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.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Things To Do In A Winter's Day

I really enjoy winter days like today. It's rather grey and miserable, the once pristine snow is now slushy and dirty looking and it's the perfect day for staying inside and doing interesting things. All three of the things are connected with my daughter-in-law Cesca in one way or another:) In the autumn she asked me if I would do this cross stitch sampler for her and so here it is well on the way. I'm enjoying stitching it as it is uses all my favourite colours and is depicting my favourite season.

In between stitching I'm re-reading some books by George Ewart Evans who wrote several books about the area of Suffolk where Cesca comes from. They are based on the many oral history recordings he made of local people. The books were originally published in the 1950s so many of the old people were born in and clearly remembered rural life in the 19th century. I've almost finished 'Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay' and shall be moving on to ' The Crooked Scythe' shortly. I've also just acquired 'The Horse in the Furrow' which is saving the best until last as far as I'm concerned as I have a real love of the big working horses and the old horsemen who spent their days ploughing and reaping and sowing. I'm hoping to do a post on the subject soon if I can find photographs to use whose copyright owners don't wish to charge me £10 for using them rather than just settling for an ackowledgement!! I do have a particular person in mind here of course.

Last but by no means least is some family history research again in Suffolk. Cesca's paternal ancestors include some of the old Suffolk horsemen and also a newly discovered shepherd. Soon I shall have to abandon the computer and spend some time in Ipswich looking at Parish Registers. There's only so much that you can do online then you need to go back to the old-fashioned way of researching so that you can check and cross check the information you have. I have to say that I'm happy to have any excuse to spend time in Suffolk - and also Essex now that I've found the shepherd who came from St Osyth. So which of my possible pastimes shall I follow now? The family history trail I think:)


Lynda (Granny K) said...

Love the Prairie Schooler Sampler. I think I have the Spring one in my 'to do one day' pile (somewhere!).

My ancestor hunt ground to a halt around the mid 1800s. I need to go to Stafford I think to try and delve further.

Morning's Minion said...

You are spending your winter days at things I also love: stitchery, reading and genealogy.
You would have liked my Grampa Mac [born in 1886] who farmed life-long with horses, refusing to learn to drive the car or tractor.
I know you've visited in New Hampshire in the US and wonder if you might have seen the famous Budweiser Belgians on parade [?]
If you've read my posts lamenting my lack of skill at hand-quilting, you know that I would like to be more proficient at hand stitchery. Your sampler is lovely.
I found years ago when I attempted to learn crochet that any such art which involves counted stitches leaves me for hours with my mind compulsively continuing to count everything.
I wish that travel to the relevant towns was possible in my family research. Fortunately early families of New England have been quite well documented by DAR so tracing my mother's line long-distance is by far easier than my father's French Canadian family.
The moment when an ancestor is pinned down and identified is cause for whooping with joy.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Thanks for reminding me about George Ewart Evans whose books I'd forgotten about and must revisit sometime. It's on days like today when I'm happy to sit at home in the warm and remember when I worked on the farm - in the cold, the wind and the snow!

Roy Norris said...

Thats a good idea on a day like today D.
I am just about to read, "Ask the Fellows". I have had it for a while, but just haven't got around to it.

Dog Trot Farm said...

Sounds like a perfect way to spend a winter's day. The new sampler is coming along nicely, I am sure your lovely daughter in-law will be so pleased. Thinking of you from snowy, frigid Maine, Julie.

Hildred said...

What lovely ways to spend your winter days. I admire your stitchery, - something I am saving for my next lifetime, I guess, as I have been too involved with weaving to squeeze it in. And that's an art that encourages compulsive counting when you are winding or threading warps!!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Lovely pastimes for winter. I am spending some of my time (and I have lots this winter while recuperating from back surgery) organizing my photos on the computer - I like to have categories -like vacation destinations, rope swings in trees, old rusty vehicles, birds, signs, barn, etc and I get behind so quickly - so it is good to sit here and listen to the rain and sort photos - plus I get to take little mini vacations while reviewing the summer photos.

MorningAJ said...

I recently did a bit of online research into my family history and I would love to know more about some ancestors, but I don't have the time or the money to stay in Cambridgeshire (The Soke of Peterborough as it once was!) to look for any details and it's a bit far to do it as day trips!

I guess I'll be relaxing by doing more craft stuff.

Rosie said...

What delightful things to pass a winter's day away! I admire your needlework skills and those books look so interesting, I'd heard of the author but don't think I've ever read any of his work. Family History is a great passion of mine although I haven't done any new research for ages - I must get into it again:)

Witchcrafted Life said...

Your autumn themed stitchery is so wonderfully pretty, dear Rowan. I keep meaning to start a new stitchery of my own, but it never seems I have a moment. Hopefully now that the rush of the holiday season and the "settling in" of the New Year is behind us, I'll have some time to start one before spring rolls around.

Thank you very much for your lovely comment on my post about joining Facebook yesterday. I really appreciate it and sincerely look forward to connecting with you there, my friend.

♥ Jessica

Mac n' Janet said...

We're enjoying the winter days too, not looking forward to the hot summer. Mac has all of the George Evert Evans books and likes them very much.
I would love to do some family research onsite and as we're back to Spain again this year I'm hoping to visit the village that Mac's maternal grandparents came from.

Zuzana said...

It is inspiring that you can use great winter days for something productive.;)
A research into family history is very intriguing, I never tried it as my family has been moving around too much.;)
Thank you for always finding the time to visit me and leave lovely comments.;)

kerrdelune said...

I shall look for these books, Rowan, and you have reawakened my interest in crosstitch. Thank you for that!

Clara said...

It's so nice and relaxing to do needlework on a winters day. I've been knitting also. I love making cuddly scarves to keep my neck warm.

Have a lovely week Rowan.

Unknown said...

Dear Rowan, I am finally a little more techno friendly! It is a new experience indeed. I am very much looking forward to receiving the cross stitch. You are very talented and as always your many different pursuits are an inspiration. I am also looking forward to digging around in the family history. I am hoping for winter days to pass soon and then you can visit Suffolk on e again. I will keep an eye open for some interesting books!
Keep warm