Saturday, 31 December 2016

Said a Blade of Grass

Old Swan House Garden in Autumn
Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, “You make such a noise falling! You scatter all my winter dreams.” 
Said the leaf indignant, “Low-born and low-dwelling! Songless, peevish thing! You live not in the upper air and you cannot tell the sound of singing.” 
Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept. And when spring came she waked again — and she was a blade of grass. 
And when it was autumn and her winter sleep was upon her, and above her through all the air the leaves were falling, she muttered to herself, “O these autumn leaves! They make such noise! They scatter all my winter dreams.”
Kahil Gibran 

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Winchester Cathedral Carol Service

The annual carol service at Winchester Cathedral was beautiful as ever. 1500 attended and there were people standing.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Christmas at Blenheim 2016

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim is the most astonishing castle in the country; absolutely magnificent, and of course set in a perfect Capability Brown landscape.

The lake at Blenheim taken from the West gate at sunset. The view of the palace from the West gate is often described as the finest view in England.
This year for the first time they have created a night-time garden walk - Christmas at Blenheim - which is beautifully done and absolutely spectacular. Being dark and without a tripod I found it difficult to capture the stunning effects adequately, and there are many spots in which music is played and some in which actors perform. Do try and go!

The Temple of Diana where Winston Churchill proposed to Clementine

Friday, 9 December 2016

Christmas at Christ Church, Oxford

Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

A beautiful "Nine Lessons and Carols' at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford 

Monday, 5 December 2016

Wellbeing of Women Christmas Fair 2016

Drapers' Hall fi;;ed with stalls for the Fair

The Drapers' City Fair held annually and free in the Hall by Wellbeing of Women since 2009, was the best attended yet and raised a record amount for the charity. Over 50 stalls sold high-quality gifts and food and drink including my favourite Christmas cake (which so heavy with fruit that feels like a black hole).

Friday, 2 December 2016

Stockbridge Christmas Evening 2016

St Peter's Church and the Christmas tree after lighting
Stockbridge holds a Christmas shopping evening at the beginning of December every year. Each year the town looks prettier and prettier as more lighting is added, and more and more people attend. This year the tree on the church lawn was beautifully lit as was the Town Hall, and Sally Taylor of South Today came to help Alex Lewis (and his son Sam) switch on the lights.
Alex Lewis, Sam and Sally Taylor switching on the light

Prior to this, a horse-drawn coach carried the local MP, the Lord of the Manor and the mayor of Test Valley from Old St Peter's to new St Peter's, proceeded by the Town Crier.  

Stockbridge Town Hall. The horse-drawn carriage can be seen approaching 
Middle Wallop Military Wives Choir