Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Life has been particularly busy during the last few days so I haven't had time to post, this is just a very short one mainly so that we can move on from Remembrance Day. One of the comments on the photos of me when I was young amused me - Kelli remarked on how tall I am which just goes to show what a difference the style of your clothes can make, in fact I was only 5' 3" tall and now I can only muster 5' 2" even when I stand as straight as I can:) The Empire line of the dress I wore as a bridesmaid is very good for making small women look taller.

I'm beginning to move into Christmas mode now and have started buying some presents and writing a few cards each day. 5 or 6 a day doesn't take long and by the end of November I shall have them all ready for posting when the time comes - this way the 80+ cards that I send doesn't involve all that much effort. L and I both have large extended families along with all the friends and colleagues that we have acquired over the years and almost all these people live outside the area where we are. On Saturday I made the Christmas cake which is in the photo above. It's now wrapped in clingfilm and sitting in a tin waiting for the end of November when 2 more tablespoons of sherry will be added to it.

I've been knitting for Gabriel too and forgetting to photograph most of it, I've produced a couple of little retro 'flying' helmets, several pairs of bootees and over the weekend I started fulfilling the request for mittens.

I've had my friend S here from Cheshire today and the bit of spare time I have had to be used for either a blog post or the press report on last night's WI meeting - no contest! I'll do the press report in the morning when my mind is functioning a bit more clearly:)


sheoflittlebrain said...

Beautiful photo of "the magic hour," Rowan.
I do admire your organizational skills. The cake looks wonderful, and, clad in those darling mittens, Gabriel's sure to have toasty litle hands this winter..what a nice Grandmother you are:)

Janice said...

Hi Rowan,

I too love the Magic Hour photo, only I would call it Le Heur Bleu, (forgive spelling), the Blue Hour. I read somewhere that is what the French call it. I absolutely love that time of day. And it looks like you are going to enjoy preparing for the holiday, as you have given yourself the gift of ample time to do it in. I have just begun to compile lists, and have one more birthday to prepare for, then I hope I will give myself the gift of ample time to do the things I love to do for the holidays. I have small sewing projects and holiday baking also, but I give baked goods to adult family and boy do I need ample time to be able to enjoy it. It's always a pleasure to check in, Rowan, Enjoy ! Janice (upstate NY)

meggie said...

Ooh I love those little mittens! Do they still wear them? They are perfect for little cold hands.
Your cake looks wonderful, & seeing it there in the brown paper reminded me of my Grandmother's cakes.

miss*R said...

you are so organised... I only just bought my cards today and will start writing them tonight.

as to the christmas cake... I have decided not to make one this year *shock horror* but will explain it soon in a post along with a recipe that I am going to make :)

oneday, I hope to sit over a cup of tea and piece of fruit cake with you . . .

oh and love the mittens :)

Janet said...

I wish I could be as organized as you! But sadly I'm not! Those little mittens are so pretty and I'm sure Gabriel's little hands will stay warm and snug in them. Your comment about being 5'2" was a surprise....I, too, thought you were much taller! For once I'm the taller one at about 5'4"!!

Ragged Roses said...

Beautiful photo of the Magic Hour Rowan. I love those mittens, could do with a pair myself this morning! I still haven't made my cake, better get on with it.
Kim x
What no tea - can't believe it! How do you survive?!

Ice said...

I think busy is a good way to prolong a youthful mind and keep the body from shrinking too quickly. Of course scheduling in some leisure time for rest and blogging is an asset also. ;)
Your way of handling the Holiday cards sounds so efficient; I'm determined to give it a go this year!

Monique said...

Hi Rowan,
I just love those little mittens, they are so cute and that cake looks delicious !!!
The Christmas cards I have to send aren't bought yet, so I have to hurry. I have to write 80+ cards too, so a lot of work. I'm thinking of buying recycled paper cards this year. They look just as beautiful, but they didn't cut extra trees for them. Each year I chose a special cause. I had cards which proceedings were for the breast cancer association and cards for the children's farms and this year I'm thinking about recycled cards. Every little bit helps ; )
Have a great day.

kathyann said...

I can almost smell the cake from here ,must get ours made ! the mittens are really cute ,any photo's of the flying helmets ,sounds interesting !Our WI has just folded which is a shame so I'll have to find another one to go to.Kathyann

Sheila said...

You are so organised Rowan..!
I hope to be soon, as the parcel to my friend is finally on it's way.
I wondered how tall you were after that post and the comment. I imagined you to be taller..!
I feel like a 5ft 7ins..!

Julie Marie said...

Oh, you are so organized! I will probably get my Christmas cards out a day or two before Christmas. And as for baking, well..

My daughter and my husband used to make Christmas cookies Christmas Eve day but even that has fallen by the wayside.


tash said...

I love twilight, we sometimes walk along the beach in the mostly-dark, or in the morning before dawn. It's such a special time of day. Almost as if the veils between day and night are blurred imperceptibly.

Your cake looks lovely. Ours are due for a "feed" too - their last before Christmas (our cake last year was a tad too boozy!)

PAT said...

Hi Rowan, for some reason I thought you were taller! You and I are about the same Ht. I was 5'3" and shrunk a tad in the last few years. I am taller than my younger sister. My paternal grandfather and my mother were both short than I am. So, I'm sort of the tall one in that part of the family. I'm much shorter than my daughters!

Busy week here, as well. I did a quick post at the back porch, this morning and will try for another, happy weekend post, on Friday morning.

The cake looks good! And your knitting is fabulous!

Lynda said...

I admire your organisation, Rowan! Every year I promise myself that I'll start early, do a few things every week, and so on ... and every year I'm scrambling to catch up. This year I'm determined to start early! I've got my calendar out and scheduling time for baking, wrapping and writing cards. We'll see how well I do! :) I'm having a give-away on my blog so please stop by if you can! ~ hugs, Lynda xo

Kim said...

I love the little mittens, Rowan, so pretty and delicate. That cake looks yummy too :)

Mary said...

I can just about smell your lovely Christmas cake from here Rowan! I used to make one too but found that DH & I were the only ones eating it. We love it, but the almond paste and icing on top of all that cake is hardly healthy! Of course if we could just have a tiny slice with our afternoon cuppa that might be OK - I think perhaps I might make one after all - it's one of those things that means "English childhood" to me.

Am starting to get organized this week - will start on holiday cards as we are going to the mountains for Thanksgiving!

Lynda (Granny K) said...

I am amazed that you are only 5ft 2! I'm 5ft 2 and a half! I thought you would be at least 5ft 6! How odd!
My Xmas cake for work is in the freezer and I have been knitting hats for toddlers this week, whilst fending off a cold. Will post a pic of hats when finished. Love the mittens!

Naturegirl said...

It is lovely to stop by again after my long absence. Have been ill but am feeling stronger so I am able to get back to visiting!
The mittens are darling I love the detail of the ribbon!! make your own cake!! I have purchased my cards so like you shall address a few a t a time. Happy day to you. hugs NG

Kelli said...

Beautiful photo of the evening sky, Rowan! The mittens are so sweet. My mom knitted me a white pair of mittens a few years ago and I love wearing them!

peppylady said...

I been briefly getting some ideal stuck in my head for the holidays but we have Thanksgiving next Thursday here.

Strawberry Lane said...

Oh my, what sweet little mittens! So beautiful. What a wonderful talent you have.

Rosie said...

The skies were wonderful again this evening, mostly gold at one point - I could watch them for ages. Your cake looks delicious - are you going to ice it before Christmas?

kate said...

That is a beautiful photograph! My your knitting is wonderful. Your are really organised for Christmas ... it's a great idea to do some every day!

Have a good weekend!!

Amy said...

Gosh that's some pretty knitting. How did you learn how to knit btw? I can knit a scarf but that's about it lol

Paula said...


You've inspired me to get busy on Christmas cards. Generally I end up answering cards as they come in over the course of the holidays. I might just surprise our friends and relatives this year by beating them to it. The mittens are so sweet. It is a special feeling to knit for tiny hands. I love the photo of the evening sky also.

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Love the magic hour photo Rowan. One of these years I`m going to try and make Christmas cake. Those little mittens are so sweet!


Julie Marie said...

Hi, Rowan,

I would like to wish you a Happy American Thanksgiving, as I am grateful and happy to have you as a new friend in my life,


Moonroot said...

What a great idea about the cards! Thanks for the tip. And your cake looks yummy!

Sandra Evertson said...

Oh my, that cake looks Delicious!
Sandra Evertson

Strawberry Lane said...

I know I wrote earlier about those precious mittens you knit. Can't get those out of my mind ... as I would love to do something other than cable knit afghans.

You see, we raise alpacas and I have a garage full of the most luxurious wool.

I've managed to spin some of it, but there it sits...just waiting for me to learn how to knit some sweet little mittens.

Mousie/Paisible said...

i can imagine gabriel's little hands all warm in the gloves...lucky him !!!
have a nice sunday dear...

PAT said...

Hi Rowan, just stopping by to see how you are!