Midwinter Cottage

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The air is still.
The storm has passed. 
Stillness and silence pervades the cottage.
Jack is in his bed, and the boys continue to doss away the morning in the Lodge.
A midwinter scene repeated all across the northern hemisphere.
midwinter cottage 006Someone remarked on the increasing silence they noticed in the world around them.
Midwinter is a silent time, suffused with echoes and occasional sounds from strange places.
Places that are more difficult to pinpoint on the landscape…it’s a trick played on us by Mother Nature as she paces the dormitories of sleep and hibernation.
midwinter cottage 014Candles illuminate the darkness, dispelling matt grey for moving shadows.
Jingles of Christmas on the radio, some lovely, most rapaciously dreadful, urging the listener to get out now and spend, spend, spend!
And so the radio is switched off and music switched on, low and evocative.
Midwinter enchants us all with memories of stillness and light, fires and food…times past, selected for our personal album of memories.
midwinter cottage 005I found this photograph recently.
It was taken around Midwinter, in a photo-booth in London, when I first ventured away from home and Ireland.
Scents were what I most missed.
The scents of home, like turf and coal smoke, wisping out of chimney pots on rows of terraced houses.
London was filled with new, more exotic scents, especially places like Portobello Road Market on a Saturday morning, where Patchouli oil perfume lingered in the air.
midwinter cottage 004Working patchwork, brings me back to early days, in London and the sheer wealth of fabric shops and stalls, Laura Ashley and the love of William Morris retro!
midwinter cottage 007Colours, fabrics and textures continue to fascinate.
midwinter cottage 003Natural fabrics hold most memory…perhaps because they are from the natural world, where energy is hosted.
midwinter cottage 009Sackcloth and old lace cover a jam jar, filled with Honesty.
midwinter cottage 010Cotton gingham of various colours in the kitchen.
midwinter cottage 012Willow, wood and clay pottery, mugs and bowls.
midwinter cottage 015The morning, washed by soft midwinter light…not to be bought and packaged for Christmas, but absorbed by the celebratory soul.
midwinter cottage 013Blessings from this midwinter cottage…
 

A Good Barter

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The boys have lain on the sofa for much of the day, listening to music of one sort and another, as I have worked around them.

www.bealtainecottage.com 006The sewing machine in the Lodge has been clicking away, as I sort and sew material into pillow-cases.

It’s difficult to find good cotton pillow-cases, unless one is prepared to visit the city and a shop like Laura Ashley…in my dreams, methinks!

www.bealtainecottage.com 007Living on limited means, far from any city, just about means making it oneself!

I prefer to sew anyway, as the quality of items can be more easily regulated.

As the light of day fades into evening, other work comes into focus…

www.bealtainecottage.com 014Making sure there are plenty of logs in the baskets for the evening, along with tidying up the woodpile to make it safe from collapse!

www.bealtainecottage.com 025This is just one of several, that keep getting bigger, as my friend brings me more logs, in return for home-made wine!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012I took a walk around the upper gardens just as the light was fading.

www.bealtainecottage.com 018The leaves have almost finished their drop and cover the earth with such colour, that I have no intention of tidying them up…anywhere!

www.bealtainecottage.com 027Back indoors it’s time to switch on the main lamps and make a cosy nest for the evening.

www.bealtainecottage.com 030My little headless Venus is complete with her autumn face of berries, as the light fades into Midwinter darkness.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031Stay warm this evening…Blessings X

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Just a few left of the second and last print run…

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