Monday, 31 October 2011

Halloween Treats



It's finally here and tonight we will wait by candlelight with a basket full of treats. Tap tap tap on the door will come the local little cherubs, dressed as witches, wizards, warlocks and dancing skeletons. Mums and dads waiting sweetly at the end of the drive.



In reality the dogs will be furiously barking every 5 minutes as teenagers dressed in bin bags come knocking on the door for money and turn their noses up at sweeties ;)

Spooks

Here's hoping for at least a few little cuteys happy with chocolate and lollies.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Happy Feet

Happy Feet

Hi,  it's Little Bird here, test driving my new buggy at my favourite park. Wheeeeee!  Which way shall we go first?

Play Area

Perhaps to the play area. Hmmm, it looks a bit busy so we will have a walk among the trees instead as I'm not too keen on crowds and lots of older screaming children.

Fallen

Ah, peace here, crunchy leaves and look how sweet on the bench!

Bench Love

I want to run through that red carpet of leaves but it's off the track and I best stay with mummy.  I'm also very comfy and snug in my buggy.

Red

There was a lovely party being held in here, lots of balloons and people dancing. What a grand building but there were some parts that looked very old and spooky.....

Walton Hall

.....and like it was falling down! I wonder what happened here?

Ruin

Choo, choo! Let's hop on and explore.......

Choo Choo

Perhaps a stop to make pottery - my mummy might like that.

Pottery in the Park

Nah, this is more like it. Driver stop!!!!

Children's Zoo

We had a walk around the Children's Zoo. Bunny's, donkeys, ponies, weird, weird birds, a big pig and a peacock that followed you around. Go away!

Bunny

I learnt some Makaton signs for the animals.

Peacock

After another close brush with the peacock I became a bit grumpy and mummy insisted on a coffee break, well, juice for me. Daddy was happy as Manchester City beat United 6-1 so it was a good day all round. I was just a bit tired, hence my tantrum and had a snooze on the way home. Zzzzzzzzz

Coffee

Bye, bye x

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Squeezing the Season

Dahlias

I like to squeeze every drop of each season out of it's three month window as much as possible. Spring has to be excessively springy in my house, Summer like deckchairs on Brighton pier, winter like Narnia and Autumn is no exception.

I look for events or places to go that celebrate the season and on our local countryside travels I just have to stop for an Autumn bunch of flowers.  Roadside sellers and honesty boxes make my heart sing! I've bought flowers (of course), eggs, new potatoes, hanging baskets, bunches of holly and carved wooden mushrooms to name a few after a quick 'Stop the car!' It was dahlias this week and they are the most gorgeous bunch of flowers - until the next ones :)


Pumpkin Field

Another perfect place to squeeze the season is the farm shop. In summer we came here picking strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries. A fun place with tractors for Little Bird and wonderful seasonal displays - now it's pumpkins and squashes which I fear I may be boring you all with. Sorry, I'm  just still squeezing drops of autumn with every crunchy russet leaf, conker and Jack O'Lantern. One thing that did surprise me was all the pumpkins left rotting, very sad indeed! Perhaps they aren't as popular as I thought as an Autumn culinary treat. Are we still fairly new to it's versatility in the UK? I suppose so, my parents don't really cook them. My dad has grown then this year but are scratching their heads for recipes and mum seems daunted by them. Do you cook with them, just wondering?

Farm Shop

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Happy Home Witch

Welcome to Halloween

The pumpkin fairies told me that they'd quite like a party this year to celebrate the spooky season. Of course I obliged and they set about with their mischief and lantern making.

Pumpkin Magic

I left them to it as they carved and cut and glued causing spices and pumpkin juice to be spilt everywhere as they weaved their magic from one room to the next. I didn't want so many decorations but who am I to argue with precocious pumpkin fairies. 

Pumpkin Lanterns

Invitations were sent to the local spooks with the promise of food and a bit of a Monster Mash.

Halloween Subway Art

Quickly, I got out my broom to give the house a good clean before the skeletons came round - they don't like cobwebs on their bones! Just my pointed hat to find now.....

Casting Spells

The evening arrives, lights are flickering and there's stardust in the air. The pumpkin fairies weave their magic dance welcoming all spooks over the threshold.


Pumpkin Fairy

A welcome to you too, my mortal friends.............

Ghost

Mummy and Warlock began the dancing, throwing shapes to the music of the vampire disco. 


Party Guests

At one point Mummy had her bandages trodden on and was most angry with the Warlock - he really should control his clumsy left foot. Grrrrr!



Mummy in bandages

Pumpkin juice flowed, providing much merriment to our grisly gang. The ghosts being so transparent should learn to take it easy on the juice as a few were quite ill and passed out causing the pumpkin fairies a real headache to sort out.


Party Table

Cake, biscuits, crisps and candy were devoured. Not a crumb was left.

Cake

There were gatecrashers trying to get into the party, creeps skulking outside, enticed over by the magic sparkles flowing from the doors and windows. They were drawn over from far and wide but this was a small party and they were quickly sent on their way - sometimes with a scuffle or two from the magic of the pumpkin Jack O'Lantern door guardians.....
Ghost Pirate

Jack O'Lantern power is strong and they soon sorted any menacing spook pests from causing a disturbance. Always wave hello to these protectors sat outside weathering the storm on Halloween night. Look carefully, they might wink back.
Guardians

It was time for the annual story telling competition - who would tell the scariest? Witch, goblin, gnome or bat? Last year the skeleton won with the story of the Not So Funny Bones but this year we had a new winner.

Boo!

Big Frank won with his gruesome narration of the Werewolf''s Mistaken Identity ( based on a true story) I actually thought it was amusing but not to the Werewolf who had his coat clipped and treated to a shampoo and set and was thus taken home, called Fifi Trixabelle and given a bone, errrrr I mean a tin of Hills Science Diet. Sorry skeleton.
Jar Lanterns

I was urged and urged by all my kooky guests to find my book of spells - an old tome handed down to me by my great grandmother. I'm a bit rusty so who knew what might happen. I collected the ingredients - hair of a dog, slime of a frog, earwig's tail and a pinch of ground up gourd seed. To complete the party I thought I'd cast a spell to create the most wondrous creature to entertain us all. Pow, kazza, wizzam wazzam woohoo woo......


Good Witch

It was all too much for some to bear and shock resonated across the smaller members of the party clan.

Shock!


In a flurry of flowers and into my arms appeared the most beautiful golden haired child. 
The whole of the group cooed and cuddled this mischievous imp, chasing him around for the rest of the evening, picking up his toys and dancing him around to ghoulish rhymes and songs.


Magic Baby


With a jingle jangle of keys, our party pooper was skeleton, still upset by the thought of being offered to the werewolf to chew on, he had decided that it was time for the spooks to all go home to their graves/coffins/belfry/covens......


Skeleton Key

Tired out, the party goers were happy to leave, especially since there was so much mess and they didn't want to get roped into tidying up - nothing new there. Chief pumpkin bid them all goodnight and they went on their wicked way home. Not all made it as I found one of the gourds asleep in the hedge but I just left him there and covered him with an eiderdown of Old Man's Beard as he was happily snoring.

Pumpkin Glow

I bid you all goodnight and Happy Hauntings to one and all.

Photobucket

{Please see all the other party goers at A Fanciful Twist who is the Queen of Halloween}

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Vintage Milk Bottles

Priddy Bottles
I won a lovely set of vintage bottles with some gorgeous stripy straws from Priddy Priddy who sell gorgeous gifts.  I'm very lucky as they are fabulous and I had been secretly wanting such bottles for a while. A million thanks to Nicola at Priddy Priddy :)

 It was just a question of what to use them for first. I have such nostalgia for drinking my milk at infant school from bottles with a little plate of cut apples at the side, so it will be nice to recreate that. 
Milk
Alternatively I thought I'd put some froggy Chrysanthemums-salvaged from a past its prime bunch of flowers, into each bottle to complete my Halloween table. I know it's early but we are having an early party for the Little and Junior Birds before half term holidays and to take part in the Halloween Party at A Fanciful Twist.

Halloween Table
I'm having a little foot off the gas moment with the blog at the moment as i'm at college learning Web Design, so in order to practice my new skills I'm using time I'd normally spend blogging. I only wish there were more hours in the day! See you Saturday.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Corn Dollies at Siddington Church, Macclesfield

Harvest festival Siddington Church Macclesfield

A different route and an interesting sign post found a hidden gem.

Siddington Church

A church harvest festival in a Cheshire village. We were the only people here. So quiet, yet so alive with vibrant colour.

Pumpkins at Siddington Church

Fun faces, flowers in pots and garlands. Rows of vegetables and displays of fruit.

Hops decorating a doorway

Carefully placed with love and attention.

Mason mark Siddington Church

Harvest Festival porch Siddington Church

A hint at what lies within peers over the church door. Still so eerily quiet, we lift the latch and step in.


Harvest Church Door at Siddington

Corn Dollies Siddington Church

Inside the church our eyes are full of gold. Corn maidens keeping the spirit of corn happy after harvest time and through the winter time.

Corn Dolly Church Siddington Macclesfield

Corn dollies everywhere, intricate shapes decorating walls, pews, lights, hand crafted and cared for. 

Corn dollies Raymond Rush

 So many! But why and who made them?

Corn Cross and corn dollies Raymond Rush

Bird on Lamp

Outside in the still light we found a secret path to a beautiful cottage and garden.

Garden at Siddington Church


Church Path


I met an old lady here on the path who told me about the history of the corn dollies and how they were made by one man, She told me she came here every year to see the display. I turned around to ask her more but she was nowhere to be seen.

Church Yard Siddington

{All Saints Church - Siddington, Macclesfield. The corn dollies are made by craftsman Raymond Rush}