2010 – Year in Photos

January: Snow, snow, cold, Christmas decorations, visiting Rachel in Portsmouth, staying with Andy while he was living in Southampton, gorgeous sunset, RSPB birdwatch, tiny granny blanket made from Cashsoft Aran (John Lewis sale.) rainbow of yarn on my patchwork blanket.

February: Baking granola bar and chocolate caramel shortbread, drinking tea, buying new mugs, spending time with my siblings and taking lots of photos of them, Bramble Patch fabric sale (and Katherine came down to visit for it), buying lovely Rowan cotton yarn, making more squares for my patchwork blanket and the infamous Narcissi in the Car incident.

March: First flowers of spring in my mum’s garden, beautiful anemones, Henrietta Gets New Feet, last day out with my mum (Stratford upon Avon) before moving back to Leeds! Then meeting Lucy for the first time, crocheting in public AND on the train on the way back, Patchwork Blanket Ta-dah! and me and Andy make the most of being back in Yorkshire by driving high up in the dales and admiring the view and feeling rather chuffed with ourselves for all our moving work. And for how many hours we spent on the M1.

April: I filled every available vessel in the house with daffodils, attended the Marvellous Tea Dance with Rach and Fran, I tried to teach Rach to make Granny Squares (with varying degrees of success, eh Rach? :p) walking at Fairburn Ings at Easter, Sorry and the Sinatras gig, eating Ice Cream on top of the Derbyshire Dales, first encounter with Baby Rico yarn, Bretton Hall/Yorkshire Sculpture Park with Katherine, and I learnt how to knit. In a fashion. That fashion being straight lines.

May: Isle of Wight day trip with Andy and his dad, cream tea picnic with my mum and grandma, luscious red cherries, baby Rico ripple for baby Katrin, I bought a LOT OF YARN (hello Kool Kotton, welcome to my life) went to the Bluebell Woods with my mum, brother, sister and Andy, visited Rachel in Portsmouth again (and went to the Historic Dockyards), took photos with my mum and grandma, and contemplated running away to live by the sea on the Isle of Wight.

June: I turned 24, went to both York and Bolton Abbey, had a polka dotty birthday breakfast in bed, bought more Rico yarn, viewed “our” house for the first time, crocheted in the park, spent time with Willow the greedy bunny, went on holiday to Dorset to stay with my mother in law and her husband, took long evening walks and HOT daytime ones, visited Lulworth Cove and Shaftesbury. Oh and spent blissful early morning crochet time in their garden!

July: Still on holiday in Dorset, visiting Arne nature reserve. Daisies in Andy’s dad’s garden. Birthday blanket for my sister. Exciting Post Office Parcels – Ravelry swap. Everything in the Fridge Soup. Stash = eek. Tried to sell blankets = unsuccessful. York. Check out my knitting skillz!

August: First year of marriage! woohooo. Visited Alnwick: Barter Books, Alnmouth Beach, Boulmer Beach. York, and the National Railway Museum. Rico Cotton entered my life but I had much more fun lining it up in colour order than I did with making something. Those squares are still just squares …

September: Bought a house! yaaay! My folder for September if full of photos of guinea pigs. I made some ripples, and tried to knit a scarf. As yet unfinished, whoops. Managed to nab myself a cosy corner in the new house. I took photos of blue sky and clouds from our little yard.

October: My mum visited, I baked, bought LOTS of dahlias on the market, got excited about a photo of dahlias, washing up, stripy jugs and the New View, took autumnal photos of the leaves, enjoyed the last light evenings, and began to unpack a few of my things to make the house feel like home. The electricity blew up and I cooked dinner by candlelight.

November: hooky with friends (and generally enjoying spending time with new friends, feeling homely), fab day in Leeds with Rach and Fran, German Christmas Market, first snow, MORE SNOW, beginning the demolition of the plaster in the living room, keeping snuggly warm, and buying Fat Man Santa.

December: Working up to Christmas with a couple of new decorations, posting my cards on time, advent calendar countdown (check out our snazzy wallpaper …), buying childhood memories from Oxfam, unpacking the spoons (quite a pivotal moment!) enjoying lunch with friends, feeling homely, CHRISTMAS with Andy’s dad and brother, winter walking on Boxing Day, looking like a berry in a beret, fabulous frozen waterfall and the start of the Happy Hexagon Blanket.

Pheeeeew! It’s really been quite a year hasn’t it? I’ve lived in three homes, starting off in my family’s home, unemployed, waiting to see whether Andy can get another job back oop norf, then moving in March to Leeds and then finally buying our First Home together in September. Lots of visiting (join me tomorrow for Places I Visited In 2010) and lots of making. Lots of stress, but also a LOT of happy times. I’ve been both more stressed and more happier this year than any other year I think. It’s also the first Full Year of blogging, which excites me greatly, because when I did my review of 2009 I could only do it from May to December. Now I have a full year! In some ways though it feels like two different years, and that my 2010 began in March when we came back to Leeds. November – February was just a lovely extended Christmas holiday really!

Bring on 2011. I’m ready :-)

Winter Walking

I’ve loved having my Father- and brother – in – law to stay over Christmas but occasionally it did feel a bit cabin feverish, having four of us in the one room for much of the time. The answer to this of course is to Get Out and Go For Walks. So that’s what we did on both Boxing Day and the day after. We’ve had a lot of freezing fog lately, which doesn’t make for a pretty view out of the window but it does leave an incredible hoar frost on everything afterwards.

This is hoar frost clinging to the canal bridge. The majority of the walls in town looked like this, which is impressive in itself until you see it close up. Eeeeeeeh look! It’s like a crystal-growing kit! (Did you ever have those? My mum had some left over from her childhood so we did have some, but I don’t *think* they’re made anymore.)

The combination of lots of snow, a slight thaw, a big freeze and the hoar frost has made for some interesting natural occurrences and it’s such a pleasure to see them. I think the ice patches on the flowing water are really pretty, especially where it’s flowing underneath the ice.

Part of our walk along the canal passes some stone walling below an embankment. There is a millpond at the top of the embankment and the water gushes, flows and trickles down and through the stones into the stream below. Not today though! Today, we have icicles. Lots of icicles!

Look how it’s all bubbling up! That’s all frozen. I can’t begin to think about how it’s frozen like that, it’s just a-ma-zing. And a bit like dribbly candlewax as well.

But the real, ultimate amazing thing is a bit further on. Just LOOOOOOK at the waterfall! Oh my goodness. I break into a run as we near this as I can’t WAIT to see it. I round the bend in the path and am not disappointed. Oh wow, the waterfall is frozen! Never in my life have I seen a frozen waterfall. Woweee, I’m just in awe of it.

Water is still trickling behind it, but oh my goodness, it’s just so beautiful. Can you believe that water, real running water, can freeze like that? In drippy icicles, bubbles, big sheets, puffy mushroom clouds of ice. The two roundy shapes at the base of the waterfall aren’t anything physical that the ice has frozen around. It’s just the force of the splash that’s making that shape.

We return the next day after the temperature has raised a few degrees and it’s starting to thaw a little. But it still looks like a wonderful magical cave or something.

We continue our walk through the woods; I’ve not been this far into into it before but I’m pleasantly surprised. Actually I’m excited and overwhelmed by how pretty it is, and how it doesn’t matter that it’s cold and snowy and that my wellies are leaking, and that I’m getting fed up of the tiny amount of daylight hours we have in the winter, because you get to see the countryside like this. Like a winter wonderland. Beauty in the bleakness. Special. And it is even more special because by the end of the week it will be gone, the weather is due to warm up (it’s already been raining a bit) and it won’t look like this again.

Further on we are treated to another frozen waterfall, although not quite so frozen as it has more flow and it is in a bit more of an open area. But it’s no less lovely than the previous one and we spend quite a while admiring it.

Before we moved here, one of the things that we really looked forward to was being able to step out of our front door and go walking. Countryside walking. The great outdoors. We haven’t done it at all really because of the house being stressful, changing jobs and whatnot, but oh my, I’m glad we did it this Christmas weekend. We also climbed the hill that we can see from our kitchen window and guess what? We can see our house from up there! Our actual house. That’s ours. And we can see it, from the hill that we can see from our kitchen window. And we can see a hill from our kitchen window! OMG. For years I’ve wondered what the view from our home will look like, and as I was standing washing up the other day, looking out, I realised that this is it. THIS is the view from our home.

And you know what? It’s really rather splendid ♥