Monday, 15 December 2008

Almost Christmas in the West

Car problems recurring along the way, we nonetheless made our way to our little slice of the West Country on Friday evening in the pouring rain and howling gales, what fun!  Saturday was the last Farmers' Market in Bridport before Christmas and indeed, there we went when it was still virtually dark on Saturday morning, part by taxi, part by bus; my, we are dedicated!  (Or mad?)

We waited for the bus in Beaminster a lovely little village with a thriving gaggle of shops at its heart, and at this time of year, several gorgeous Christmas trees and lots of eye-catching lights. Despite the miserable weather, this little village was doing its best to look attractive.

First stop on a Saturday morning in Bridport has to be here, before all the delicious homemade scones and other goodies sell out.  I do love baking but when I'm only at the cottage for a few days, I'm happy to have a rest, knowing this fabulous home baking is at hand.  Just don't get me started on why it now has to be called a "Country" market rather than the W.I. market...

On to the first of many charity shops and look at this fabulous window display, sadly not for sale.

I did strike gold in a different charity shop. One gorgeous pink pure new wool blanket with satin edging and 3 smaller wool blankets, just right for my first foray into felting sometime soon. (And a candlewick blanket, a tablecloth, a flower power duvet cover for chopping up and sewing into who knows what, and 2 cushions!)

On to the Arts Centre, home to the Farmers' Market each second Saturday of the month. I have to say, it was very quiet last Saturday, perhaps some were put off by the weather. It is a very attractive building and there is currently a campaign under way to raise funds for its maintenance, with the backing of local celebs Bill Oddie, Billy Bragg and others (sorry, forgotten them but quite a lot of well known people live in these parts).

Much more exciting was the presence of this fellow outside. Do you recognise him? The Munchkin certainly did (especially when he started dishing out the Quality Street, strawberry cremes, my fave no less).

Bizarrely enough, further down the street, it seemed Father Christmas had got into a speedboat (in an attempt to try to persuade some truly mad people to go for a swim on Boxing Day, a local tradition)!

Naturally, I had to stop by Girls' Own Store and I snapped the window display for you...

I was a bit disappointed by this; I mean, I get the red and green theme but I wanted it to be more overtly, well, christmassy.

Back in Beaminster, I had major luck in finding the most wonderful vintage lampshade in a divine shade of pink.  I'll have to take a photo another time, for example when I've actually sorted out what I'm going to do with it...  I was less than pleased that the woman in front of me bought all (and I mean about 30) of the vintage glass Christmas decorations at 10p each. Grrrrrr.

Back at the cottage, the decorating began and the Munchkin got stuck into the paper chains; he has discovered a new love.

I took the opportunity to get on with some crochet...

..but not before I'd redressed the table for Christmas with its colourful big holly table cloth, charity shop-find embroidered cloth and a few other entirely essential bits and pieces...

The following day dawned bright and clear and afforded Mr HenHouse some perfect bird watching opportunities. We have lots of different feeders hanging from the trees in the garden and have lots of visitors at this time of year; on Sunday morning, 7 of my favourite, goldfinches, all at once, vying over the prized niger seeds.

The Munchkin pleasingly showed quite an interest in the birds and got out his trusty book to help...

He was, however, even more excited at taking out his scooter which we had bought at the car boot sale the week before, a fabby vintage find!  I promise the co-ordinating cardi was not intentional; what do you take me for?!

Our village has a lovely church and the Christmas tree was adorned with lights, though they were not switched on. I do hope razzing round the churchyard on a scooter is permissible!

A good weekend was had by all (and I hope, by you too).


  1. Looks like a prefect weekend..... Love the scooter...are you sure about the cardigan?!!! :)

  2. Hello Helen,
    Lovely to read, as always. So many beautiful details to enjoy and "hear" about.
    Thank you ever so much!

    Take good care,

  3. oooh I had that ladybird book when I was a little girl, I used to use it to go bird watching with my Dad, we used to walk through the woods every night with my dog after school...I can still see the lovely illustrations in my minds eye...thanks for that memory....

  4. Glad to hear it was a fun week-end, Hen, have you had the parcel yet? I have a tracking number here if needs be I can trace its whereabouts!

  5. What a lovely weekend - you'd also be popular in our house as we hate the strawberry cremes! Actually, give me a crunchie any day!!! LOL.
    I agree with you about the window display - not fantastic, is it!

  6. Bridport is high on my list of 'places to visit' - but the distance means it's not exactly a weekend away place. I've yet to convince Ad that a week in Dorset is a good idea for a holiday (although the sinking exchange rates may help for next year!).

    Thanks for the comments on our decorating. I love that wallpaper so much that I'd like to use one of the other colours in our spare room.

  7. I'm always so happy when I'm going to look at my blog list and see you have a new post.

    Looks like you had a good time in spite of the weather. Even me, a rain lover, I was a bit tired of so much rain (here too!).
    Now the sun is shining but it's so cold - well not as much as in England.
    Thank you fore the beautiful pictures.


  8. What a wonderful weekend you had

    Victoria xx

  9. Hi! I see you even made it to Dunster the other week - just catching up after an attack of Flu! If I'd known you were coming this way I certainly would have said lets meet............Perhaps we can meet sometime I would really loved to? Julie x

  10. Looks like a wonderful weekend to me.

  11. Hello Hen. Just popping in to say that I enjoy reading your blog very much, especially the entries relating to Bridport. Its like going down memory lane for me - I lived there for several years in the '70's. A lovely place that I haven't been back to for ages. Maybe have to take a trip in the summer.


  12. oh waaaaahhhhhh I am suddenly terribly homesick. I can't beleive I saw Beaminster on your blog, my Mum lives 2 miles away in a small village and Bem is her local town, we know it well.
    And excuuuuuse me but I will not have any dissing of the GOS, I think the window display is gorgeous, but then I am maybe biased haha, I love that shop soooooo much.
    Glad you had a fabulous time. Roll on Easter when I shall return

  13. Thanks for sharing your weekend, lovely photos.
    I do like the stars on your table.
    Mmmm me thinks a trip to Bridport next summer may be a good idea if it's full of charity shops.
    Lisa x

  14. I really love that little nativity set in the window display. It looks like it's crocheted! Too bad it's not for sale. You are making lots of progress on those crochet granny squares these day! Wish I could get further on mine too. I always love reading about your weekends.

  15. What a fabulous time you've been having! You should have knocked the "bauble grabber" sideways! Only joking - I know you are far too nice to do that. I love your table set up - very festive indeed.

  16. Hen, only me again
    Do you think, if at all possible, you could give us a granny-square update?? How many have you made and how big will your blanket be? I am pondering my next blanket and think it'll be back to the Grannies (although ripple ripple, I am still tempted by another stripey something...)
    Anyhoo, I think will be using same yarn as yours for my next project and just kind of wanted to see how your colours are panning out.
    Hope you don't mind me asking/
    Thanks hun

  17. If you and Lucy from the Attic go on like this I fear the Granny Square bug will get the better of me (again). I like that!


  18. You have a lovely blog! I really enjoyed looking at all your pretties!


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