Monday, 21 December 2009

Nearly There

Whilst shopping at the weekend I was pleased to see someone entering into the Christmas spirit! How are your preparations going? We're almost there, just the fresh food to buy on Christmas Eve. Hopefully, we'll be up and about early enough to get to Bridgnorth's bustling market and to indulge in a good hearty breakfast here as well. I've got my damson gin bottled ready to warm us on these cold winter evenings. Well actually, it's already been started and it's yummy, yummy yummy. Just the stuff needed to make watching Cranford on a Sunday evening even more enjoyable.

Most of the decorations are up.

Although I always leave some decorating for Christmas Eve because we have an abundance of ivy in the garden which just has to be one of the best things to bring into the house at this time of year.

New, snuggly Christmas pyjamas are ready

and I've been searching through these lovely books that Mr F surprised me with earlier this month.

Mr F. gave me another surprise at the weekend with a trip to see Wightwick Manor decorated for Christmas. I've been to this house at all times of year and it never fails to have the tingle factor. If I do ever win the lottery I will make the NT an offer they cannot refuse and move in to enjoy its Pre-raphaelite paintings and its William Morris decor - I'd be in Funky heaven!

We strolled around its magnicent rooms decorated in Christmas finery as we listened to the carol singers in the great hall. Their music followed us throughout the rooms and up to the minstrels gallery and even into the bedrooms leading off the landing. Everything looked wonderful with its natural Christmas greenery, flowers and candles - no balding tinsel here! I only wish that I could
have videoed the visit to share with you the atmosphere of my favourite place. You are not allowed to take photos of the interiors but Mr F. took one from the outside looking in. It's not brilliant but does give a little taste of its beauty, along with the painting of Janey Morris by Rossetti.

Sadly, they said I couldn't spend Christmas there, so I'll carry on with my preparations here in the Funkyhouse. Have a good Christmas ladies - don't work too hard, make sure you enjoy it.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Much Wenlock Christmas Fayre

There's nothing like seeing a donkey to make you feel all gooey and Christmassy is there? This chap (or lady) was at Much Wenlock Christmas Fayre on Saturday with his friends giving rides to youngsters in the town. This fayre is a ritual for us the first weekend in December, ever since Josh was tiny and he rode a donkey through the priory grounds to visit Father Christmas in his candlelit grotto. Nowadays we are accompanied by a sometimes reluctant teenager. This little fayre in this tiny town feels like no other. It really has that special feeling you get in a smaller community as shopkeepers and stallholders alike join in proceedings. There is a marquee selling local crafts and foods.

As well as stalls lining the narrow high street.

Vintage vehicles

You can always find something good to eat

and there are still favourite shops to explore and festive shop windows to peer through.

Ippikin has loads of funkiness going on with colourful wacky knits. If you enlarge the picture you might see some of their wonderful tea cosies. Mr F did buy me a little pressie from there...but of course I can't show you until after Christmas.

And of course you have to have The Salvation Army belting out some beautiful Christmas Carols.

After a busy morning and lunch at the fayre we moved on to Bishops Castle for more shopping and aftenoon tea. You can see more of Bishops Castle here. Our journey there and back meant a steep drive over Long Mynd at Church Stretton. The homeward bound journey was quite eerie as the mist and rain moved in. I'm not quite sure the photos show it at its mysterious best.

Of course when we got home we felt we needed more tea and cake!

Yesterday was still busy as we visited several garden centres looking for door wreaths. After much deliberation I chose this. Do you think it will do? I'm pleased with it as it is a little different to ones that I've had previously....time to ring the changes...but only a little.

One place we visited had a family of reindeers visiting for the weekend. No doubt they were having a nice rest before their busy time ahead. Each time the reindeer moved the bells on their collars made the most tremendous jingling sounds....just like Santa was already on the way.

Next weekend is tree weekend. Josh had a friend staying on Saturday evening/Sunday morning so wasn't free to come choosing trees with us. I don't think we would have been popular parents if we had chosen without him! I hope they still have some good ones know the type I that is exactly the right height, the right shape, a good straight bit at the top for fixing a star and branches that are spread nice and evenly throughout the tree. Oh and it needs not to shed needles everytime someone walks past. Please tell me if you see one!

Friday, 20 November 2009


This is the usual scene on Friday mornings as I return from the shops. Bags and bags of shopping - and these are just the things I can't get when we do our big shop at the supermarket. At least the bags are cheery and never fail to provoke comment from other shoppers or assistants in the shops. This morning's comment was from a pretty young lady selling copies of The Big Issue and yes, she was right, they are pretty. It sounds very silly but they do make the shopping trip a little more enjoyable. Fridays usually follow a particular pattern and I can't wait to get home and put the kettle on and sit down for a few quiet moments with a magazine before the shopping is put away.

I couldn't resist buying these pretty little lights today and think they look mighty fine wrapped around the wirework heart on the kitchen door. The only problem is that it does look a bit Christmassy - and the C word isn't allowed around here until December. Never mind, they make the kitchen feel cosy and I like cosy.

However, last Friday didn't follow this familiar pattern - I went somewhere posh! Can you remember my post about a special day in the spring when I spent a lovely day with friends at Coughton Court? Well, we've sort of had our Christmas outing early! None of us enjoy the usual work dos at this time of year. Restaurants overbook, there are large, rowdy crowds and the food is usually inedible. We decided that we deserved to be thoroughly spoiled and we certainly were - here at Brockencote Hall. Sadly, it wasn't snowing whilst we were there

it looked more like this

We all put our glad rags on. Do you like my velvet coat? It was it's first outing and I really enjoyed wearing it.

We were looked after so well and felt so pampered, no wonder this Friday feels very routine. I've got a couple of thank yous to make today. Firstly to Vicki at Anglesey Allsorts for the wonderful buttons and lace she sent me.

And also to Hannah at Lou Lou Loves Vintage for her lovely giveaway. The chocolate coins didn't last long Hannah - but I'm still enjoying the other things!

Monday, 9 November 2009

No Time For Blogging

I can't believe that I haven't had time to blog at all during October. I think that it has been a combination of decorating, half-term(not getting to the computer) and Josh being ill. I think that I've just about got rid of the dust after the kitchen refit and I feel ready to go again. Blogging wise that is. I still can't comprehend the disruption caused by re-fitting such a tiny space but at last I seem to have conquered the dust and hopefully I'm back now and can spend more time with my lovely bloggers. The kitchen is now complete, except that I haven't chosen a blind for the window yet. I am trying to be tidy but I know that the clutter and charity shop finds will find their way back in there but I just can't cope with minimalism. There is no particular theme for my post today, so I'll just show you a few things we've been upto. Well, there was a bit of baking over half-term week.

There were a few decorations for Halloween.

I've started collecting the Christmas editions of my favourite magazines.(Yes, I am still a magazineaholic).

I've also been very naughty and bought some new cookery books. (I think I ought to own up to the fact I am a bookaholic). I do love watching Hugh FW and believe he's back on t.v. on Thursday evening with a new River Cottage series - pure comfort t.v. for me.

Today, I'm cosying up in front of the fire

enjoying using my new favourite mug. (Yes, I am a mugaholic too). Perhaps I ought to show you my collection one day!

This Saturday was an incredibly important one for Mr F. His football team reached the 1st Round of the F.A Cup for the first time in their 133 year history. Not only that but it was a home tie against the mighty Walsall, five divisions above us.

However, a trip to Wembley is not to be this year, as we lost the game 1-0. Perhaps next year will be The Glassboys turn for glory. Oh, yes and Mr F. was able to buy a commemorative mug for the occasion. I'm sure you'll be disappointed to know that I couldn't photograph it today as it is sitting proudly in his lunchbox as a reminder of Stour's glorious cup run!

Monday, 28 September 2009

A Horrid Few Weeks....and an Apology

It's been a disrupted few weeks here in the Funky House. I just haven't had the time or the inclination to blog and in all the hoo haa and yukiness going on I forgot to post the result of the giveaway I did earlier in the summer - I expect everyone has forgotten about it now! Please accept this virtual bunch of sunflowers as an apology to you all. To choose a winner I did my usual scientific thing of chucking all the names in a hat and this time pulled out Steph's name at Curlew Country. I'll be in touch with you Steph to get your details.

The reason for all the trouble at home was because we had some work done on the kitchen. Everything is o.k. now and we are getting back into some kind of order but we have had so much trouble with deliveries, things being measured wrongly, rude incompetent staff at a certain DIY store that it really has been a dificult few weeks to get through and my mind has certainly been woollier than normal (and that's pretty woolly). At least we have had a gorgeous September and have been able to enjoy the last of the summer flowers

as well as some gorgeous sunsets.

I have also managed to make some damson gin. Last year I missed out on making this delicious winter warmer because there were just no damsons on the trees. Luckily, this year we were able to obtain some from my Mom-in-Law's neighbour. It will be ready by December and I shall look forward to sipping it as I'm watching something suitably cosy on the long winter evenings in front of the t.v. I am hoping for another series of Lark Rise to Candleford and until then I'm settling myself into the new series of 'Strictly', deciding who will be my favourites for this series.

Well, I think that's enough for today as I 'm trying to find my way back into blogging gently. I think this has been a rambly post and hasn't made much sense.....but I think that's just a sign of my messy brain at the moment. Oh, before I go, here's a peek at the new, unfinished kitchen.