Thursday 31 December 2015

A Windy Day

I could hear the wind as soon as I woke up yesterday morning howling around the farm buildings. Quite a few of the roofs rattle as well. Sky the sheepdog like many collies is very sensitive and she doesn't like the wind. She was shaking when I fed her and we have to be careful she is shut it or she could run away. The drive to Nailsea was both windy and wet. They were announcing in Tescos not to leave your trolley loose in the car park in case of damage to cars.
This seemed perhaps the day for No. 10 in the Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt A Windy Day. I have had one attempt at this already and despite being nearly blown away the results were not fantastic. Can you see how furled the leaves are on this ivy bush? Not really!

Or perhaps the ripples from the wind on this puddle? (Yes I know puddle no. 6. I've got more of these for another day)

Well these trees are definitely bent from the wind.

I know you can say it. They aren't exactly brilliant. So I tried again today. I had a go at staging it. I popped Emma outside in the elements.

The result? A bit of a blur! The tree behind her was all over the place but take a picture and you can hardly see it!

Believe me when I took this the tree was swirling. The bird feeders were swinging and the water was pouring over the yard!
I guess its back to the drawing board. How are you getting on or are you keeping it a secret?

Wednesday 30 December 2015

The Final Pairs

It is the last of Helena's Pairs today before her new meme starts next week. I have chosen another flower that is showing extraordinary behaviour for the time of year. The sun was shining when I was at my parents yesterday morning and so out with the camera I went. These hellebores are a spring flower but are already blooming. Each of these blooms has quite a different centre.
They could be described as with

Or without 

From what I can gather from reading online. The first flower shows the pre fertilisation whereas the second shows the post fertilisation having lost all its stamens and parts essential to pollination and fertilisation. We were curious as to how all this could have happened so early but I actually wonder if the top flower is from this coming season and the the second is left from last season and due to lack of frost has not died away. 

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Daffodils in December

There are rather lanky and slightly tatty daffodils in flower in our drive. They are rather ahead of themselves.

Curiously the snowdrops that would normally come first are barely visible.

Monday 28 December 2015

A Star

I am trying to pick out items from the Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt that have a festive theme while we are still in the Christmas season. No. 4 on the list is A Star. When I first saw this I thought of stars in decorations. There are of course lots of different ways one could photograph a star. I am not much of an astronomer and my camera lens wouldn't be up to capturing a star in the night sky.
 I thought about stars as rewards. I recall when I started at Secondary school the teachers would give stars in your book for good work *** Three stars meant a Credit Mark and we soon learnt which teachers dished them out liberally and those who only ever gave half a star at a time.
 Then of course there is my old room mate from college whose son is fast becoming a star. He has recently produced his first album and won the BBC Introducing Award 2015.

Then we return to the festive theme and all those Stars on our Christmas tree from the wobbly one on the top balanced above the angel.

To lots adorning the branches.

It just goes to show that a star comes in many disguises!

Sunday 27 December 2015

Boxing Day Evening

When the sun went down on Boxing Day the sky hinted of better days to come with an interesting colour.

It was also great to see by photo how the youngest member of the family was progressing with his presents. We have not been able to see my great nephew and his mum and dad this holiday. Our present was of course his very first John Deere tractor. I am glad to see that he also practising his fencing skills.

Saturday 26 December 2015

A Few Snippets

Yesterday was a busy day with little time for photos. The day for us started at 6.30. Brian was up and out for the first trip round the hen house. Then it was back for coffee and croissants and a bit of stocking opening. 

There was a pair of appropriate socks for the Lady Farmer.

Lots of bits and bobs for everyone.

Although some were not so lucky.

We did find time for some pictures of the full farming team!

Friday 25 December 2015

Happy Christmas

It is for the first time in 34 years that there has been a full moon on the night before Christmas. The skies were clear here and the silver globe dominated the sky.

Wait though! What is that crossing the sky on the left? I do believe it's Santa Claus with his headlights full on. I hope he doesn't hit a plane!

It was quite a bit later before he called at our house. We had to collect them from the pub first! Still he didn't forget and their stockings are full this morning.

Happy Christmas to you all on this extraordinary mild Christmas when I have daffodils in my kitchen !


Have a lovely day.

Thursday 24 December 2015

Nearly There

I am having a quick sit down after lunch collecting my thoughts as to what still needs to be done. The advent candle tells us that Christmas Day is nearly here even if my older daughter didn't realise it was Christmas Eve when she got up.

The snowman and his snowdog are on the cake.

The decorations are all up including a few additions. These retro ones which remind me of those concertina streamers.

A little memento from our visit to Highgrove.

Then some old favourites.

The presents are under the tree.

With secrets hidden within.

It looks like we are getting there! So on with the cooking.

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Pairs: Christmas Wreaths

Well are you all getting excited? Only two sleeps to go! It has to be a Christmas related Pairs today for this great meme created by Helena . I am also linking it to The Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt for No. 8 A Wreath.
These have been both made my younger daughter. Her creations far outweigh the quality of my photos.




Or perhaps Vertical and Horizontal.  Outdoors and Indoors.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Tuesday 22 December 2015

The Winter Hunt Item No. 2

Almost every house must have some of Item no. 2 on the winter photography scavenger hunt in their house at the moment. Tinsel. The question is how to photograph it? Socks the cat seems keen to help.

Ok so I admit this second one is a bit staged.

Monday 21 December 2015

Me on Monday: Deck the Halls

A festive wave to Sian who created this Monday meme and also to all the other Monday bloggers. It's now the beginning of Christmas week and I am sure that all the youngsters are counting the number of sleeps left (It's 4 by the way).
It's been a mixed weekend of time spent with my parents to help care for my dad and time at home preparing for Christmas.It kicked off Friday evening with a Christmas meal out with friends. We returned to an old favourite The Bathwick Boatman, a delightful restaurant above the old boathouse on the river Avon. It always brings back memories of visiting the boathouse to hire rowing boats to row up the river. The food there is always delicious and this was no exception. I kick myself for not fishing out my phone for a photo of the dessert. A rose water panacotta with Turkish Delight and chocolate sorbet. I felt like a judge on Master chef sampling this exotic dish.
Saturday afternoon and evening was set aside for decorating our tree. I have said before that our trees are always interesting shapes as they are our own overgrown tree tops. This year is no exception.

We had full attention from two of the cats who watched with increasing fascination.

I think they were dreaming which bauble will be first in their clutches, hopefully not one of these.

Younger daughter has been busy making wreaths and table decorations. A therapeutic relaxation after her university interviews and studying.

I am just hoping she will find it equally therapeutic to clear up after herself! 
Sunday was a roast chicken day along with more stollen making, pastry and shortcake mixture making. In the early evening I left older daughter mince pie making, younger daughter still making decorations and husband farmer hanging up cards to return to stay with my parents for the night. So here I am on Monday morning ready to return home before Tescos arrives with the food shopping. Don't forget that today is the shortest day so the days can only get longer! Have a lovely festive week everyone! 

Sunday 20 December 2015

Reindeer in Wellies

Should you happen to see Santa looking for his reindeer and sleigh you can remind him that he has left them in Mole Valley Farmers in Frome. I'm not sure how far they will get in those wellies though!

Saturday 19 December 2015

Christmas Lunch Club

I have mentioned before that I have been helping with a monthly lunch club for the elderly. This week we held their Christmas lunch. The hall looked very festive with the tables laid up. My mum helped me make some table decorations with some holly from her garden to brighten up the tables.

We had 33 very satisfied attendees who thoroughly enjoyed their two course meal for £5. One lady told me that it was a far better meal than one she had at a local "smart" hotel for £45, praise indeed!
Entertainment was provided by a local school singing Christmas songs as they ate their Christmas pudding. They were all delighted by this.