Sunday, 21 December 2014

A Solstice Wander

We'd made a little a plan while ago, my lovely middle sister Rachel and me, that on the shortest day we'd grab ourselves a little free time to walk the lanes and gather some greenery to decorate our homes.

So we set off this dank and blustery morning (perfect!) to wander around Bagnall, the village where we grew up. I only live a couple of miles away but Rach lives over the hills in Buxton and although she's often here visiting us or our folks, I can't remember the last time we had the chance to saunter about together with no time pressure or small people needing our attention.
Both of us were keen to see if we could still remember where all the footpaths went, so first of all we headed down towards to old mill pools and then onto the Salt Track where merchants brought the mineral over from Nantwich to the monks at Hulton Abbey centuries ago. I remember this cosy cottage in a really tucked away spot, as a tumbled down farm for a long time and it was great to see that its being lovingly restored

The wooded end of the Salt Track proved to be a treasure trove for the wreaths we wanted to make and we found wispy seed heads, berried holly and rosehips to snip (leaving plenty for the birds and the rest of the village.)
Our morning was literally a walk down memory lane. We had a good laugh remembering Grandad getting us to hang upside down from the little white bridge over the ford to grab moss for his hanging baskets! We kept complaining about getting wet but typical Grandad he just said' "its only a bit a' watter!" (and his hanging baskets were the best bless him.)

The little brick building is the parish hall where we went to Sunday School, playgroup and lots of village barn dances and things. There's a more modern village hall too that's much better suited to parties and events, but I have really fond memories of the church hall, the glorious view out of the back door and tea from Woods Ware crockery. Its been closed for years and I harbour a little dream that I might turn it into a family home one day (the wooden floors were wonderful!)
So this is what we made. Rachel's is a rather elegant effort, lots of ivy and some discreet rosehips that she's hoping won't get blown away in the windy part of Buxton where she lives. Mine's a bit more of a rustic affair with a little of everything we found including holly, yew, and ivy berries.

I had such a great time, it was treat for us to chat and put the world to rights together and I think just maybe we've invented a new family tradition.  Happy winter solstice everyone xx

21 comments:

LandGirl1980 said...

I had big plans to do exactly the same gathering wise today - but it did not pan out as I had planned. Reading your post - I feel like I did go after all!

Louise said...

They both look great :)

Christals Creations said...

What a lovely day. :)

Hayley said...

Steph, my little sister and I did exactly the same thing this afternoon! ....a walk with the dogs to gather greenery to make wreaths!
Yours are so pretty.....Merry Christmas xx

CJ said...

What a lovely new tradition, and I agree, a blustery chill day is perfect for the winter solstice. Both of your wreaths are brilliant, and how satisfying that they are made from wild finds. CJ xx

VeggieMummy said...

What a lovely way to celebrate the solstice - you should definitely make it a tradition. Both wreaths are absolutely beautiful. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. x

Anna said...

Beautiful wreaths! I also LoVe your idea of some sister time the way you have done it! Have a lovely Christmas!!! Anna xx

SandyShoes Cornwall said...

Thanks for including us in your walk down memory lane, what a lovely place to grow up in! I really like your idea of making your own wreaths, they look so fresh and zingy. Happy solstice, I can't believe we've finally got here. Roll on Spring (once we've all enjoyed Christmas of course)! Antonia x

Pilgrim at Kerjacob said...

How lucky you are to have a sister to share such a magic time together. Lovely.

Sarah said...

Beautiful. Wish I'd done that now instead of going out buying pate and smelly cheeses!
I love that basket, too. Must add one to my wish-list.
Have a great Christmas.
Sarah.

Curlew Country said...

Oh I'm glad you enjoyed it, happy solstice to you :) x

Curlew Country said...

Oh thanks CJ. I make one every year from things in the garden but it was even nicer to go out wandering. Hope you have a smashing Christmas. Xx

Curlew Country said...

Thanks ever so much and for all your lovely comments x have a smashing Christmas xx

Curlew Country said...

Thanks as ever Antonia, it was a great thing to do x hope you're having a cosy time down there and wishing you a really happy Christmas xxx

thehouseatnabend said...

What a lovely thing to do. And the wreaths looks amazing! Happy Christmas x

Vintage Jane said...

What a lovely special day ...and two very beautiful wreaths ...
M x

Frances said...

Oh, I just loved this post, with your beautiful photographs of a special walk and your words recalling sweet memories.

Those two wreaths look very splendid!

Happy Christmas! xo

Anne H. said...

Those look lovely. Happy Christmas. L Anne xx

Barbara Casillas said...


What a beautiful place you live in. I live in Los Angeles, but have visited different parts of England a few times. Today was very warm and sunny. Not the weather you described while gathering greenery for wreaths. I enjoyed looking at all the scenic views very much. If you would like to see a little of LA I have a blog at saltairandpistachios.com

Barbara Casillas

Seona said...

What lovely wreaths, so nice to gather the bits locally and make them rather than buy them. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and you have a wonderful New Year. Seona x
(We met at the Matthew Parris talk at the Hot Air Literary Festival , I recognised you from you blog - sorry it's taken so long to comment! X)

Amanda said...

What a lovely, nostalgic post. Hope you're OK with the snow, it said 4 inches for Leek x