.......... and I have been busy doing lots of other stuff! Lots to catch up on.
Austin was home for a short two weeks and we spent a wonderful weekend doing family things, visiting some beautiful places and catching up on news.
The weather has been well ....... wintry, lots of ice and a good covering of snow.
Undaunted we visited one of my favourite places, the medieval city of Ely. Situated on the fens the awesome cathedral is visible for miles on a clear day. In my internet research I discovered that this cathedral is considered one of the seven wonders of the medieval world.
The Saturday street market was in full swing and we explored the shops, buying a few Christmas presents, had great fun in various charity shops and I even visited the Cromwell museum. Stopped for lunch at the Almonry Restaurant situated in the grounds of the cathedral. The restaurant is situated in the almonry's 12th century undercroft within the medieval buildings just a short walk from the cathedral. Hospitality has been offered here since medieval times. Austin and YoonMi in front of one of the beautiful vaulted columns decorated for the Christmas season.
Something I personally find sad is that whilst in France I visited many churches/cathedrals and with the exception of two popular tourist cities, entry was free and visitors have the freedom to wander around and enjoy the beautiful architecture. Entry to Westminster Cathedral is pricey at £15 per person and even Ely is no longer free to view. I know that the churches are expensive to maintain but it rather defeats the object of a place to worship if I have to pay to sit and enjoy the sanctitude. Most small churches are kept locked so freedom of access is very restricted.
The next day we visited the pretty village of Buckden. Its most famous landmark, Buckden Towers is documented in the Domesday Book and lists as visitors Henry III, Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII and Samuel Pepys.
There is a lovely church next to the Tower. The heavy old door was amazingly unlocked and we were able to explore a little inside. The wooden vaulted ceiling is decorated with a series of carved angels. We were discovered in the church by two elderly gentlemen who were at the church attaching Christmas lights! Not sure if they were amazed that we were visiting or concerned that we should not be there.
We visited the charity shop in the Church grounds, found some good books and a few little items to use with bears. I also discovered a vintage glass lemon squeezer in perfect condition, don't think it had ever been used. So much better than the plastic/wooden ones available now and just like my mother had many years ago.
Austin has now returned to Afghanistan and will only be back home in April next year. I know that I am not the only mother with a son serving in one of the most dangerous places in the world but I appreciate all the wonderful messages I have received.
The weather has been unusual for late November with freezing fog which turned all the trees into amazing white sculptures .............
spider webs into frozen strands of incredible beauty
even the iced leaves on the pavement caught my attention, the wonder of nature
Another reason for my tardiness in updating my blog has been my participation in a Photoshop on line workshop. Being entirely self taught with most computer programmes and muddling my way through Elements, I have realised that there are so many things I can now do. Very exciting but still not enough hours in the day!
The inclement weather has meant that our garden has become Grand Central Station to a host of birds. The lone squirrel who visited in summer seems to have brought along several companions, 'tho he grudgingly shares the wonderful food Megan puts out daily. My garden is now totally asleep, the fuchsias are looking very sad even in the green house with the heater. If they survive winter I can trim them back and re-pot them, hopefully they will survive.
Having to buy supermarket tomatoes is a bother, had got used to having a constant supply from the garden.
Finally, my two remaining Christmas bears, Gabriel and Jasper who will be listed later today on e-bay.
Well that is a lot of news, now I need to get back to work. Christmas is just around the corner, a tree to decorate and still have presents to buy!
Some of my South African friends have mentioned difficulty in accessing both of our blogs, please let me know if you have a problem. Have changed the background recently and the blog is very graphic intense, could be the internet service provider is not up to scratch.
When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers