I've taken the idea for this post straight from Jane Brocket! www.yarnstorm.blogs.com
Do take a look, Jane's is a nice blog.
I spent a lovely evening browsing 2011's photographs (we were stormbound - again) and here is one for each month - meaningful to me and I hope interesting for you. Will they make you think about what you were doing that month I wonder?
I hope you have had as good a year as I have. There are sorrows to look back on (an unexpected death, an ambition thwarted) as well as pleasures (a christening and a wedding, travel and meetings with old friends) but we tend not to photograph the sorrowful occasions...
What were you doing in January as I was relishing a summer blue sky day?
In February we were chasing dragons in Wales and learning to swim...
The snowdrops in the village are increasing nicely.
What were you busy with in May?
Lucy's June garden
July - honeysuckle,
We didn't sit out at night often in August...how was the weather where you were?
Playing with the camera.
Showing a friend Charles Rennie Mackintosh before going to Berlin in November
The magnificent real tree in Jenners in Edinburgh...
SLAINTE MHATH FROM SCOTLAND - HAVE A GREAT HOGMANAY!
That second children's book I bought this Christmas? (See 15 Dec for the first one.)
It's Peter Pan : a Pop Up Version with Sound, published by Templar books.
What I look for when I go to look at the year's Christmas books is that magic feeling that you are entering another world.
I'm first drawn to the illustrations. I then open the book slowly (I like endcovers)..and wait a moment. If I get the slightest hint of the feeling that I had when I was a child opening a new book, anticipating, holding my breath a little, then I know that the book has probably got 'it' - that special quality that makes it worth having in my collection. I do try not to judge too quickly, some stories need to unfold a little before you get caught up in them, but usually I know right away.
I can recommend this one as a magical book. It's very cleverly made and has enchanted both the children and the adults I have shown it to.
Big Ben strikes its familiar notes (If I was really clever I'd be doing the sound with this.....)
The children giggle...
The water laps and
a very sweet crescendo indicates the happy ending!
(Waterstones had it at half price today and I bought another - second happy ending...)
Unless you truly LOVE making a big production of it (and at this point in time you will know!) this could be a good time to tell everyone you're making Christmas simpler next year - they might be relieved....
You really can make it what you want it to be.
Now I'm having a little blog holiday. I really do appreciate you reading and your comments - thank you so much.
Peace on earth goodwill to all men is a pretty big ask....
but peace in my home and love expressed towards all those I hold dear and some generous gestures of goodwill to those who are needy, can mean we spread our love a little wider than our own home and our own family. And if we all do this....
The fact that on this one day of the year so many of us try, all around the world, is in itself no small miracle.
I think maybe we get nearer it on Christmas Day than on any other? And I see that maybe this is why I love Christmas so much.
Wishing you all a very very happy day.
It is midwinter, take a break.
I know, I know, you're too busy, but plan it. If you plan it it might happen!
Think about what would be a rest for you, and make sure you do some of it over the holiday..
Maybe it would be a rest from the cooking? Let someone else try their hand?
variations on a theme....(see 5 Dec)
Give With A Cheerful Heart
Presents should be a source of pleasure, but are often a source of anxiety, especially in the rush of Christmas. Gift giving is a huge subject, and can be a bit of a minefield. I put a lot of thought into presents. In fact I stress quite a bit about finding the 'right' present for each person.
I looked up the meaning of 'gift'. The sheer simplicity of the definition took all the pressure off somehow :
Something that is bestowed voluntarily and without compensation.
It was simpler after I read that, and a few decisions that I had been stressing over suddenly became easy.
If you are worrying Will they like it? What will they think? Have I spent too much? Have I not spent enough? Have I missed the last posting date? (You have!), take a step back and think of what it is really about.
It may be the religious festival, or just being together with family; taking a mid winter break, counting your blessings, helping others....What is it really about for you?
Focus on that.
It's only Christmas!
When the mist does lift it is so beautiful here that my spirits lift too.
These are the hills at the head of the Holy Loch a few days ago.
This is dusk from my window - the colours change every time I look out. I've yet to get a good photograph of the moon coming up over the mountain....
As we approach the shortest day my hibernation instinct gets stronger. It is a real struggle to get going in the morning. (It always is, but it's much much worse.)
There is a thick mist, the snow is dingy, the garden is mud. Passing the cards in the hall gave me a little jolt and I realise that one of the reasons for using red in winter must be to help keep us awake!
These perky little pegs for hanging the cards give a good little burst of wake me up colour (Paperchase last year) and work quite well. If you know of an ideal way of displaying Christmas cards, will you let me know?
Now, a good strong cup of coffee....