All is calm, all is bright.....

So Christmas is nearly upon us....tomorrow, Christmas Eve, is my very favourite day of the holiday. The time when you are where you need to be and all the shops are closed and you can finally relax and enjoy each other and everything that is to come....the anticipation is so much of the joy!

We are very lucky to live where we live, in a beautiful church square. It means that we feel a real part of the celebrations as the bells ring almost every night for carol services or concerts....and they chime the quarter hour every day of the year. People imagine it to be intrusive, but we miss them so much if they don't ring - we're so used to them now. It's comforting to wake in the night and hear them ring and know that I'm at home!

These pictures were taken this morning, one of the frostiest I can ever remember here. Apparently it went down to -10c last night....I've filled up the bird feeders and my poor plants will just have to take their chances now. The rather smart gentleman with the briefcase is my darling on his 5 minute walk to scraping ice off the car for him...!

Some of our neighbours have the prettiest decorations.....and just outside the church walls is our very own stately home, once lived in by a famous parlamentarian and later a school, then sadly empty as it waits to be turned into apartments. I love to look at it and imagine a time when it's chandeliers would have been lit with real candles, it's cellars were full and life filled it's every room. There is even a tunnel that runs from it's cellar into the i'd adore to go back in time, just once, to see it in it's heyday!

I must go and scrape the ice and snow off the car, wend my way sloooooowly to my kitchen and bake the last few dozen mince pies, carrot cakes and trays of bakewell pudding. My aim is to finish everything by this afternoon and then spend tomorrow wrapping, walking Alice and packing the car with goodies before we set off for Mum & Dad's farm. I wish everyone a magical and so happy Christmas. Enjoy time with your friends & family and think of the beloved ones who can't be with you.....they're always in my thoughts and it brings a special poignancy to this season of seasons.



  1. Rachel, thank you for this most BEAUTIFUL look into your home. You live in a magnificent, magical place, with so much history! I especially loved the picture of your husband setting off to work, with beautiful stone buildings on one side and an old cemetary on the other; wow, talk about a gorgeous 'commute'!
    Wishing you loads of fun, moments of peace, and much laughter this Christmas!!!
    XO Dawn

  2. I can't believe it has taken me so long to find you. I see you over at Dawn's blog all the time.Dawn and I have become such good friends.It is a real small world...I am a friend of Susie Branch's too. She lives in Arroyo Grande, Ca which is about 15 minutes from me here in San Luis Obispo...when she and Joe are not on the Vineyard....

    I LOVE your blog and look forward to following year will be fun in blogland....

    Sending you Best Wishes for a very Merry Christmas...


  3. One more thing...your dog... Little Alice looks just like my dog Butterscotch..which we call Buddy..only Buddy is 8 pounds...a tiny dog...

    but they have the same face and are the same color...

    Buddy says Merry Christmas too...

  4. Thank you Rachel for this wonderful peek into your beautiful church square, everything looks so peaceful and scenic.

    I know what you mean about the feeling of security and homeliness when you hear a familiar sound, ours is the foghorn from the lighthouse on The Needles just off the coast of the Isle Of Wight. I love that the lighthouse and foghorn are welcome and guiding with light and sound for those lost at sea.

    Wishing you, Paul and Alice a truly wonderful and a very Merry Christmas with your family Lots of love
    Morwenna xoxoxo

  5. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures, it's a really amazing place that you live in. Just how I imagine Christmas in England! It's a wonderful time of the year, but also makes you miss the ones that you love so much but can't be with. I am sending out love to you at Christmas and hope that you had a great time, as I'm a little late with this greeting! xx


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