Snow! Snowsnowsnowsnow

I love snow.  Why I live in the southwest of England, given this, is a bit of a mystery.  Although, as I have frequently documented on this blog, the southwest has many other redeeming features which may make up for the lack of frequent snow.

Two weeks ago, though, there was proper snow.  The sort you have to shovel.  We were away for some of it (see previous post) but when we got home on the Sunday there was shovelling, snowball-throwing, and hot cocoa-making.  I took a few photos but as it was cloudy, things weren’t as sparkly white as I would have liked.  Still- snow!!  (It’s now a distant memory, sadly…)

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A wintry visit to Dartmoor

For my Christmas present, Mark arranged for us to take a long weekend trip down to Dartmoor, to stay in a manor house hotel near the moors and luxuriate in good food, lovely surroundings, and quiet winter walks.  The trip was absolutely wonderful and coincided with snow, which made everything a bit more magical.  We woke up on Friday to a dusting of snow, which was more pronounced on the top of the moors.  A snowy walk around a reservoir worked up our appetites for afternoon tea and cake.  The following day we went to visit Tintagel, the mythical birthplace of King Arthur.  As it was winter, the shops selling tacky plastic swords were mercifully shut, and some wild and windy weather made the castle ruins very atmospheric.  In fact, I don’t think they often get weather other than ‘wild and windy’, given the castle’s position right on the edge of the west coast, jutting out into the sea.

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Sparkle dust

Frost in the sunshine is one of my favourite winter things.  I feel so lucky to live in the countryside and have the possibility of waking up to sleepy hillsides with mist rising and frost on the fields twinkling in the sunshine.  It has been warm-ish and soggy the past few weeks, not proper winter at all, but this weekend we are due for a frost and I cannot wait to wake up and go for an early-morning scrunch across the fields.  (Just IMAGINE how excited I will be if it snows, which I am sure it will not, but maybemaybemaybe it will!)

I took these photos a few weeks ago, during the last cold spell.  Fingers crossed for similar scenes tomorrow.

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A New Year’s walk

New years’ day was sunny and glorious- hopefully a sign of things to come.  We walked around Blagdon lake, sometimes on footpaths and sometimes on country lanes.  The views were beautiful, and the lake very quiet.  It is a nature reserve and a habitat for lots of birds and other wildlife.  I feel very lucky to have this landscape on my doorstep.

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Sunny house views

Sunny days at home have recently been rare indeed.  A little while ago on one such day I dug out the camera and decided to see what I could see just lying around the house…

It appears our house contains quite a number of dairy-related objects, appropriately enough since it was once a dairy farm.  We get our milk delivered by the local milkman, which is fantastic (not having to constantly say to myself ‘ooh I must remember to pick up some milk on the way home’ is a revelation).  Continuing round the house, we found a small milk jug in France this summer which we now use as a kitchen-top compost bin.

(There is also the large milk churn outside the door which I’ve previously written about.)

Next to the milk jug on the kitchen windowsill is a pot of succulents which, despite neglect and ignorance on my part (they seem to sprout new bits randomly and spontaneously, how do they do that? How can I make one big one instead of lots of small ones, and vice versa? These are questions I do not currently know the answer to, although I am aware, as ever, that they are just an internet search away) have been alive since some time in 2011.

And, in turn, next to the pot of succulents is another find from the brocantes of France- an earthenware jug in which we keep washing-up paraphernalia.  I like containers.

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A midwinter walk

Christmas has come and gone, and it’s a new year.  We went for a walk along the top of the Mendips in between downpours the other day, and found a new route.  Now if we can just live here and explore for the next 20 years, we might have as many walking routes as my uncle Tim has in North Yorkshire!

We found a crumbling stone barn, a field of sheep, and lots of puddles.

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This sheep was remarkably clean, considering the weather we’ve had.

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Mark patiently waiting for me to finish taking photos…

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