Thursday, 29 January 2009

The Garden In Winter

It is a few weeks since I read The Garden In Winter by Suzy Bales, but the memory of her enthusiasm for her subject has remained with me. I first discovered this book in one of those free catalogues that tend to drop through the door as Christmas approaches and the cover picture was enough to make me long to dip into the book and learn more.

I was happy to discover that it was available at my library and I had this book for six whole weeks. It did take me a while to find the time to actually sit down and read it, but each chapter was full of such wonderful ideas for establishing garden features that make the most of winter, together with fabulous photography. There is even a page about snowflakes and how they are all different; which she likens to the variations found in human fingerprints.

I can't recommend this book highly enough and for the gardeners out there; it will give you a whole new perspective when looking at your garden. As my gardening is limited to the armchair variety at the moment, I can only dream about what I would like to plant if only I had an outside space.

Monday, 26 January 2009


The Christmas cake has all gone now ~ I wish that I could say the same about the snow! It remains very slippery underfoot and it is quite a challenge to get around without falling over.

I had to go 'downtown' this morning (as we refer to it here in Canada), so I hopped on the subway (underground) and was quickly transported to somewhere near my destination: in this instance, the university library. After a short, but chilly walk in the cold, I was soon browsing through the reference section.

Now I love books and could spend hours browsing through the shelves of a previously unvisited library, but I was a woman on a mission today. I had to locate two weighty volumes relating to cosmetic ingredients in order to respond to a letter that I received from Health Canada before Christmas.

Having done my research, I was able to head home after another couple of stops along the way for various bits of shopping.

Once I had typed my letter and got it ready to post, I had planned to spend this afternoon studying for an assessment that I have next month; but I've been procrastinating. So far, I've made a batch of chocolate chip cookies after complaints that there were no treats in the house and I've been bottling natural glass cleaner. I'm sure that if I keep thinking long enough I can come up with a few more excuses as to why I don't have time to open my books...

Monday, 19 January 2009


Last week, I was tagged by Sara of Flossie and Tom. I have to share 6 random things about myself.

1) Link to the person who tags you
2) Post the rules on your blog
3) Write 6 random things about yourself
4) Tag 6 people at the end of the post and link to them
5) Let each person know they have been tagged.
6 Random things about me....

I love toast so much that I could eat it morning, noon or night and frequently do ~ not the healthiest of diets, but I have to eat something that is easy to digest at 4 o'clock in the morning.

Comfort is a pair of flannel pyjamas...

...and my slippers...

...a blanket...

...not forgetting a cup of tea...

...and definitely a good book.

Well, they are not very original, but they are certainly random. I think that I may have shared some of them before, but I can't remember what I have already told you.

I'm bending the rules here because I'm not passing this tag on. In fact, I am going to request that no-one else tags me or shares awards with me. As some of you are aware, I recently closed my other blog because of time constraints and I really don't have the time any more to fully participate in these. It took me a month to respond to the last award that I received because I could not sit down to write about it. I do hope that you will understand and not be offended if I turn down an award/tag in the future.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Friendship Warms The Heart On A Day Of Bitter Cold

Yes, another award arrived today! I am honoured to receive the Your Blog Is Fabulous Award from Priscilla at Priscilla's Cottage ~ Thank You Priscilla. Your friendship means a lot to me and I am glad to have met you in blogland.

This news was just what I needed on a day of extreme cold weather here. Now I don't want to turn this into a weather blog, but I thought you might be interested to know that when I came home from work (by train) this morning; the temperature was -21 C and the wind chill -30 C. I felt half frozen by the time I had walked to and from the station and there were warnings that exposed skin would freeze in 30 minutes. You certainly couldn't see much more of me than my eyes!

For this award, I have to list five addictions, so here goes:

Tea ~ which has to be at the top of my list. I can't get through the day (or night, when I'm working) without a cup of tea. My favourite has to be Taylor's English Breakfast Tea, but it can be difficult to obtain here at times, so I have to make do with something else much of the time.

Chocolate ~ need I say more?

The Archers ~ I never used to listen before I had access to internet radio, but now I hate to miss my Sunday omnibus edition on Radio 4. I just discovered when pasting this link that there is a website for Archers addicts!

Warmth ~ does this count? I hate to be cold and I have even been known to take a sweater with me when going out in the height of summer.

Reading ~ I can't imagine life without a good book.

I believe that I only have to tag one person for this award, so I am nominating Tracy at Pink Purl. I always enjoy a visit to Tracy's blog as it is so warm and welcoming.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Across The Miles

Last month, I received two Friends' awards from my dear friend Tracy of Pink Purl. It has taken me a long time to respond to these generous gifts, for which I can only apologize. I know that Tracy understands my present time constraints.

Here are the "rules" for sharing these awards with eight other bloggers:

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these kind writers. When you pass the award along please include these guidelines. I am to choose eight friends to share this with.

I would like to share these awards with eight blogging friends. The first four awards go to newly formed friendships from the past year: Sal at Sal's Snippets; The Thrifty Mrs (sorry, I don't know your real name!) at A Thrifty Mrs; Sara at Flossie And Tom and Julia at Primrose Corner.

The other four awards go to friends who have been sharing this blog for some time: Joy at Jamjar; Alison at Vintage Amethyst; Louise at Louise(at) Home Is Where The Heart Is and Priscilla at Priscilla's Cottage.

Thank you all for your gift of friendship and for sharing this journey across the miles.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Dawn's Early Light

I opened the blinds this morning to the most beautiful dawn light. As the temperatures were well below zero, I wasn't feeling brave enough to venture outdoors, so I took some photographs through the glass, which explains the slight blurring in places.

There is something quite magical about winter sunlight: it is quite unlike the light at any other time of the year.

The sunlight shone pink on the snow and I stood and gazed outdoors, entranced by the scene.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

On A Cold And Frosty Morning

We have exchanged the recent snow for bitter cold. Today is -12 C with a wind chill of -18 C. Yesterday was even colder when the wind chill hit -20 C. On days like these, it takes a lot of motivation to venture outdoors.

Well, I have finally caught up with the laundry after five loads. There is an enormous pile of ironing awaiting my attention and all the housework. What a pleasant change to enjoy a day off!

Seriously, these night shifts are killing me and wrecking my immune system. I feel about ten years older and when I made the effort to go to my aquafit class on Thursday, I couldn't keep up with the instructor. Not so many weeks ago, I was doing extra repetitions whilst waiting for the rest of the class to catch up.

Speaking of motivation, I have to get bundled up to go outdoors ~ yes, we have run out of milk! Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

A New Year

I can hardly believe that we are a week into the New Year and this is my first opportunity to post on my blog. I have worked five of the last seven nights and I am completely exhausted.

Just a quick note to wish all of you a very Happy New Year and to let you know that I will visit you all in due course ~ as soon as I catch up on some sleep.

*No photo on this post because of problems loading them onto Blogger.