Monday, 25 February 2019

Scilly narcissi

Alex and I have formed numerous traditions since relocating to England. We toast the shift from autumn to winter with the first mulled wine of the season each Guy Fawkes night. Every December we ice-skate under the night sky in Bath. On New Years Eve we dine at a seafood restaurant and see a film. In mid June, just before midsummer, we visit Badminton House for their charity garden open day.

Perhaps they are less traditions and more patterns of behaviour; things we enjoy doing and so make an effort to repeat each year. Ever since we met, Alex has given me an angel decoration for the tree on Christmas morning. And ever since we moved to England, each winter he has sent me a shipment of narcissi from the Isles of Scilly. This year, two big boxes of erlicheer that filled the cottage with beautiful spring-is-coming scent arrived on a very spring-like Thursday afternoon.

They have now faded, but I took photos of them dotted around the house.
Of course I did.

All gathered together, before I started putting 
them in every room of the house.

My bedside table.

 His bedside table.

The dressing room.

In the bathroom.

The living room (there was also a vase on the dining table 
and another on the sideboard).

Excessive? Perhaps. Much appreciated? Absolutely.

The Isles of Scilly have a long history of shipping the first daffodils and narcissi of the season to the British mainland. I wrote a little about it HERE.

Kate  x

Friday, 8 February 2019

There's pleasure in both

Yesterday, I arrived home after a fortnight away to the first crocus tips emerging from the ground, a garden full of birdsong & sunshine, and the comfort of my own bed. My dear friend had turned on the heating in our cottage a day before I arrived. She had also very kindly put groceries in the fridge and daffodils on the windowsill.

Yesterday, was a day of hot buttered toast, sunlight streaming through the house, and a desperately needed afternoon nap (that dangerously turned into a whole evening and into the night nap thanks to jet-lag).

Today, the wind is gusty and the rain is driven. I've done numerous loads of post-holiday washing and hauled up to the attic the general flotsam and jetsam that accompanies the return from long-haul travel. 

Today, I have run out of almond milk. But there is beauty and simple pleasure in both kinds of days. Sunshine or not. The tapping of rain or the trill of birds. Black tea or milky tea.

It's just so nice to be home.

Kate  x

Thursday, 10 January 2019

The beauty in January

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, or perhaps anywhere, you might be forgiven for thinking immediately that 'beauty' and 'January' are oxymoronic terms. I am a pretty committed January basher myself. In England, this month is particularly brutal. I saw it described online the other day as a 'miserable f#*king bastard.' Sorry for the language, but you can't argue with its accuracy. 

Then yesterday something slightly magical happened. The morning looked something like this:

The frost glimmered and sun shimmered and all morning long the countryside glistened. 

When January is endless days of enveloping shades of grey, when the air is damp and thick with mizzle, when the sky feels like it is mere inches above your head and you haven't seen the sun in days, it can all get a little too much. But the frosty mornings, cold and crisp as they are, become a joyous antidote to the seasonal glum. 

This year, somehow, January has felt less glum. It might be the uncharacteristically clear blue days, the early appearance of snowdrops, or it might just be my deep commitment to my pj's/hot water bottle/book. 

Long may the frosts bring sparkle to our January.

Happy New Year.

Kate  x