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!