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!