Sunday, 6 January 2013

A New Year Ramble

New Year
We watched the Thames embankment New Year firework display on the television as we let in the New Year.  It was magnificent as always and this year I endeavoured to capture a few shots of it. 

Come rain, come shine
All our flowers have been brilliant this Christmas.  Although the Hyacinths are short-lived their perfume is heavenly.  You will notice that the background is a rainy window but in fairness I should point out the last two days have been mild and sunny. Much more like Spring than Winter.  

Nevertheless, the woodland floor of our little copse around the corner is still totally impassable without a stout pair of wellies.

And even with the sunshine that sky looks somewhat threatening.

The thorn trees in the playground are covered with berries as they always are at this time of year.

Ivy Puss
“If I hide in these boxes by the back door perhaps I can sneak out when the door is next opened…”

I went back to my old Wordpress postcrossing blog to check something the other day. And what did I find?  A video at the bottom of the blog posting I looked up.  A video?  I never  put any videos on that blog.  It turns out it’s an advertising one.  When you click on the ‘Why is this advert here’ it says – either the blogger has put adverts on this site as part of a money making programme or they have failed to pay to upgrade their Wordpress account.  Upgrading, of course, costs one money.  I’m awfully glad my experiment with Wordpress was comparatively short-lived and I came back to Blogger voluntarily because it was providing the better service. Had I not done so I would have been driven back here now by the cost.  

Twelfth Night
Postcards, erecting (or rather re-erecting) shelves, tree-felling and spring cleaning have occupied me this last week.  The tree that I 'felled' was the Christmas tree which came down with the rest of the decorations on Twelfth night.  Twelfth Night is often thought of as January 6th - Epiphany - but strictly it is the evening of January 5, the eve of the Epiphany and formerly the twelfth and last day of Christmas festivities. 
In our house, spring cleaning is an automatic consequence of taking the decorations down.  It’s an excuse not only for some dusting and polishing but to move some furniture and ornaments around,.  This year part of the objective has been minimalism.  The removal of anything even vaguely capable of being pushed off the window ledges as the dreaded Ivy jumps up on them.

And talking of Twelfth Night -
A great while ago the world begun,      
               With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,  
            But that's all one, our play is done,       
               And we'll strive to please you every day.


  1. Happy New Year John. The Fireworks are superb.

  2. You're up early - as usual - Adrian. I wonder what it's like to be able to sleep right through like some folk do?

    1. No problem sleeping the sleep of the dead for 5 or 6 hours or occasionally longer these days but if you know a way of stopping the nightmares I'd be grateful.

  3. Wonderful photos, John! Especially those of the fireworks. I wish you and your family and very happy and prosperous 2013!! xo, Silke

  4. Maybe I should try shooting the fireworks from the TV screen next year instead of those I see from my balcony?
    In Sweden 6 January is called the Thirteenth Day, and is a holiday; and Twelfth Night is "Thirtheenth Day's Eve" (analogical with Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, Easter Eve etc) Most people leave their decorations up over this day, and some keep them another week or so. In old traditions the Christmas tree is/was thrown out on (or around) the "Twentieth day" = 13 January.

    1. It'supposed to be bad luck in England to leave decorations up after Twelfth Day - indeed, if one does so one is then supposed to leave them up for the whole year until next Christmas!

    2. I never knew that. Definitely not something I ever heard in Sweden. My parents often kept their tree all January if it was healthy. Mind you, they also rarely took it in until the day before Christmas Eve. Myself I tend to put up my decorations gradually and take them down gradually as well. First up are the window lights before 1st Advent and they're also the last things I take down.

    3. Loved the fireworks display photos....lovely.
      Enjoy your book reading and stay warm.
      Then again you've got Ivy to snuggle by your feet.
      Happy New Year!!

  5. You had more success with the photos of the TV that I usually manage. The firework photos (and the fireworks) were excellent.

    1. Pure luck Geeb, I used the pojnt and shoot facility and left the camera to work out exposures, etc.

  6. Your firework photography was super! Great shots. We took our tree down yesterday and it's a great time to clean and dust. I had all the other decorations down during the week but left the tree up for last. I think our weather might get a bit warmer at the end of this week. It's been very cold and snowy so I'm looking for a little reprieve...although that usually means rain. Oh well, can't have it all! Happy New Year!

  7. I agree with Silke -- wonderful photos of the fireworks.

    I've been cleaning too -- but it's sort of a lost cause at this time of year. As fast as I get the pine needles and dead leaves vacuumed up, we track in more. But the house does look nice when I get it all tidy after the Christmas decorations go back in their boxes. The rooms seem bigger somehow.

    I like a clean uncluttered look, even though I don't have a cat to help keep the table tops clear! :o)


  8. I didn't realize that Wordpress did that?! I used to have an account, tried it on, too. Didn't stick with me.

    Your photos of the fireworks are awesome, wonderful; better than if you'd have been right there at them.

    And....I loved this statement - "...without a stout pair of wellies." That, right there, made me smile. Something you would NEVER hear in America but should.

  9. Happy New Year, John!!
    I especially love your photos of fireworks. They look like as if graceful chrysanthemum flowers bloom in the heaven.
    "Come rain, come shine" made me smile and reminded me of "Come rain or come shine" written by Kazuo Ishiguro. I read it last December.
    Thanks a lot for your lovely stories.

    1. What a lovely description of the fireworks, Keiko.
      I read Ishiguro's “Never Let Me Go” in 2008 but I haven't read any others yet. Some are on my very long 'To Be Read' list!

  10. The fireworks are great! I love fireworks. We have them on July 4th, and since my dear mother's birthday is June 28 I always take her along when Main Lady and I go out to watch the show. Sort of a birthday celebration fireworks show, you see. We have a field we park in to watch the Sylvania, Ohio fireworks.

    We have no flowers as yet, a small amount of snow and cold weather. I think it's supposed to warm up today.

    1. The flowers are all indoor ones, Jack. Our first outdoor ones will be Snowdrops which usually flower in very late January or early February.

  11. Happy New Year to you and yours! The firework shots are spectacular! I would love to see them live some year soon. ;^)

    As always, it's so great to stop by and catch up.

  12. Putting videos on your blog without your knowledge is very much NOT ON and I am glad you keep your main blog(s) on here, John!

    Ivy looks like Innocence in person, but really alert to all movements involving that door :-)


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