Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Quirky and Crafty Christmas Shopping - Sandringham Christmas Fair, Norfolk

I do love a good craft fair don't you?  Especially when it is in magnificent grounds with lots of space.  With the thoughts of one more month until Christmas, I felt it was the perfect time to start the PANIC and to start ticking the lists I had prepared a couple of weeks ago.  So, to start with, the shopping would begin with the quirky and crafty, and what better place than the Sandringham Christmas Craft Fair.  Grab your hat and coat and cash - I never take a card to places like this - too tempting!  Are you ready to start the festive shopping?  Here we go...
This fair allows you to see the products being made and this particular stall always makes me smile when I have seen it.  This is Dingley Dwellings and the lovely Denise Chapman.  I bought one of her quirky little houses a while ago for Mumsy's fairy glen along with a well.  They are still perfect at the bottom of the garden, so these are hard standing too.
Aren't they great?!  I particularly liked this one but had to resist!
Out of the marquees we heard the familiar sound of the creating chainsaws.  The little elves were busy working their Christmas magic and were dressed a little bit warmer from the last time we saw them (a past post is here).
I love the art that they create from one piece of wood.
And once varnished and torched, the definition is amazing to see.
Another marquee and we came across these boxes with some candles.  Now, I loved them but my two teens who are avid Harry Potter fans spotted a little mistake.  Should it say "Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry"?  Never mind, I loved them... but resisted!
There are some brilliant characters here, and I especially loved the mustaches on show (must be Movember!) 
Here's another one who was giving a cookery demonstration...
It was time for me and Mumsy to have some lunch and this marquee was full to brimming...
... and I wasn't surprised with the amazing pork baguettes on offer!  Believe me, they were certainly not holding back on the amount of pork they were selling!
Those who follow my Facebook page will have seen this particular stalls wares.  There were irons, wrenches, scissors, violins, nuts and bolts, graters, hammers - you name it!  And, all made from chocolate!!  And yes, you can get a chocolate coffee maker but couldn't see a chocolate teapot!
Why is it that there is always a queue ladies?!!
I digress! 

This stall holder was very curious about what was going on in the next stall...
Well, with an owl flying around and the stall holder selling sausages, it could have been too much of a temptation!
Christmas would not be Christmas without a wreath, and these were just adorable!
So, what did I buy? Oh if only you could smell this lovely package.  It's Christmas in a bag!  Spiced apples, tangy oranges, pine cones... so much delicious gorgeousness just waiting to be put into a bowl as part of the festive decorations!
For a certain Miss Teen a necklace which will be right up her street!
And then from Charles Burke - who is a glass artist, this lovely blue paperweight.
I would have loved to have shown you Sandringham House too, but from the grounds where the Fair was, this was the view... sorry.  But the trees are pretty spectacular aren't they!
So, how is your Christmas shopping going?  Are you enjoying the crowds yet?!!

Next week, Christmas at Hampton Court!

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments on my Coco.  We have had a couple of bad nights with her (including one where I had to carry her home), we're taking each day as it comes.  Also my Dad is gradually improving (hence Mumsy coming out this week).

Take care.

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Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Best Made Plans - Gone to Pot!

Well, the best made plans and all that!  I had Friday off to catch up with myself after having many sleepless nights with Coco and getting her used to her medication (thank you so much for your kind comments about her).  She slept the whole of Thursday night so I was totally refreshed and thought I could go out and have a walk around Spalding, something I haven't done for ages.  Well, it was pouring down, Coco was not coming for a walk, no way, no how! Unfortunately that meant that Hubby and Mr Teen were also very reluctant (I mean, they weren't going to dissolve with a bit of water were they?).  With Miss Teen in school I was outnumbered, so the housework was my regular friend again - time to beat the rain and get the mountain of washing dry!
Hmmm, no, washing was not going to dry due to tumble drier deciding to die on me, so there was not going to be any sitting down here...
Instead I was going to sit in here for a while... not the most riveting of places I have to say!
Luckily I was the only one in here and the drying was finished before I knew it.  So, rather than spend this week's blog post boring you with the whys and wherefores of launderette etiquette you will be pleased to know that the rain did eventually stop and myself and Miss Teen got our day out to catch up on Spalding.  It was time to leave the rain drops on the window panes and travel a handful of miles to the market town.
Our morning had been visiting Mumsy and Dad, Dad being still very poorly from a particularly bad spout of flu that has left him with various serious ailments.  As a result myself and Mumsy haven't been doing our usual visits out and about - I miss her!  Yes you Mum!  Then me and Miss Teen set off to town.  It was misty and the longer we were out the more mistier it became.
We noticed that this was going at the White Horse Pub...
The re-ridging of the thatch has certainly smartened this lovely pub up.  It reminds me so much of my old Sweetbriar Cottage and its protective thatched roof.
Time for a bit of shopping at one of the antique shops in The Crescent for Miss Teen's birthday present.  This was with some of the birthday money she received and something that she kept thinking and going back to.  I think she made a very good choice!
Then onto the fifteenth century's Ayscoughee Hall...
This Museum has many events during the year, but all was quiet today.
And here is the back, we weren't going inside today (a past post when I did go inside is here).
The gardens were quiet so we had a leisurely walk among the ancient yew hedge.  Their soft mounds of greenness are beautiful to look at.
However, walking underneath, they are a different story and quiet creepy!
Especially when I put the flash on!
I was glad to get away from there really!  Then a walk along the perimeter and enjoying the brickwork along with the street lights beyond wall.
Christmas is in the air and seeing the holly didn't seem out of place now.
The mistiness of the day was beginning to make its presence known, with St Mary and St Nicholas' spire gradually being camouflaged.
 But we just had to do a bit of this...
And of course, a bit of that...
One of things that we do like to look at is the Ice House.  This was where the ice from the nearby lake was collected and then put onto a slab in an enclosed chamber within the Ice House.  There are apparently three chambers so that the inner one is protected from any heat and is in an air lock.
The lake looked so peaceful with this low light and mist.  At the other end, the War Memorial, now quiet after the Remembrance Services.
After this little walk, we had to go to Springfields Outlet and Gardens.  The mist was really coming down now.
I was then abandoned by Miss Teen while she caught up briefly with some friends, so I thought this was the best opportunity for some quiet time for me and a walk around the gardens.  I felt totally alone while the hustle and bustle was kept for the Christmas shoppers in the Outlet shops.
The trees are all shedding their leaves now and the bark set against them was beautiful to capture.
Springfields has many sculptures and this one wasn't turning today.  It reminds me of a water mill decorated with cushions!
There were also some interesting mushrooms... I wasn't touching this one which was dripping its ink.
The mist was incredibly low now, so it was time to meet up again with Miss Teen and head off home.
With plans in place for the next few weeks (Sandringham next week, Hampton Court Palace the week after and then Camden Town and Trafalgar Square the week after that) when am I going to fit Christmas shopping in??!

I hope you can join me next week as we visit the Sandringham Christmas Craft Fair - maybe that's when my Christmas shopping will start.

But now, with Coco back from a walk, medication in place and lots of cuddles, it's time for a rest!
Thanks so much for your visits and comments last week, along with some lovely new followers.  You really do make my day!

Have a lovely weekend and week enjoying the changes of the season.

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