Sunday, 14 December 2014

Castleton, Derbyshire

Yesterday we spent most of the day in and around Castleton, Derbyshire which is an area that we often go to as it's a fairly short distance from where we live.  It was a cold, bright day when we started out, but we took it slowly as we knew that we would find ice and some snow as we drove towards Castleton.

Castleton, Derbyshire

This weekend was the last opportunity to visit St. Edmund's Church
for the Festival of Christmas Trees organised by the Friends of St. Edmund's,
a group dedicated to preserving this old church.
 There were 50 trees, many of them real and these had been given by the National Trust.
Each tree had been decorated by a local organisation and it was obvious from
those that were represented that each one enriches the life of the village
and surrounding area.

St Boniface, an English monk who was sent to Germany as a missionary in the 7th century chose a fir tree to explain the everlasting love of God.  Speaking to the people he indicated a small fir tree and said,

"This little tree, a 'young child' of the forest, shall be your holy tree tonight. It is the wood of peace, for your houses are built of the fir.  It is a sign of an endless life, for its leaves are ever green.  See how it points upward to heaven.  Let this be called the tree of the Christ-child; gather about it, not in the wild wood, but in your own homes; there it will shelter no deeds of blood, but loving gifts and rites of kindness."

In medieval times in Germany the tree was decorated with apples and referred to as 'The Christmas Tree'.  The tradition spread and when Prince Albert came to be married to Queen Victoria he introduced the Christmas Tree and it has become a popular feature of Christmas ever since.

Here are some of the trees on display that caught my eye.

The Girl Guiding Movement

The local primary school

The Mothers' Union

The Women's Institute

Hope Valley Medical Aid Fund

The Samaritans

The Blue John Mines and artisan workshop

Treak Cliff Cavern

The needlecraft group

The local geological society

Local choir groups

St Edmund's flower arrangement group

The Castleton Historical Society
The theme for this year
'Christmas Cards of WW1'

Box pews with date 1676

The Advent Wreath

stained glass window dedicated to Dorcas and St. Edmund 

When we came out of the church the weather had changed to sleety rain so we went into the visitors' centre and museum, a gift shop and then it was time for a welcome hot drink and a teacake in one of family-run restaurants in the village.

   Roast chestnuts and a hot drink anyone?

'An old-fashioned Christmas' display in the Museum

Winnat's Pass

Treak Cliff and Mam Tor (Mother Hill or Shivering Mountain)

Treak Cliff Cavern entrance

I walked up Treak Cliff to take a look at the view over towards Edale before we drove home.

Treak Cliff in September when we visited the caverns with our
grandson who enjoys hill walking.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

A garden centre visit

    When we were out the other morning we couldn't pass by one of our two local
garden nurseries without going in as it's a good place
to buy gifts, get some inspiration for decorating the home this season
and gardening in the new year.
The site is extensive so walking around outdoors and in the various
 indoor departments is a pleasant way to browse and shop
away from the crowds. 

There was a whole room dedicated to pretty, twinkly Christmas
decorations and plenty of indoor pot plants, which I was much more
interested in. I wanted to add some more natural greenery around our
living rooms and I bought a tray of three small buckets of Delft Blue hyacinths
and a bowl of White Pearl hyacinths. 

I've set up a Nativity creche which was a gift that one of our grandsons
 gave us last year made from a balsa wood kit.

  Today I bought a bunch of white roses from Lidl - always good value for money.
I'll put the Christmas tree in place and decorate it in a week or two.
 Some Christmas cards have started to arrive
and I want to think of a new way of displaying them.

The weather was beautiful again today - very cold, but sunny,
so a good time to get out and about when there's the opportunity.
I hope you're having a peaceful weekend.