31 Dec 2014

Happy New Year!

After being snowed in since the evening of Boxing Day because of the icy hills in our neighbourhood
 we managed to get out to do some food shopping today.  We still have company 
and as our local daughter is working we have been looking after
our grandson whilst his sister has been staying with her friends.  The buses are 
running and he's able to come to us by bus.
As you can see, he made a snowman.
The snow is melting a little in the weak sunshine, but freezing again in the evenings.
It will be a quiet New Year's Eve and Day this year.

Wishing all of you and your loved ones a very happy, healthy and peaceful new year 2015.

27 Dec 2014

Our Christmas

Yesterday afternoon we arrived back home after a few days away and it was just as well we made the journey as we're now snowed in! Thankfully we don't have to go anywhere at the moment so we've settled down to a more quiet time after the Christmas festivities with different members of the family here in Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

The pearl white hyacinths started to flower on Christmas Day

After sitting around eating delicious food and relaxing we all went for a walk through Wentworth Estate. Although it was chilly there was no hint of the heavy snow to come in the evening. 
On 2nd January we went to see a grandson's performance in A Christmas Carol.

22 Dec 2014


Yesterday we lit the fourth candle on our Advent wreath and because today we're expecting our daughter to arrive for the holidays, this will be my last post before Christmas Day.

Christmas preparations have meant a busier time than usual and I'm sure that's the same for you, but it's also a time for engaging with one another, receiving guests into our home, hearing news and sharing in the joys and sorrows of friends and family as we reflect on the past year, being concerned for others in our neighbourhoods or around the world.

In the days before Christmas I've enjoyed decorating our home and we've had a lovely Christmas evening meal with the friends from Vietnam and China (who are studying for a Master's degree in accountancy and business studies) we've met through the university international friendship scheme, something that we've always done in my home town and Italy as my husband and I both know what it's like to live in another country far away from loved ones.  It can be an exciting, but also a daunting experience and the students appreciate being able to talk to local people; receiving a welcome in British homes.  They have many questions and it's good fun as we exchange stories about one another's lifestyle and culture.

We enjoyed a Christmas roast dinner with Christmas pudding
and two of the students made a sponge cake decorated with kiwi fruit.
The other young lady gave us a bouquet of beautiful red carnations.

On Christmas Eve we shall light the Christ-light on our Advent wreath,which will be a special moment in our home.

 Every blessing to you and your loved ones this Christmas.
May it be a very peaceful one whatever you're doing and wherever you are.

14 Dec 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.