Sweetbriar Dreams

So where shall we go on our journey today?

Friday, 29 March 2013

A Sunlit Walk and a Visit to the Cathedral

There it is!  After a week of extreme cold and darkness the sun gradually fought its way through the clouds.  At times the snow tried its level best to beat any warmth reaching the ground, but today, there it was!  Yes it was still bitterly cold with the wind chill factor but the sky was crystal blue and clouds icy white.
The snow had started the day, thick and fast.
And from my study window it started to settle once again.
But by lunchtime the sun was shining once more and me and Mr Teenager went for a walk to blow the cobwebs away.  My red boots surrounded my feet with their warmth and protection from the swampy, boggy ground.  Trip trap, trip trap we went over the bridge, but no trolls interrupted our journey!
There were some cuddly creatures though to welcome us.  This pony was a little beauty!
 And, could this be mum?  Showing off her baby?
And could either of these be Dad?  Now the one on the left of the photo we have called Poirot because of his mustache   However, approach with caution!  He picked up hubby last year by the shoulder, not a pleasant experience!
Our walk was bracing, icy, fresh.  The type that makes your ears burn with the cold, but the view across the fens was so beautiful in the sunlight.
The river was swollen and the sounds of the water passing by was gentle and comforting.
The sun kept going behind the clouds but soon came out in any gaps it could find.
When the sun was at its strongest, the colours brightened and we gave a satisfied sigh.  Mr Teenager was wrapped up nice and warm and trotted off amongst the mole hills.
The sun glinted on the river.
The wildlife was enjoying the little warmth that the sunshine was gifting them.

Flying across the cold waters went the goose.
Closely followed by the ducks (I really must get a faster camera!)
And then back we went, giving the nesting swans plenty of space.
And so back home we were, hot drinks in hand, warming our frozen ears and numb fingers.  Outside the sun was still battling with the clouds.
But one of our friendly blackbirds was happy to absorb the sun's warmth and also have his photo taken!
And now to the Cathedral...

After a very busy week at work it was the time to sit back, relax...and eat chocolate enjoy four days of family time.  The Maundy Thursday service was lovely with my colleague doing the first reading, I probably felt more nervous for her than she did herself, but she read beautifully with lots of positive comments afterwards.  The lunch afterwards for over 130 clergy was testing, but we got through it with only two glasses being broken!  When we ventured back up to the office afterwards, we had a very welcome cup of coffee and then went back over the Cathedral for some 'down time', so out came the camera.  Firstly to take a photo of my colleague standing at the amber as she did for the reading and then just to walk around this majestic place and try to capture some of its beauty for you.  Now, I should explain, I have been trying out my camera, and even though some shots are exactly as I planned, some just need a bit of 'doctoring' because it just doesn't perform as well as I hoped.  So, here is a little tour of this beautiful place (if you click on my links for Cathedral you will see more of my visits over there).

Now, as you may already know, I am a sucker for architectural delights, I think this is why Peterborough Cathedral is one of my favourites.  You just look up and marvel at the ceilings and the structure itself.
I thought you would like to see where the Bishop sat for the service.  Notice his chair has a holding place at the back of the left arm for his crosier.
This view is taken looking towards the altar.  Notice the organ and the choir stalls to the left of the crucifix.

And here we are next to the choir stalls.  So much detail.

In black and white, a little more detail.
The ceilings are all different through the ages that the Cathedral was built, and all so intricate.
And then to the high altar.  To the right you can see a flag which depicts the burial place for Catharine of Aragon, and on the left of the altar, (where you can see two chairs and the red signage) is where Mary of Queen of Scots was buried after her beheading (she was later moved to Westminster Abbey on the instruction of her son).
Here is the opposite view where Catharine is on the left, and you can see the Scottish flag on the right of the photo.
And then we head out through a side door to the Cloisters  (c1100)
Can you imagine the sights and sounds these walls have seen and heard?
The workmanship that went into this building?
It still blows me away.

And so, another visit to the Cathedral tomorrow for the Easter Vigil Service.  I love this service as at the beginning a fire is lit at the front doors and then we all hold candles that are then lit.  Such a beautiful service and even more beautiful being in this wonderful building.

But now, time to rest a bit (and stop eating the chocolate - why is it I always do that when I am writing up my posts!).  And, catch up on my blog reading.  

Have you visited Julie's Lifestyle yet?  She is a great blogger who tells her stories from New York, pay her a visit to see what she has been up to.  The link to her blog is here.

And then there is the lovely Karen at Beatrice Euphemie.  She writes such an interesting blog and beautiful photos. The link to her blog is here.

And lastly this week is another lovely blogger Lorrie at Fabric Paper Thread, such a wonderful visual blog.  The link to her blog is here.

So there we are me dears, a bit of a heavy post this week, but so much has been done and seen and I thought I would share with you.

Thanks again for all your sweet comments and welcome to new followers.  You are really truly appreciated.

Have a wonderful Easter...and don't overindulge too much (as I am sure to!).

Take care.

This week I am sharing with:

Saturday, 23 March 2013


I was fortunate to have another Friday off to do a spot of spring cleaning and with that comes a school run.  I do miss these!  On the way home I asked Mr Teenager, "where does that lane take us?" as we approached a tiny lane on the right that I hadn't noticed before.  "Oh that takes us to the daffodils" he said.  Well, I go past daffodil fields all the time, but I had noticed that there was a hint of yellow as I was driving along the main road and wondered how to get to it.  The lane was a long, windy lane, the type that 'tickles' the belly of your car (you know the ones, with the grass growing up through the track in the middle).  There were pot holes, flooding, ditches...not the sort of lane that a little car such as my 'Annie' should be venturing down, especially on a dark, bitter, and blowy day!  But, she  steadily took us in between two enormous expanses of daffodils.  In the distance we could see the workers coming and going picking some of the daffs, wearing layers upon layers of clothes trying to keep the bitter north wind from biting into their bones.  However we were in a warm car, on a lane that nobody uses, so there was no need to venture out.  The fields had hundreds of crates, all patiently waiting to be loaded up with the bundles of close gathered daffodils, and then to be sold on to adorn our spring tables.
I noticed that the more you looked at these fields, the more they began to look like waves in the sea.  Lines upon lines of different varieties, with different bloom times.  The waves seem to be heading towards me and crashing onto the bare earth by my feet instead of sand.  In the distance the spire of Holbeach All Saints Church.  How I was wishing I was in there with a nice cup of hot tea!
The fields stretch for as far as the eye can see.  This time last year these were just a sea of yellow and the sun was making more of an appearance.
Soon, you will be in beautiful vases, glass ware and china jugs.  Soon!

So, it's Spring!  Yes, really.  Well, it's meant to be.  It feels and looks like everything is a month behind.  I look out at my garden and just feel so helpless, impatient, frustrated.  My seeds are bought and I am itching to go in the greenhouse.  However, due to my silly Coco chasing after a bird that was pecking at the bird seed bag in the greenhouse and, for reasons only known to her, running through the glass part of the door instead of the open part (??), I now have a gaping hole.

So!  I headed off to my favourite garden centre and decided that if Spring wasn't happening outside, then it was sure going to happen inside, especially as I had visitors this weekend.  I wanted springtime floral bouquets with giant daisies and stocks...
I wanted tulips in delicate colours...
I wanted my favourite pink lilies to fill my home with their heady scent...
I wanted hyacinths to be popping up around the house with their cheery flowers and their scent to compliment the lilies...
I wanted roses to remind me that summer was on the way...

And then Azaleas, just because.  I mean, just look at these beauties!
Maybe I have gone over the top this weekend, but hey £12.75 for the lot! My fireplace is looking all spring like, I am happy in my spring time surroundings and peace has been restored.

I am so glad I had gone out to get these beautiful blooms because when I opened my blind this morning this is what greeted me...
Yes, an east wind was blowing, and along with it more snow.  Not the amount that many of you are having, but enough for me to tut, sigh and say 'not again!'.  The poor neglected garden was still to be neglected and poor Clover had even decided to stay in the bird house to keep dry.
The buds were soon to be coated in a cold jacket once more...
and the trees reflected images of Christmas...
But I couldn't stay put for long, I had visitors to get ready for and with visitors comes food preparation, and my table was laden with various goodies for a bit of a 'pick your own lunch'.  As I hadn't seen my brother at Christmas, there had to be a Nigella's Christmas ham.  New potatoes (did I mention it's spring?!), salad, and my picky nibbles (posts on these here).

So, ignoring the 'festive' weather outside, the living room was ready...
and candles lit, it was time to see my brother again and catch up.
 So now the catching up was over  it is time for me to carry on with some roses that will adorn some twigs for Easter, my little squares for a baby blanket...

...and make the second square on the Canny Cal (link for part two to Sew Canny is here - a pinwheel square).

The North East doth blow, and yes we have snow, but I am very happy to stay inside my cosy home and reflect on the weekend so far, staring out of my kitchen window, warm and surrounded by my family, crafts, spring time blooms and scents.
Thank you for all the lovely comments I received this week and welcome again to my new followers.  You are all so kind!  Hugs to you all!

I hope you keep safe and warm this weekend and have a wonderful week.

Take care.
p.s.  Coco is fine, luckily she stood dazed while all the chaos happened around her, so paws are fine but her reputation...shattered!

p.p.s.  If you are having trouble with 'pinning' from Bloglovin, take a little trip over to Craft in Crosby (link here), who has written a very easy to understand tutorial on what to do.

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