Posts Tagged ‘winter’

fireplaceBaby, it’s cold outside. And inside. We moved into our new house just under 3 months ago, and there is a lot to do. It’s a project, a do-er upper, a one-day dream house. One of the reasons that we managed to secure a house with such potential on a fab street in our amazing city is because of all the work that needed doing. And that included a serious lack in central heating. So it’s been a fairly mild winter so far, we thought we’d got away with it, but the cold snap seems to be snap snapping at our heels at the moment, and the house is getting cold…

So, it was time to get the chimney sweep in, he came last week with his special sweep contraptions and cleared our two downstairs fireplaces, and then we hit the local junk shop to get ourselves kitted out with fire-building paraphernalia…

And since then we have been perfecting the roaring fire. With all the joy it brings. Chopping logs, drying logs, de-slugging logs. Building pyramids of kindling, stacking up the coals, getting the core temperature up, and then, watching it burn. It’s a beautiful, memorizing thing. We sit and watch it, literally for hours. The flames jumping and crackling up the chimney. That deep orange glow of the coals. And the beautiful heat that it brings with it, although not able to warm up the whole of the house, certainly makes our downstairs living room cosy. I can shut my eyes and feel the heat against my face, and transport myself to a sunny beach a million miles away, away from that cold snap and the long English winter.


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It’s been forever since I last wrote a blog post. At least that’s how it feels. Nearly two months, I hang my head in shame. It’s not for lack of wanting to. I’ve thought about it a hundred times. There’s something happening. It’s winter. It’s dark, it’s cold, I’m slowing down and eating more. Wanting to curl up in a ball and hibernate.

I read an article saying that for some bizarre reason humans often feel the need to do EVEN MORE in the Autumn/Winter months (Northern Hemisphere!), it’s almost like a resistance to the seasonal change, an “up yours winter, I can keep going”, as we push harder at work, take on an evening class, rush around getting stuff done on the weekends.

We should, in fact, be listening to the seasons, and our bodies, and our minds. And hibernating. Or at least adapting accordingly (as much as I want to channel a hedgehog and curl up in a ball and sit under leaves at the bottom of the garden, I don’t think I’d get away with it).

So, for me, I’ve been getting home from work and relaxing, wrapping up in my blanket, putting my slippers on, eating the cosy food that warms me through, and having lovely hot baths before snuggling in bed. And. most importantly.. NOT FEELING GUILTY FOR DOING IT. At least pushing that guilt away when it comes.

So I’m trying.

Other things have been throwing a slight spanner in the works. On return from my most recent trip overseas, to the beautiful shores of North Carolina, I alighted the airport bus at a different stop on entering Oxford – why? We have moved house!!! Successfully whilst I was away (maximum kudos to husband, who will be able to hold it against me forever). So, we are in our new place (hurray!). And it’s a, er…. shall we say “do-er upper”. It is the single biggest reason that I have been shrouded in blogging silence for the past 2 months (honest). Well, that and the hibernation thing.

It’s a project. No central heating. No internet for a month (thank god that’s sorted now!). And pretty much every single room needs ripping out and replacing. Oh, and the garden was a jungle, which we have since massacred and discovered all sorts of interesting things in!

So welcome to our long term project. One that we’ll need to scrimp and save for. It’s super scary and super exciting and I expect it will become a reason for me to blog far more often as I work my way through my hibernation period….

overgrown garden

Mum helping me tame the garden

messy garden

Once the trees came down

pet cemetary headstone

I’m not digging any deeper!

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The last couple of days Oxford has been iced with a beautiful blanket of frost. Jack crept out in the middle of the night and danced along the streets, across the park and over the rooftops. It’s magical and it’s cold. Oxford is definitely at its most beautiful when the sun shines and when the frost comes. As I was walking to work yesterday I was extremely distracted by a secret that Jack Frost has uncovered…

Oxford is home to an army of spiders.

spider webThere are cobwebs EVERYWHERE. On every iron railing along the park, covering bushes like giant crocheted shawls, over bins, down lamp-posts, over the bridges…

Bush with spider websAnd it’s one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever seen. The spidery webs covered in tiny little ice stars. It truley took my breath away, I felt honoured to witness something so delicate and pretty and created by nature. Now I just wonder where all the spiders are hiding. There must be millions of them running all over this city!

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