Monday 13 December 2010

A very little bit of crochet, a knitted Fireman Sam and Lots of Snow!

Amid news that major retailers are now suspending online deliveries in Scotland because of the recent weather and road conditions I'm glad to say that my USB reader was sucessfully delivered today. So I've at last been able to upload my snowy photos. Please note that not all the following photos involve snow, just incase you're fed up of the white stuff!

It all started at the end of November. I missed much of this first snow fall as I took A & N to visit my parents for a couple of nights - they live in the South West of Scotland, an area which received very little snow.

While there I had another attempt at a crochet robin. I'm still not especially happy with the result - this one was left with my parents.

Warnings of deteriorating weather and road conditions made me worry about travelling the 100 or so miles home, but as it turned out the roads were fine. It was soooo nice to be back home and not be stuck at my parent's house!

A snowy tree in "our" park.

I finally got round to making some mincemeat. I used the Sarah Raven recipe with a few substitutions for things I didn't have in my store cupboard. It was very easy to do though making the actual mince pies will involve rather more work methinks. I'll be having a bash at them at the end of this week as family are coming for a pre-Christmas meet-up and present swap (weather permitting!)

The following Sunday (which was the 5th Dec) I went for an afternoon walk, a Saturday morning bike ride being out of the question due to icy road conditions, as you can see from the above photo.

Looking across the fields. Notice the cow on the right of the picture, one of the few not yet snug in a barn for the winter.

Tree silhouette (a favourite one to photograph at the beginning of my bike rides when I take this same route out the village). Beautiful blue skies.

More snowy roads.

Looking back towards the sun which is starting to set.

The road home. A lovely walk. I thought it best to get out and enjoy the snow while it was still with us. Little did I know...

This was the next day, Monday 6th Dec. The snow started falling about 9am. The whole central belt of Scotland (where about 70% of the population lives) was affected and traffic chaos ensued with many people being trapped in their cars for 12 hours or more. (And for the first time ever I spot a bullfinch in the garden. He's on top of the shed in the above photo, a pair of collared doves sit high on a branch in the tree behind.)

We were lucky. Hubby was sent home early from work and managed almost all the way home, just failing to get up the final hill to our driveway. A's school closed early, it's only a 2minute walk away from the house so it wasn't a problem. We only had about 4" or so of snow, the problem seems to be the time it fell (rush hour) and the fact that it then froze hard and the gritters were ineffective.

As we weren't adversely affected we could enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the snow.

Bird on branch silhouettes are another favourite subject of mine to photograph. If the branches are snowy and the sky behind is blue then that's even better!

Looking over the field at the front of our house. A and I are off for our first sledging session (and a walk to the local shop to stock up on some supplies).

Low lying mist lies at the foot of the trees.

Our park is excellent for sledging. Neither of us has been down the big hill yet, but we have a shot on the lesser slopes.

Just one of the many shots of the snowy tree branches I took.

Now to Tuesday. The school is still shut (and remains so until Friday). We go sledging again.

More branches (just can't resist photographing them, especially when they're turning pink in the light of the setting sun)

A and one of her school friends. With his encouragement she managed to sledge down some steeper slopes.

One neighbour noted temperatures of -14C at about 10pm tonight, wonder how cold it actually did get before morning.

And now Wednesday which I think was the most beautiful day of all. I'm organising a night out next week and the deposit for the restaurant is due. I don't like driving in the snow so I take the opportunity to walk (with my camera!) to the nearby town.

Once back home A & I go sledging yet again (hubby is able to work from home while the roads are bad and it's possible to leave N with him for short periods of time). I didn't take my camera, I wish I had - A suddenly discovered her confidence and was zooming exuberantly down some pretty steep hills! I've enjoyed the snow too. We had a lot of snow last year but at the time I felt so unwell (cold, chest infection, sinusitus) I couldn't go out without starting to cough and shiver, this year for me has been so much more fun (so far!). It is actually rare for us to get this kind of snow, I thought last year was a one-off so it's nice to have a second chance this year. I expect I'd feel differently if this was our normal weather. For me it beats the mild but wet and windy weather we usually endure.

On Wednesday night I baked the Christmas cake. It's now wrapped in foil and in the freezer. It's the Nigella chocolate fruitcake (here's the recipe). I made it last year and we all really liked it. I'm not a fan of the traditional Christmas fruit cake and this is an excellent substitute.

That night the thaw started... day the postman was finally able to deliver some parcels...

...and a snowman was built. A is very pleased with her work. N was rather fed up by this point. We then went in and watched The Snowman on DVD, it always brings a tear to my eye!

Now the snow has pretty much all gone, the warm weather has gone too and it's freezing again.

Anyway, enough of the weather... on to a completely different subject - N loves Fireman Sam. On ebay you can buy some lovely hand-knitted fireman toys (well beyond my current knitting abilities).

I bought this one. I didn't like his face but otherwise he looked well made, not overstuffed, and good colours. He sold for about £5 less than the better looking firemen available. I was reasonably confident I could give him a make-over, if not it was only £1.99 I would lose...

...and here he is now. New eyes & mouth, helmet badge and laces removed. I'm happier anyway, we'll find out what N thinks on the 25th Dec!

The house is mostly decorated for Christmas but still rather untidy. I'll take photos once it's all more presentable. As I mentioned earlier we're having folks round (at least 7 of them) for lunch on Sun so I'd better get a move on and get sorted out (switching off the computer would help!)

I'll leave you with...
...a little peek at the sunset this afternoon from the back door. Well done if you made it this far.

Enjoy your week!


Apples and Pears said...

What stunning photos! I have to admit to being a little sad that the snow has all gone here as it was so beautiful...but it has caused a lot of inconvenience too. All that is left of my boy's snowman is the carrot, now lying forlornly on the lawn!
Andrea x
PS Great makeover for Sam!

Marg said...

Absolutely stunning photos, as it's hot and humid here, I love looking at your beautiful winter wonderland.
Nigella's chocolate fruitcake is delicious.

Unknown said...

Stunning pictures. Adore all the snowie quiet ones with the sun going down. Silent night comes to mind. Nice posting, sweetie

driftwood said...

truly gorgeous photos. although it's beautiful my fingers are crossed there's no more before Christmas x

VintageVicki said...

Stunning photos :)

Am sure he'll love the fireman - my grandma has knitted them for all the boys in my family - my 24 year old brother still has his and my boys still have theirs in their beds!!

Julie said...

Lovely photos. So pleased you were able to enjoy the snow and the sledging, sounds like A is doing really well.
You've done a great job on Fireman Sam and he looks really cute.
It's really cold again here too. Trying to prepare myself for more snow in the next couple of days.....would be better if the first lot had gone, there's still quite a bit here! Juliex

Diane said...

What a jam packed post!!! And fabulous photos of the snow - but it has been very scarey! and they anticipate it all again for the end of the week!! Deep Joy! Merry Christmas to you and your family. xxxxxx

Hazel said...

It's a harsh winter. I love that robin. x

Dawn said...

Beautiful photos - I have often wondered how my bloggy friends North of the border are getting on this winter. I have to agree that the brightness of snow beats grey skies any day!

rockinloubylou said...

fabulous snowy photos. you were so lucky not to be adversely affected by it all and to be able to enjoy it in the way snow should be enjoyed. Snowman is ace, and so is the remodelled fireman sam. ELVIIIS CRIDLINGTOOOOON!

Simone said...

You really was 'walking in a winter wonderland'!!! The photos are really stunning and I love all the blue skies. I haven't seen many of those recently. I like your Fireman Sam makeover too! x

Louise said...

I have snow envy my friend, what beautiful photos. Kee warm !
Louise x

tammykingdon said...

Can't get enough of the white stuff myself, but we haven't had as much as you here in the Midlands- send it this way by all means, but I bet I still struggle to match your gorgeous photos!

Anonymous said...

Your beautiful photos of snow and spring flowers just make me sigh with pleasure. Thank you.

myBearpaw said...

Your snowy robin is so cute! But I have seen enough snow now thanks...

silverpebble said...

Your images are stunning. Aren't bullfinches beautiful? It's wonderful that you caught him on camera.

Cathy said...

We have lots of snow too but your photos are amazing. You have a gorgeous quality of light where you are. I could never get tired of snow photos. We have had travel chaos but you have had much worse problems up north and for longer.

That cake looks deliciously diet breaking. I hope you and the family have a wonderful Christmas Anne and a very Happy New Year.


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