Thursday, December 30


Two of the five grand daughters had a sleepover here this week.
I can't believe that they are nine now.
They brought paints and brushes with them but only Essie painted.

I love the freedom that the young have when they paint and draw.
She did this without actually looking at the vase.
It sits on the dining table and the look of it has just gone into her memory.
Meanwhile Izzie set the table, dried the dishes and watched a DVD!
It takes all sorts to make the world go round!

Tuesday, December 28


" Right, here's how it is, Football's cancelled...not the weather no...bosses say that there's been something big going down in Bethlehem.
So back to Egypt then!"

[ Alan's new footballing camel...don't ask!"]

Saturday, December 25

Friday, December 24

Happy Christmas

We pray that your Christmas will be peaceful and fun of love. Thankyou for all of your comments and kindness to us here at the Potters house Penketh.

Advent Christmas Eve.

Friday the Twentyfourthday in Advent.
Christmas Eve.

Earth holds it's breath.

Thursday, December 23


Thursday the Twentythird Day in Advent.

The festival of Christingle.
A Moravian Festival.
I love all of the different customs that take us through the dark days.

Wednesday, December 22

A Poem for Thursday.

Fat Chance.

When I was young
and cash was rare,
I couldn't get the key to fit.
My dreams were big
but full of air.
Fat chance of ever making it.

And Simon Barnes
has made it clear,
Why I could never reach my goal.
I should be there
but ended here.
Like Alice down the rabbit hole.

One for the Poetry Bus.


Wednesday the Twentysecond day in Advent.

" Baaaa...don't leave us out here
we want to see what's happening too".

Tuesday, December 21


Tuesday the Twentyfirst day in Advent.

December 21st.
The sun stands still.
Earth holds it's breath.
A northern sleep.
The heart cries out for good news.

This too will pass.

Monday, December 20


Monday the Twentieth Day in Advent.

"Come let us go a-carolling"

Sunday, December 19


The Fourth Sunday in Advent.

There is a prehistoric site in Co. Meath in the heartland of Ireland
called Newgrange
It is said to be 5000 years old, constructed even before Stonehenge.
From the 19th of December until the 24th is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere.
Before oil lamps, before gas lamps and before electric lighting,
People were worried that the light would not return.
So the building of Newgrange was constructed so carefully that for 17 minutes each day of the solstice,
the sun, or the light shone into the Newgrange.
That was their hope.

so if all that we have is hope...
There is no need to be ashamed.

Saturday, December 18


Saturday the Eighteenth Day in Advent.

If you are following a star
make sure you are following the right one!

Friday, December 17


Friday the Seventeenth Day in Advent
The snow has returned and the fire is lit.
But not all are so blessed.
I love the thoughts of this Irish poet.
This speaks for all who are homeless and cold at this Advent time.

An Old Woman of the Roads.

O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped-up sods upon the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!

To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!

I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!

I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed, and loath to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph!

Och I but I'm weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there's never a house or bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!

And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house--a house of my own--
Out of the wind's and the rain's way.

Thursday, December 16


Thursday the Sixteenth Day in Advent.

This is one of David Hockney's Phone drawing .
He gave a 24 hour time span, to upload it awhile ago.
I love the winter sky...early morning.
What a man, what an innovator in the art world.
It's an Advent gift!

Wednesday, December 15


Wednesday the Fifteenth Day in Advent.

This week at The Potters House Penketh, we  had all five of the parties that we give each Christmas for our art groups.
They are  fun!
The Tuesday evening gang have been together for ages.
 Possibly fifteen years for some of them.
So it's  a bit of a mad time, and they always contribute yummy food .

They finish off the ceramics that they hope Alan will fire in time for them to give as presents...he usually does even when it means working through to midnight and beyond.

                                Then we party!

I always make a big batch of mince pies.

and two hot mulled drinks.
One "frolicky" and the other " non-frolicky". 
.........thinking of the drivers.

I bought these Russian tea glass covers when I lived in Folkestone many years ago.
To a girl from Belfast, it was a dream to be able to hop on a train and be in London in less than an hour.
So I trawled the streets looking for little unusual shops selling goods from all over the world.

Bruce was one of the first to come to the group.
Watch out Alan...he's a very good potter now!

Maureen in the foreground has also been coming a long time.
And others have joined over the years.

Quick ...get one of those M. 'n' S goodies before they all go!

Done and dusted for another year.
What fun!

Tuesday, December 14

Christmas foodie presents.

Oh, oh, oh!
This is the most exciting two weeks of the year.
Since we all decided as a family to cut down on the bought and make up with the made....
I've been on a foodie jaunt.

Do you remember those cherries that I was able to pick off the tree that Sydney gave us,  Alan's dad ?
Well it was the first time that we actually had a harvest from it .
Syd didn't think that it was ever going to produce, so Alan had  dug it up from his dad's garden and planted it in our's.
This actually happened regularly with Syd. He wasn't the most patient man as far as fruit trees went.
Well he wasn't the most patient man...full stop.  Sadly he died shortly after that.
But,  to Syd goes all the credit for buying this tree, as now I can make Cherry Brandy from the produce!

Over the months I had regularly turned the bottle upside down to make sure that all of the sugar was dissolved in the brandy.
I choose some interesting bottles .
These  get a good scrub with a toothbrush on a get into the corners, and are then filled with boiling water, to sterilise them.
Then the careful pouring of the ruby coloured liquid begins.
I'm careful not to lose a drop.

And I pour until all the cherries are freed, and the delicious nectar is safely in the bottles.

Then all that is left to do is to label and hide them until christmas morning.

Oh...and have a little snifter of a glass myself ...just to make sure that it has been successful.
Yes we're on a winner! 

Now there's just the blackberry whiskey, the  damson gin and the summer fruit topf to sort out.
.....honestly woman!....


                  Tuesday the Fourteenth day in Advent

So you go to Florence, and you make for St. Mark's.
You get to the bottom of the stairs and start to climb.
Lots of other art tourists are around you, so the climbing is slow.
Then at the turn in the stairs you get your first glimpse.
Beato Angelico.
How did you ever manage to paint this annunciation?
You tear up a little.
It's a magic moment.

It's one of those moments in your life
when all around you is the sharp intake of breath.
And then the long sigh.

Let's go and have another look!

Monday, December 13


                           Monday the Thirteenth Day of Advent.

If Christmas is coming,
then there must be a circus nearby! 

Sunday, December 12


   Third Sunday in Advent.
A little more light once again.
We need that!

Friday, December 10

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

I've  taken this from The weavers site as I want as many of my followers and friends to see this. Like Pat at the Weaver I've had tears from the beginning. So enjoy!


Friday the Tenth Day in Advent.

Grand children arriving!
Putting up the tree.

Thursday, December 9

A poem for Thursday.


The grasses waved for me. 

The sands duned for me.

The waves lapped for me.

The birds skimmed for me.

The skylark soared for me.

The fog horns boomed for me.

And three swans, in formation,
Flew past overhead.
As I received the gift
Of the present.


Thursday the Ninth Day of Advent.

The man on the path
and the winter sun.

Twelve more days and the sun will turn!

Wednesday, December 8


                           Wednesday the Eighth Day in Advent.

" Do you know son, I think we''ll stay up north. It's a lot colder than down south pole at the moment!"

Poem for Magpie Tales. Mag 44.

This is the photo prompt for Mag 44.
I think it's a slippy sliding sleigh...hope it is , 'cause that's my poem.
As Simon and Garfunkel  sang, "Slip Sliding Away".

Don't tell me fairy tales.
Stories for innocents.
Romantic nonsense
That you never meant.

Lullabies at bedtime.
Tales for old men
Crutches for my fears
Now and again.

And don't try to cover up,
What is reality,
When life doesn't mean
Very much more to me.

Though I fill my glass,
Yet the wine has turned sour.
And time slips away from me
Hour by hour.

Can I believe today
Those stories of yesteryear.
When songs were sung and friends
 Were always so near.

Is this the sum of it all
Here on the top of this hill?
Waiting my turn, praying
I don't take a spill.

Nothing to do anymore
Simply to let the past go.
Loosen the cords and gladly
Give thanks for the now.
I'm thankful for now.
For the gift of the present.

Tuesday, December 7

Pink sky and Hoar Frost in Penketh.

This has been such an unusual week weatherwise.
I've moaned a bit...well more than a bit...and of this I'm truly ashamed!
It's a photographer's dream out there. And this is only the suburbs. It'must be glorious in the countryside at the moment.
Now I know it's hard getting around.
Just today a friend fell for the second time as she was on the way to have the plaster taken off the first break!
And I walked to another friend's home for coffee this morning...walking like a very nervous old lady [which I almost am, may I say!]
The fog landed on the trees and vegetation and settled there like sparkling diamonds in clusters.
And this afternoon the sky turned a gorgeous colour of pink!
Camera out!

Nature's Installation.


Tuesday the Seventh Day in Advent.

How remiss of me to forget to post St. Nicholas yesterday.

Happy Sinterklaas Day to all Dutch friends and followers!
Did you get any money or goodies in your shoes?

I took a couple of courses with a young Romanian Icon writer recently and this was one of the results.
As my granddaughter pointed out,"he isn't finished"
[His hand still has to be painted...I'll get around to it one day].

Monday, December 6

Ceramic Letters.

A new word completed recently.
Really I suppose Alan should have written "SNOW"!

Not many people made it to the studio today. The fog froze on the trees as it touched them.
It made for a wonderful scene, but rather dangerous underfoot. 

A winter wonderland.