Tuesday 26 December 2023

Winter Solstice 2023

 Pictures and link to my Youtube video here are from Brighton, we went to Burning of the Clocks which is an annual event where paper lanterns (this year the theme was clocks) are carried through the streets and to the sea front, where they are burned-they represent the release of negatives and the affirmation of hopes, dreams and anticipation of the new Solstice.   

Click link below for video 

Solstice Eve


This year the lanterns were not burned because it was stormy and the high winds would have made it unsafe with the crowds - there were 28,000 people present, 2000 were lantern carriers ... somehow I was swept into the lantern bearers procession and police barriers were swiftly put up keeping spectators back  was not allowed to go back and lost hubby in the crowd but got some fabulous views and was able to enjoy being in the middle of a throng of musicians, dancers and lantern bearers.

The clock on the beach was the focal point for the end of the procession.  

The main event was over in an hour and I enjoyed ever moment, it didn't rain either.  We managed to get a train despite delays and were back in our home town 40 minutes away in time for a 10pm pizza at our local Weatherspoons and then a one mile walk home.  

Brighton's Lanes had some lovely Christmassy windows...

Hope you enjoyed my video link... I will be back in the New Year.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday 21 December 2023

Eve of Solstice

It's the eve of Winter Solstice,  when we burn a candle to symbolically let go of all the things in 2023 that have been negative for us... tomorrow stone circles all over the UK and beyond will be visited by those who want to connect to the elements and Nature and acknowledge the Winter Solstice.  Here's my Winter wreath - if I was going to a stone circle, I would wear it like a crown :)

I have a list of promises to myself for 2024:

Don't let anyone steal my vibrancy
Wear something sparkly every day
Don't step on insects
Do something in nature every day - talk to a plant, walk in the woods, visit my allotment
Don't think of work as a chore, it's a great opportunity to socialise!
Travel as much as possible 
Don't think about being old, think how great it is to be alive!
Slow down and savour the moment more often
Remember to have gratitude
Always look for the magic in things

It's that time of year when I am observing nature, looking for any signs of green, new shoots, footprints of little animals, birdsong, the allotment is a great place for that - I saw six beautiful roe deer glide across my plot early one morning recently, magical!  I have also spotted the odd starling - a rarer sight in the UK these days, heard song thrush and robin, found silvery snail trails on my kitchen windows and seen some fabulous early morning red sunrises.  It's these small things that make me happy.

What inspires you during the cold bleak Winter months?  are you a windowsill gardener with an amarylis about to flower or do you have tubs crammed with Spring bulbs outside your doors?  I planted 200 small Spring flower bulbs in my lawn this year,  ambitious as we have really heavy clay soil (and weeds)  - I hope they come up as crocus and miniature narcicus will be such a lovely sight.

I go swimming twice a week, our pool is staying open either side of Christmas - this Tuesday it was almost empty and I had a massive lane (third of the pool) all to myself.  The showers were super hot and I brought some little hotel bottles of toiletries saved from recent travels and made it a mini spa day!

I'm off on an adventure today - will tell about it soon.

Monday 4 December 2023


 We have just returned from a two week break in Sri Lanka, staying in Waikkal on the beach.  I have done a post on my travel blog which is *HERE!!!!* if you would like to read.

Two weeks away from the allotment and, despite sun and sand, I thought about it a lot! couldn't wait to get down there and check it out.  All ticking over nicely with leeks, parsnips and sprouts for Christmas.  

My oldest son stayed at the house while we were away and his brother stayed over and cooked for him on days off.  Mollie stayed at kennels and the boys brought her home the day we arrived back. 

It's good to be home and the first thing on my list today after making a start on the suitcase unpacking, is to go for a swim at the local pool - back to work tomorrow!


Mellieha, Malta Sunshine Break

We had a week in Mellieha, Malta, staying at DB seabank all inclusive. My packing was 7 lightweight tee shirt/cotton tops, 3 sho...