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.



Sunday, January 04, 2009

Winter Dreaming

Now that Winter Solstice and Yule are gone I have sailed gratefully into the quiet backwaters of January. It's a month that many people dislike but for me it is a time of winter dreaming, a whole year lies ahead and in January it is full of infinite possibilties.



There are so many ancient crafts and skills that I would like to master, natural dyeing for instance. How wonderful to gather plants, leaves, bark or berries from your garden or the surrounding countryside and then use them to produce yarns in wonderful rich,earthy colours. I know someone locally who would teach me or....



...there is a course available at the Weald and Downland Museum - a place I never tire of visiting.



Then there is basket making, I've always loved baskets and the thought of learning to make my own really appeals to me. Plenty of courses around so that's another possibility...


....and if I made my own baskets I could use them to collect wild fruits and herbs so maybe a course on wild foods so that I can identify more of them. I know quite a few but there are a great many others that I know by name but couldn't safely identify if they were growing wild.


Then, of course, there is spinning - my little kit bought at Bakewell Show last summer is still in its brown paper carrier! I haven't been brave enough to have a go yet but the young lady who was demonstrating spinning would give me lessons.



She lives in Edale, I'm sure that you can see why my winter dreaming includes visiting this lovely part of the Peak District again........


........and saying hello to my friends who provide the wool for all this spinning and dyeing.



January is a time for dreaming of all the wonderful places I might visit or revisit such as West Kennet Long Barrow which is a place that I find very special.



Hopefully my dream of visiting Maiden Castle in Dorset will become a reality this year, Dorset is a county I've never visited even though I know that it's full of wonderful ancient places and beautiful gardens like Snape Cottage and Chiff Chaffs - these two I've only seen on photographs and garden videos but I've long wanted to visit them.


My January dreams take me further afield too, I hope one day to return to South Africa so that I can see wonderful sights like this again.


Bourke's Luck Potholes in Blyde River Canyon, a fantastically beautiful area near to White River where my son and DIL lived for three years. Actually my chances of seeing it again are pretty good as my son and daughter-in-law plan to move back there within the next 12 months so maybe in 2010.....



There are dreams of spring flowers....



....borders filling with all my old friends and maybe some new ones too...



....and just sitting in the warm sunshine of an early summer's day.

27 comments:

Tea and Margaritas in My Garden said...

May all of our January dreams come true this year Rowan :)
Happy New Year!

tea
xo

Rosie said...

Oh, Rowan, what a wonderful, inspiring and cheering post. I hope you can achieve some, if not all, of your dreams this year - Dorset is a wonderful county, one of my favourites. Perhaps you may get to the Framework Knitters' Museum, too:)

willowcaroline said...

Oh.. I love your dreams and cannot wait now to see what you do with your year... Have a wonderful 2009!

Roy said...

I find January rather long and look forward to March and April when there are lots of flowers, birds (Summer visitors) and butterflies to photograph and observed. Everything is starting to green up as well.
You must visit Dorset Rowan.

Janet said...

This post makes me want to sit in a sunny corner and dream, too. Making baskets sounds interesting as do most of your other dreams. If you manage even half of them, you'll be a busy woman!

Leanne said...

fab post Rowan, if you make it to dorset, try to pop in for a cuppa!

leanne x

Pieceful Afternoon said...

What a lovely post - and great plans for the new year. Enjoy your journey - even if it is sometimes dreaming.

MrsL said...

Lovely post Rowan; you must shout if you get to Dorset, come over for a cup of tea! I've been to both Chiff Chaffs and Snape Cottge - both lovely gardens to visit.

Hope some of your dreams come true. :)

kittyboo said...

Hi there - Lovely post. I share your dream of spinning and dyeing. I'm hoping to do a natural dyeing course in Herefordshire this year and a spinning course next month in Wales - my attempts at trying to teach myself haven't be all that successful! Anyhow, good luck pursuing your dreams - I look forward to hearing how you get on.
x

solsticedreamer said...

oh rowan what a wondeful post :)

and so many of those are things i would love~the natural dyes, spinning,visiting ancient sights (maiden castle will not let you down when you get there!)

Thimbleanna said...

What a great way to spend your long winter evenings. Like you, I love to spend January dreaming of places to travel.

Ragged Roses said...

Happy New Year to you and your family! How I have missed your posts! What a great read this one was too. I love the idea of dreaming through January, hope they come true for you
Kimx

Lynda (Granny K) said...

I like the sound of your plans, Rowan, and I love the last picture, what a gorgeous spot.

Rowan said...

Lynda, the last photo is taken from my dining room looking down the garden, the terrace faces south and gets the sun all day.

Dulce Domum said...

Rowan
Have you seen that the "Tales from the Green Valley" people are doing a new programme. It's called Victorian Farm, here's a link
http://www.alexlanglands.com/television.asp

When I saw it advertised in the Guardian I thought of you. It's on this Thursday on BBC2.

PS. I'm the artist formerly known as "plainandsimple"!

Sheila@Simple Indulgences said...

I hope most of your January dreams come true Rowan.I remember your previous visits to the Weald and Downland Museum and the lovely posts you did on it.
Here's to a productive 2009..!

nita x said...

rowan that is a lovely inspirational post, your january dreams are wonderfull, i do hope they come true for you :o)

PAT said...

I like your January dreams, Rowan and hope they all come true!

It's a tad chillier here today,than it was the day we went to Lebanon and Bennett Spring. Having real January weather!

I love that view from your doorway.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

So inspiring, your January dreams! You've made me think of several new things I need to add to my own ever growing list!

A truly Happy New Year to you!!

hippymummy said...

What a lovely positive way to look forward to the coming year, i must use this example myself instead of huddling in front of the fire wishing it was warmer! I hope you get to fulfil your dreams for the year Rowan xXX

Susan said...

What a lovely, dreamy list to start off the New Year!

Bovey Belle said...

You've just reminded me to book my place on a basket-making course at the end of this month. I hope you achieve all you set out to, and I know you will fall in love with Dorset, it is such a beautiful county (lots of archaeology too!)

The Weaver of Grass said...

A lovely post rowan - you are a woman after my own heart - i have added you to my blog list. Call again.

Monique Elisabeth said...

First of all a very happy, healthy 2009.
Great January dreams you have and those hobbies you want to pick up and places you want to visit, wow.... That sounds so fantastic !!
Lots of greetings from The freezing Netherlands !!

thelma said...

Hi Rowan,
Do take up spinning its very relaxing, with a wheel that is, not sure about a spindle. Last week I gave away my beautiful 4 shaft loom as it was too complicated, but still keep the simple Ashford one.
All the best for the New Year
Thelma x

Wendy said...

I like your dreams. May they come true for you! My dream is to move to a warm country where I can garden all year 'round.
Love & light,

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