Brought to you from the Crafty Vintage fair, Brockholes Nature Reserve.
Well, we were there at the weekend anyway: perusing the wares (and buying a select few), drinking amaretto hot chocolate and walking through the woods. It was a beautiful day - bright and sunny and very mild - so of course a great many photographs were taken.
And too many photographs mean I get my collage on.
The weather has cooled down considerably since then. I still have no car (fingers crossed that should change by tomorrow) but fortunately the cold snap has brought with it brilliant sunshine. The past few mornings have been spent walking through the village and sitting in various church halls nursing hot cups of tea while Joe plays with his contemporaries.
Keeping local means I made an interesting discovery: the grain merchant (horse feed, chicken-keeping paraphernalia, bridles and so on) also sells fresh fruit, vegetables and free-range eggs. And Christmas trees. You just go around the back into a big barn and there's a stand with it all there. That's good to know as we have a butcher and a baker (no candlestick maker) but nowhere to buy carrots and potatoes. Or so I thought.
I've also watched the final of The Great Interior Design Challenge, which left me strangely unmoved considering I'd watched every episode.
Yesterday was quite exciting as Jay bought me an early Christmas present: a new smartphone. My emergency Blackberry has been consigned to history and I'm now back online without having to switch the computer on and sit shivering in the cold front room.
I spent a good few hours familiarising myself with my phone and - finally - started using Instagram. It's taking a bit of mastering (rotating images, mainly) but I'll get there. Of course, the juggling of various social media sites and so on is a whole other post in itself. But for anyone who's interested, here's my approach:
Facebook: can't be bothered so don't.
Twitter: sporadic. Mainly look at it when waiting around for something. Or trying to put off getting out of bed in the morning.
Pinterest: I do love Pinterest - so relaxing and inspiring... and I've lost many happy hours to it.
Tumblr: I try. I really do. It's not exactly fun though, is it?
Instagram: I want to do it and intend to, but not to the extent where it takes over from the blog. I've heard cautionary tales.
That's a lot to keep track of, isn't it? A bit more pruning wouldn't go amiss. Maybe something to consider in the New Year.
Christmas preparations are slowly happening. We did an Ikea trip on Monday and the usual happened: a lot of candles were bought. But we did pick up a few things for Joe, like extra tracks for his train set and one of those rugs which is printed with roads and a farm for him to play with his cars on.
There's a flurry of toddler parties coming up, and farmer's markets aplenty. We'll have reindeer in Ramsbottom on Sunday, apparently (to stroke, not to eat).
On Saturday we're going to Hebden Bridge. A Hebden visit's a pre-Christmas tradition for us: lots of beautiful independent shops to look inside so hopefully we'll get some more presents bought. I'm looking forward to it rather a lot...
Other than that: keeping warm, eating good food and enjoying the time of year whilst somehow not feeling overly stressed about it.
I'm planning on writing a post about my festive rituals in the coming weeks. I'd love to hear about yours too.
P.S. Not that I feel the need to explain, but the smartphone is my Christmas present. I just got it early. There'll be one more little something on Christmas Day. But we don't 'do' extravagant spending on ourselves, or anyone else for that matter. Not even Joe.
We do go a bit silly with the food though.