Princess

Hiya,it’s Tara here. I’m so excited to be speaking to you today.  I love it here in my new home, 6 months here and it’s brilliant!

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Here is the place outside the back door, big and green – the “garden” ! Before I came to live here, I stayed inside all the time so I’d never seen anywhere like it before – it’s brilliant!

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I love being outdoors. Lovely soft green grass to lie on, flowers to smell and all kinds of places to explore. I sometimes sneak into next door’s garden too!

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This is my mum’s latest addition, a greenhouse, nice plants to sniff in here and it’s good for taking shelter from showers

And, I even have my own little purple shed, brilliant!

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I love running around outside, it’s great fun and I have lost loads of weight too, almost 1kg. It’s important to make the most of oneself, don’t you think, especially when one is a pretty cat lady!

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I’ll be coming back here to let you know what I’m up to soon. More garden antics and slimming tips for sure, it’ll be brilliant! Bye for now x

Vintage pink and blue

My vintage crochet in fact; I discovered these squares in a box last week when I was having a tidy up. I must have made them when I first started crocheting, about 5 years ago. Definitely during my purple/pink period!

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I think they look pretty good for a novice – I have an idea for a way to use them, better than putting them back into that box and forgetting them again.

i also found a very wonky piece of raspberry pink star stitch crochet, meant if I remember rightly, to be a cushion, but I obviously went wrong somewhere and it was more of a diamond than a square!

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The star stitch pattern looks lovely but even if I blocked the piece I don’t think it’s useable, so I decided the best thing was to rip it out and start again. I’ve used this lovely wool and silk blend yarn for lots of things before, it’s a dream to work with. It makes beautiful roses, like the one at the front, with its pink sisters.

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It was interesting looking at my first crochet makings. They make me realise I wasn’t so bad after all, but, delightful as pink and purple are, I have become more adventurous with colour now!

Tree of Forgiveness

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This painting by Edward Burne-Jones is another wonderful example of Pre-Raphaelite art which can be seen in the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight, near Liverpool. The painting takes as its theme a classical myth. Phyllis fell in love with Demophoon but he went away adventuring, as Greek heroes did, for so long that she lost hope and killed herself. The gods took pity on her and turned her into an almond tree. When Demophoon eventually returned, he embraced the tree in a fit of remorse, and as the tree burst into flower, Phyllis, taking on human form again, emerged from the trunk of the tree; she forgave him and they were reunited. The intensity of the lovers’ facial expression and their gaze into each other’s eyes convey deep feelings of love and joy at their reconciliation, their physicality and the tree in full bloom give more than a hint of sexual longing and passion. I’ve seen it for myself, it is striking, beautiful and memorable, and is a fitting image for a grey back-to-work-after-holidays Monday!

29: Winter poem for friends

I’ve enjoyed finding the poems I’ve featured in my Advent and Christmas posts, and have discovered some poets and poetry new to me, a great delight. I found this poem by Emily Bronte and love its sentiment; the idea of evergreen friendship is never more apt than at the passing of an old year and the beginning of a new one when one wishes one’s friends well.

Love and Friendship

Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree —
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most constantly?
The wild-rose briar is sweet in the spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair?
Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly’s sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He may still leave thy garland green.

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26: Angel

A beautiful painting for Boxing Day. Angels are part of Christmas legend, and I love Pre-Raphaelite art, so for me, this painting combines these two thoughts perfectly. It is called ‘Angel playing a Flageolet” and was painted by Edward Burne-Jones.

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If you happen to be in Liverpool, you can go and see this painting at Sudley House, one of the city’s many art galleries. If you love Pre-Raphaelite art, then you should visit the Lady Lever Art Gallery on the Wirral, which is full of some wonderful examples of painting of this era.

24: Winter walk for Christmas Eve

I’m on a poetry roll, so for today, as the UK is battered and blown around by gale force winds and rain, another poem rejoicing in the seasons and nature by John Clare.

Winter Walk

The holly bush, a sober lump of green,
Shines through the leafless shrubs all brown and grey,
And smiles at winter be it eer so keen
With all the leafy luxury of May.
And O it is delicious, when the day
In winter’s loaded garment keenly blows
And turns her back on sudden falling snows,
To go where gravel pathways creep between
Arches of evergreen that scarce let through
A single feather of the driving storm;
And in the bitterest day that ever blew
The walk will find some places still and warm
Where dead leaves rustle sweet and give alarm
To little birds that flirt and start away.

John Clare

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I took this photo a couple of years ago on a snowy winter walk and thought it was a good accompaniment to this poem.

21: happy Christmas painting

An atmospheric Christmas picture today – this painting, called ‘Glade Jul’ dates from 1891 and is by the Danish painter Viggo Johansen, who was one of the Skagen Painters. I like the shadowy corners of the room and the way the candles on the tree illuminate the room and the dancers’ happy faces – the effective, beautiful juxtaposition of light and dark create a vivid impression of Christmas in the late nineteenth century.

imagePicture courtesy of Wiki Commons