Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

When ?

On Saturday 1st December 2012, 10am until 4.30 pm, as the Christmas factor goes into overdrive why not step back a bit and take a day to yourself and your friends and head out to the countryside and our winter Sussex Prairie Wonderland. Frosty days mean ice heaven and a haven of wonderland in our grotto where we shall enjoy a day of making Willow Christmas decorations with Jackie Sweet ( averitable willow wizard !) .

Who with ? 

Jackie is a local willow artist and basketmaker and she shall be teaching us some willow secrets for making a truly natural Christmas for yourself.

What ? What with ?

We will be making different kinds of stars out of willow , bark,rush , phormium leaves and paper strips, small and large wreaths (small ones make a lovely Christmas table decoration with a candle, large ones can be decorated and hung on your door to welcome guests and bring good luck into your home). We will also be making traditional Rush Reindeer from Scandinavia , and there are even some cute willow angels to try your hand at !

Cost ?

The cost will be £75 which includes all materials and refreshments ( I promise there will be gluhwein and mainepies and if the gods are willing, saffrom bed, )but please bring your own lunch. Please wear stout shoes or boots to go out into the garden.

Booking :

For more information or to book a place please contact Jackie on 07733435233 or email jackiesweetbaskets@hotmail.com

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snapshot of loveliness

There is nothing more sure and more focused than a crowd of Cologne marketeers as they weave their unerring way towards a gluhwein stall in Cologne. We were there and we were borne along by that throng of happy revellers into the arms of the glorious and all warming mulled wine grottos. Yes indeed we have sampled the best and the worst of the Cologne tinctures and deemed them all to be perfectly acceptable as a christmas tipple of choice. It is all about the atmosphere isnt it .. the unending trill of the christmas songs , the ominous waft of the oil of a thousand Ribeskuchen (probably not spelt that correctly )but the gist of it is :potato grated into a glutinous flattened rosti which is then thrown into a seething boiling  bucket of hot oil and served with apple sauce) (despite the heartattack certainty , it does taste pretty delicious even though I say it myself and tastes ten times better in a cold winter setting) another important point to note is that Cologne is probably the only location where you can wear a Norwegian pullover and a down jacket and not swelter half to death with heat stroke . And then of course there are the hot pork rolls and thuringer sausages and a veritable cornucopia of  greasy , heartstopping fare coupled with the tooth aching gingerbread hearts slathered in tooth breaking icing in a multitude of unnatural enumbers and colour palettes. Love it !!

India , my India !

And I loved even more the quasi rajasthani tent set up near the Ludvig Museum serving all manner of tasty snacks.

Cosima von Bonin exhibit

Cologne was not all about eating, Paul and I also managed to grab some culture and two exhibitions “Me myself and I” an exhibition of photo potraits of Picasso  and Cosima von Bonin’s Cut ! Cut! Cut! for Museum Ludvig’s Sloth section Loop#04 of the Lazy susan series . Music stunning … could feature in Paul’s christmas stocking !!!

all about Christmas

Back to reality at home and the disappointing let down of an advent calender without any christmas puppies in santa hats, kittens in stockings or baby donkeys in the snow. I’m bored of bling and  baubles, tired of timeless tat and tinsel  and cursed corny crackers !tally ho for Christmas !

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Little Amsterdam

which is of course for gingerbread !

after an evening of hellish heat in the kitchen I am left with a motley assortment of pieces of gingerbread which I have to assemble Somehow into a sweet little gingerbread cottage. Alongside the cottage I was rashly encouraged by my new Martha Stewart Special Holiday handbook (thankyou for that Tara) to make some miniature dutch gingerbread house biscuits. Halfway through this enterprise, imagine trying unsuccessfully to download templates from Martha Stewart on a recalcitrant laptop balanced precariously on  a bag of flour and with hands covered in gingerbread.Not that good for the keyboard I imagine as I think there is something wrong already with the letter G.In the end I just improvised and the resultant biscuits look like some rickety old shanty town from a third world country and not the sharp, crisp upmarket town houses that would grace any dutch township. Maybe the icing will make it all better !! Anyway an inspirational picture attached of what they should look like !! Next letter I… for icing, icicles,igloos and incompetence !

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it seems to me that the garden gets like a big old easy unravelled jumper at this time of year .. in the morning swathed in a frosty icing , crisp and sparkling ,and later in the day the autumn colours breaking through with striking clarity threaded through the landscape ..  but it starts to slowly slump down and go to sleep in a cosy woolly sort of way.. making us think of days next to log fires and starting all the christmas preparations .. start early because there is so much to do . We are looking forward to some wonderful days with good friends making door wreaths and garlands for the festive home … laced with judicious quantities of Paul’s special recipe gluhwein and saffron bread the evnts should go swimmingly … beware the hot glue gun of Christmas !

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