A few tips for Christmas - tea lights, candles and where to buy them

We always have the whole family here at Christmas. The house is perfect for this. Lots of bedrooms and bathrooms, a big kitchen, a dining room that seats lots of guests, and our lovely lounge with log fire and baby grand piano.

I don't spend a fortune on buying new decorations each year, but I do have a few suggestions for decorations that look good and don't cost a packet. You'll find some good little home made Christmas tips here.

You'll see tea lights feature a lot. I find the best value and best choice locally for me is at Homebase, Kendal. You can see what Homebase have to offer here.

For a truly great and inspirational set of candle, lights and other Christmas decorations, look at old favourite John Lewis. As I love John Lewis but don't live anywhere near a store, I use the online order service a lot, and it's excellent.


Damson chutney made and bottled ready for Christmas

Damsons are one of my favourtie fruits. They grow well in the Lakes, and this year has been a bumper year, so I've made damson chutney.

Here is the mixture at the start of cooking
White Moss House Damson chutney ready to cook

                                             Then a couple of hours later
White Moss chutney ready for bottling.

I used a recipe in one of my favourite old cookery books,
Beatrix Potter's Country Cooking by Sara Paston-Williams, published in 1991.You can still buy this book from amazon, either new or second hand.

The recipes come from the Lake District, and are all really excellent. Damsons and other Lakes local ingredients are used. This could make a great gift for someone who loves the Lakes and loves to cook.

Readers in the USA can buy the book here. The Beatrix Potter Country Cooking Book
I'll post a picture of the finished chutney later. If you don't want to miss it, follow me!


The end of a fabulous summer

2014 has been the first year that we've lived at White Moss House without welcoming guests to stay and dine. We've sort of retired, and currently we're just living on our own here at White Moss House. Lucky us!

We decided at the start of the year not to plan any holidays- just to see how the year went. It turned out to be a good decision, as the weather has just been outstandingly good. Dry, warm and sunny sums it up ( and we have noticed that is has been a bad summer in much of mainland Europe, so quite smug we decided to stay at home.)

Yesterday was a fabulous day, and we walked up Silver How- one of our favourite walks from the door. Today is looks as if we're moving into autumn. It's a little drizzly and grey. We're not complaining though. It's been great. If you want to walk from White Moss I've written a page about 6 circular walks from White Moss, taking in Grasmere and Rydal Water. You can read about White Moss walks here. This is a photo I took last week from the end of Loughrigg Terrace. Rydal Water looks an incredible blue.

I'll be dropping by this blog with snippets from my online writings, photos, and other points of interest ( well, that I think are of interest). Online writings? I've been writing for Squidoo for 5 years, but that has now gone, and we've been moved to Hub Pages which also seems to be struggling right now. However, I still keep writing.

Today I've been updating my page about sorrel. Read all about sorrel here . A couple of weeks ago deer invaded the herb garden and ate the sorrel down to the stalks, but it's now got some nice fresh new leaves. The late summer sun has suited it. I especially like a Jamie Oliver recipe for sorrel risotto that you can find on this page .

Not sure what sorrel is? Here's a picture.
Sorrel in White Moss House garden, Grasmere

See, you do know what sorrel is. It's easy to grow and has lots of uses.

Well, farewell fabulous summer. It was good to know you. Now that the days are shorter, cooler and wetter, I'll be tapping away at my blogs more. Every cloud has a silver lining. Why not follow me?