall make a special Christmas jelly in it and take a photo.

    I am wishing I had time to do some Christmas cooking for the freezer, but I am frantically wielding my paintbrush (and getting up because I can't sleep for worrying about the list of "fings to do". I was wrapping presents at midnight last night . . . Just couldn't sleep.)