At bedtime the other night, my little one and I were reading a Jedi training manual. He was taking it very seriously and but reassured me that he wouldn't leave us to go to the Jedi Temple for training. He would stay with us and train in the garden.
This suits me just fine.
(This is not our house or our garden. Just our nearest beloved field.)
The twisted Willow cuttings from the garden went down well at the work party. The bunch is quite the beautiful monster, so I had to position it where it wouldn't reach out to hook it's tendrils into guests hair and festive knitwear.
I was impressed with how durable the cuttings all were. The Alliums have been around catching webs in the house as decor for a few months now, got sprayed, popped into boxes and cars, enjoyed a party, used again for another Christmas display and then had a car ride home again where we are enjoying them some more.
Honestly, I preferred the Alliums before I sprayed them white but oh well.
Meanwhile, it's wet and soggy in the garden and quite a few flowers are in bloom... which is lovely, but shouldn't it be a bit chillier right now?
On my leaf raking session a couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed the excuse to be in the garden despite wishing for a leaf blower. The care taker at work let me have a go with his and tried to put me off by telling me how heavy it was, but it didn't work. I would still like a leaf blower, if they weren't so bulky to store. Mostly, I would like it for playing with, seeing if we can make our face cheeks blow back, or taking revenge on clutter within the home... but seriously it would come in handy for blowing those pesky holly bush leaves out from the gravel instead of picking them out by hand. I wonder if anyone else on our road would like to share custody of a leaf blower...
Anyways, I pottered about, taking the time to notice this and that.
The Geraniums are still blooming. Perhaps they are sheltered in this corner from the cold and winds?
The Fennel is at the ready which is great because I just cut the flower heads to use as decorations.
The boys were excited about the cold spell and the ice
and we were all impressed with how well their den is faring after all of the rainy, windy weather we have been having.
The one Acer is still so sparky. This was two weeks ago, and there are still a few leaves holding on strong.
Soft little bunny tails are starting to appear on the Willow.
And I have taken my first proper cuttings from the Twisted Willow! All from the side, because I couldn't reach the top! The twisted willow is so sculptural and effective just popped into a vase. The trouble is finding one large enough to hold the branches without wobbling.
I later spray painted these and the other cuttings below with white and silver to be used in the winter party I am decorating for tomorrow night.
I'm not too sure what people think about me decorating with the "dead" stuff from my garden...
There was no sign of those occasional visitors: Social Nerves and Anxieties when I headed up North this past weekend to meet eight internet-fellow Folklings in Yorkshire for a weekend away.
I had only met Annie before (in real life), but of course there was no reason any social anxieties. Annie knows how to bring a good bunch of people together and the gathering and surrounding felt so right.
These Bivouac's felt like home, and though these ladies and I had only just met for the first time in real life, it felt so familiar.
No electricity and loving it.
Amid severe weather warnings, I arrived as blustery wind, rain and dark were setting in. Luckily at the same time as Jen, so we parked the cars, donned the walking boots, packed our bags and set off to find the bivouac together along this path (pictured here in the daylight of the next day.).
It was love at first squelch for me.
I do love mud.
We struggled to see any sign of a cabin in the dark, despite having a map. I tried to take us deeper into the dark forest, but lucky for us, she persuaded us to go back and look again where we had just been.
Because there is no electricity in the cabins and their backs are facing the path and set a ways behind the trees; we only just made out the roof of one of the houses, which thankfully turned out to contain other folks from our group- cozy together in the candelight with a warm fire going in the burner.
Jen's packing fit in nicely with the simple decor. Unlike my orange elephanted Sainsbury's shopping bag.
The cabin sleeps 7 comfortably. The duvets and blankets were lovely, but as the night wore on, and the chill crept in, I couldn't help wishing I was closer to someone that I could warm my feet on. A snuggle buddy.
The last time I tried to spoon a friend in my sleep, she whacked me big time.
So being that this was a first date of sorts, I thought it best not to wake anyone suggesting we huddle for warmth. I did lie awake being cold for quite a bit, wishing that I had been proactive with the fire earlier in the evening.
The cabins are so well-insulated though, so it really didn't get that cold.
The view from the loft bed is trees and sky,
and what a sky it was.
It may not show in the pictures, but the rain was persistent on our walk around the Druid temple the following day. Too wet to get the cameras out really, so these where taken in haste.
Although it would have been nice to get a few more shots, the wind and rain was perfectly delightful.
The overnighter in Yorkshire was so short but sweet and so I will have to be back. It feels like my kind of place.
I would love to stay in the lovely Swinton Bivouacs again one day. I know that my family would enjoy themselves here as much as I did and there is so much more to explore.
Folklings, it was lovely to meet you and I hope we can gather together again soon.