Bloomin-eck it's been cold here this week! Winter has arrived in Atticland, just like that. It was so sudden that it came as a bit of a shock and I couldn't quite believe how cold my extremities suddenly felt, or how different my neighbourhood suddenly looked. In my mind, I think of the change in seasons as being a slow, gentle merge, but not so this year. This year, the Summer/Autumn transition was very abrupt and now it's the same with Autumn/Winter. Straight into it, no messing.
At the beginning of the week we experienced a sudden drop in temperature and ice happened. Puddles froze over and parts of the canal became frozen, but most magically of all, the leaking drainpipe at the side of the canal towpath produced icicles. Dangling from the ivy that clambers up the side of this old mill building, making me stop so abruptly in my tracks that I almost dropped my shopping. Real, beautiful, picturesque, wintry icicles.
Beneath the icicled ivy there is a bush which also receives the ice treatment when the temperatures fall beneath zero. Very beautiful indeed in a brrrrrrrrr-freeeezing kind of a way.
Often this week there has been a hard, cold grey light, and a certain wintry bleakness to the landscape. It has been a week for wrapping up warm, for hats, gloves and scarves. I am still happily wearing my crochet makes from previous years (here, here and here) and love the warmth of cosy crochet on head, hands and neck.
On Monday J had the day off work, so after the Little People were safely deposited at school and nursery, we took a walk together. Along the canal, past the waterfall, underneath the castle and up into the damp woodland. Round the pond, up the steep steps, a climb through the wintry trees then out into the open alongside green shadowed fields. It was so cold! We walked and talked our way back down into town and into a large pub for morning coffee beside a roaring log fire. It was a good morning.
Even though the glorious Autumn leaves have now gone, there is still some bright colour out there. Lots of berries this year, on bushes.....
....and in trees. Does anyone know what this tree is called? I spotted it in a front garden in town, it's decorated with the most delicious clusters of pale pink berries. I gathered the image of them safely into my Creative Mind to be stored until I enter Winter-Wreath-Making mode. Pale pink berries, how wonderful! I am quite excited that I get to legitimately include pale pink in my Winter wreath.
My Attic view is about as wintry as you can get without actually having snow land on it. I wonder when the first snow will come, the Little People keep asking me as if I really should know these things. I need to ask my milkman, he is the Fount of All Knowledge when it comes to forecasting the local weather.
It hasn't been all grey this week though, we had the most beautiful skies on Wednesday.
It looked as though someone had thrown a whole load of fluffy cotton balls at the sky. It was so lovely to look at, I spent much of that day gazing skywards.
The fluffy sky was reflected beautifully in the canal water too, it made me happy on that cold day.
Little B and I went on an expedition into the depths of the Attic Eaves a few days ago. He shone the torch and I went in on my hands and knees to search out the cardboard box marked "Advent". Inside the box there are various bits of Christmas decorating paraphernalia and of course, my beloved Advent Garland. Such a joy to see it again, and funny too reading back thorough my post about making it as I was heavily pregnant carrying Little B at the time. Four years ago, cripes. You can read the Ta-dah post here, and the post about the making of the stars is here. If you fancy making some Granny Twinkle Stars, there is a full pattern/tutorial on the Royal Sisters blog here.
I also unpacked my Jolly Festive Bunting, ready to hang on the mantel tomorrow when we celebrate the beginning of Advent. Very sweetly, the Little People were delighted about getting these crochet decorations out and hanging them up. Their delight makes me want to shed a few tears. I absolutely love building these little traditions for them and helping to shape their festive memories. How precious childhood is, how very, very precious.
One other thing that came out of the Advent box was our musical Christmas House tin. It has a little wind-up mechanism that plays a very tinny rendition of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", and each year I fill it with chocolates at the start of Advent. The Little Peeps love it cos they get to eat chocolate snowballs at odd times of the day, and I love it because I can conveniently use the aforementioned chocolate as bribery. Go and get dressed in the next five minutes and you can have a chocolate from the Christmas Tin! The results are nothing short of miraculous.
To counterbalance the onset of Winter, I treated myself to a new candle. I bought just one :: a delicious stripy little number from a rather posh gift shop in town. I am completely in love with it and am torn between really wanting to light it, yet not wanting it to melt. Sort of a bitter sweet treat really.
This week's market flowers are pink roses. It took me by surprise that I bought roses as I don't very often, but the colour of them was so cheery in the grey of the cold day that I kind of fell under their spell.
They look lovely on the table, an unexpected memory of summer time.
I've been working on my latest hooky project during short snatches of time in my busy days. A square here, and a square there. Today I managed to photograph a quick tutorial for making these little squares, and I will share that with you next week.
It's exactly three weeks until Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. I'm weirdly enjoying these short days actually, mainly because it gives me the chance to experience sunset at 3.30pm as we walk home from school. But at the same time I am relishing the thought that we are nearly done with them. Three more weeks. I've even got my special Winter Solstice Candles ready.