Thursday, 23 January 2014

Little shoots of hope....




2014...the year has started mostly beautifully. We had a lovely Christmas, full of the memories we hoped to make. It was quiet but there was much laughter, many presents and way too much food!



If Christmas was about family, then New Year was friends...we hosted a fabulous (if raucous!) evening that got everything off to a wonderful start...


And since then, we have interspersed heavy & prolonged rain with periods of beautiful, mild sunshine...barely any of the frosty mornings we expect in January, let alone snow! These pictures are especially for my friends across the Atlantic..I know that so many of you are shivering under blankets of snow and ice right now. I hope these restore your faith that Spring will arrive, the grass will be green and the birds will sing in trees full of buds....one day soon...


In the churchyard, the signs are everywhere...





I planted those bulbs last September. Many of the residents here do their bit to keep the churchyard beautiful...we plant bulbs, pull weeds...not enough to make it too tidy, but enough to stop it getting choked and overgrown...


Snowdrops are everywhere in little groups...


I love the bright, shiny aconites that shelter under the huge old beech...


More snowdrops are under the laburnum. In our garden, too, there's plenty going on..I even have a couple of purple anemones flowering!


The hellebores nestle...you have to search a bit for their beautiful flowers, but they're there...


And bulbs are sprouting everywhere....





The honeysuckle that climbs the pergola is sending out new leaves and shoots...





And I have left the beetroot alone...it's safe under that rich earth and we can pull it when we need it to make soup or to roast with goats cheese and garlic...


Although the garden is mainly green & brown right now, there are splashes of colour from the winter jasmine that grows up and over the wall..


I bring colour inside. This beautiful primula was a New Year present from a dear friend...


& these little tete a tetes are a reminder of their larger cousins that will soon bow and flutter just outside those windows...


Of course, it IS still January. There is plenty of time for surprises. It may freeze & snow in February or March...but for now the sun is warm and mellow as it lights up our living room...



And I will know what is under that snow, if it comes...and that it can't be too long before it bursts out again!

We are all sad today....my Mum & Dad's little rescued Cavalier, JoJo, died very suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of only 7 overnight. She had been fine on Tuesday night but yesterday morning she was gravely ill with some sort of terrible infection and despite the best vet care, Mum received the saddest call when she woke up today.

She had the sweetest character...not a bad bone in her body. Her long, feathery tale would wag for anyone and she would look up at us adoringly with her huge eyes, especially if we were holding something tasty! She enjoyed a wonderful life on the farm and we're so thankful that her final illness, though shocking, was mercifully quick.

Goodbye, little girl...






....you will be sadly missed xx