"Ostara" by Amanda Clark The occasion of the Spring Equinox is celebrated around the world by a pagan festival called Ostara (also known as Eostre). The festival marks the midpoint between darkest winter and the height of summer which takes place on March 20th or 21st each year in the Northern Hemisphere and around September… Continue reading Spring Equinox
Getting ready for the Christmas feast tomorrow! This is a great recipe if you want to use up leftover mash potato but I made a huge pot of mash potato today on purpose so that I could have a go at making croquettes ahead of time for Christmas dinner tomorrow. For the regular mash potato… Continue reading Christmas Croquettes
Mulled Cider with Fireball Whisky
Time to warm up with some Festive Cheer! Oh the weather outside may be frightful ... but the festive cocktails inside can be quite delightful! Who doesn't want to warm themselves up with some festive cheer? There are so many festive cocktails to be had. Last year I made a different cocktail pretty much every… Continue reading Mulled Cider with Fireball Whisky
Festive Cranberry Gin & Spicy Cranberry Sauce
Time to bottle my Festive Cranberry Gin Liqueur! I love making liqueurs and regularly have a batch or two of different flavours on the go! For Christmas time I like to make Cranberry Gin Liqueur. It's really simple to make and so delicious. I made this batch on Halloween and put it away for two… Continue reading Festive Cranberry Gin & Spicy Cranberry Sauce
Christmas Orange Pomanders
Our Christmas Kitty Roxi eyeing up my pomanders! Today I find myself reminiscing about Christmas Past. As a young kid growing up in the 1970's, besides seeing what Santa had brought us, we used to love checking out our Christmas stockings. Back in those days, we didn't have the fancy stockings you see in the… Continue reading Christmas Orange Pomanders
The Winter Solstice & The Green Man
HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE! Today (Tuesday, December 21st, 2021) is the Winter Solstice which means it's the shortest day of the year and from this point on, the daylight hours begin growing longer again. In ancient times, people worshiped the Solstice, marking the symbolic death and rebirth of the sun. I don't know about you, but… Continue reading The Winter Solstice & The Green Man
Happily Ever After
"Happily Ever After" by Val McDowall (2017) This was a freehand acrylic painting I did in the summer of 2017 as part of a wedding shower gift. Up until this point, I’ve always drawn my pictures first then picked up the paint brush or coloured pencils. For this one I decided to be more organic,… Continue reading Happily Ever After
The Night Before Christmas
"The Night Before Christmas" by Val McDowall (nee Duncan), 1982 "Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the houseNot a creature was stirring, not even a mouseThe stockings were hung by the chimney with careIn the hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there …" I think most people would recognize the start of… Continue reading The Night Before Christmas
I have no idea where this last year has gone! There I was only one short year ago full of the joys and enthusiasm (some may say naiveté) as I embarked on my first NaNoWriMo in 2017. How did that work out for you? You may well ask... To be fair, I started off reasonably… Continue reading Procrastination Queen!
There’s Been A Murder!
I was going through some old files on the laptop, as you do, and I came across this piece I wrote in 2009 when our 'adorable' black cat (Sheba) presented us with the grisly remains of a mouse she'd half eaten ... ! ! ! B R E A K I N G N E… Continue reading There’s Been A Murder!