Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Midweek Miscellany


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.



22 comments:

  1. It looks like you've been busy, but with gentle, interesting things, not stressful ones. I think the market sounds wonderful and I'm glad to hear about the grain merchant's varied stock, I wish we had more places like that where I live. I got my first smartphone in April and I've been so happy to have it. My husband and I both bought relatively low-cost Android phones. I wouldn't say I'm addicted or that I couldn't live without it, but it makes some things so much easier, especially now that my children are both in school. Their teachers email a lot, and I would hate to have to wait until I was able to sit down with my laptop to read their emails, which can be sort of urgent at times. I don't use very many social media outlets myself these days. I used to be a daily Facebook user but have not been on in over a year. It just lost all appeal for me. I love Pinterest, but only use it about once a week. I don't use any of the others on your list yet. I think Instagram is the most likely candidate, but I haven't tried it yet. Maybe in the new year. I enjoy your miscellany posts very much and always look forward to them. I hope you're having a good week. Enjoy the toddler parties. :)

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer. I must admit I'm a bit like a teenager at the moment, glued to my new phone. But I know that, again like a teenager, the novelty will soon wear off and I'll be using it as needed.
      Instagram's quite good. Although I don't think I'll be making that move from blogging to Instagramming. I have to much to say!
      S x

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  2. No extravagant spending here either, especially not on us. I used to love taking my little people to playgroup. In fact we still meet every Thursday for coffee at someone's house even though the children are at school. The grain merchant sounds like an excellent place, I like local shops with all sorts of things for sale. CJ xx

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    1. Me too! And I'm glad you kept your little group going. I must say, I've met some really lovely people and made some true friends through going to playgroups. They can be a bit of a lifesaver. S x

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  3. Lovely to catch up on what you have been doing Sarah and it is always such a pleasure to see your lovely photos. You don't have to explain yourself about your presents, what you choose to spend your money on - or not - is totally up to you!! I am glad that you have your new phone though and that you love it a lot!! xx

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    1. Thanks, Amy - it's made life much easier being able to go online without firing up the computer every time... x

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  4. The first photo of brockholes is amazing!! The reflection on the water......I wish I'd taken it. I always find , on a family day out, that when I stop to take a photo they leave me behind. Then I'm constantly running to catch up. That's the benefit of Joe having shorter legs than my two. Don't waste your time justifying the smart phone, it's no one else's buisness, just enjoy!! Sarah

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    1. Thanks, Sarah - and I do get left behind when taking photos a lot of the time... you get used to it I suppose. More often than not Joe's being carried (not fun as he's getting very heavy) or wheeled along. He does like a good toddle though and what with all the faffing about that entails we don't get anywhere in a hurry!

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  5. Beautiful photos :) Enjoy your trip to Hebden Bridge. It sounds wonderful.

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    1. Thank you - and we had a lovely time!

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  6. Your photographs are stunning (I particularly like the last two). We're sadly lacking independent shops here but I've tried to shop locally for presents as much as I can. Pushing the boat out for Christmas food sounds a good plan to me.

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    1. Thank you - and yes, I had a good think about Christmas the other day (when I'd finally got my car back and was driving along). It's not about presents so much as we get older, is it? As long as we're warm and there's a tree up and lots of good food and drink and company... well, for me it really doesn't get much better.

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  7. Oh my goodness that top photo, I am absolutely speechless. I love the others too, you really captured the mood of the day but that first one...wow

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    1. I tried it in black and white too but colour worked best this time I think!

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  8. Lovely, lovely photos Sarah, and I do like the sound of your run up to Christmas. I seem, for various reasons, to be reduced to shopping online for gifts this year. We're talking Etsy rather than Amazon but it's still not the same as shopping in person somewhere nice. Give my love to Hebden Bridge, I know the ol' place well.

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    1. Thank you Annie.
      And we get rather a lot online at this time of year too. The Hebden visit's usually the icing on the cake - a few little unusual finds to make things special. It was a lovely morning well spent. I love the place too...

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  9. I agree your first picture is absolutely stunning. you really have a gift there

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  10. These photos are beautiful Sarah. The top one is gorgeous. It would make a beautiful print. It's lovely to see you on Instagram. Your social media roundup rings true for me too. Tumblr sort of baffles me. Anyway, it sounds like you're enjoying the run up to Christmas. Hebden Bridge looks and sounds wonderful. Wishing you a lovely week. Bee xx

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  11. Lovely, lovely photos Sarah. I did a lot of my shopping online this year some lovely independent places and some from the chains. I do like a bit of click and collect. Enjoy your phone and the freedom it gives you to browse online and be warm :) Have a great week xxx

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