Fern’s Festive Fascination


Despite discovering they weren’t edible, Fern found the snow globes very fascinating!


This looks interesting…


It’s snowing in there!



These are so pretty!


An afternoon in Stratford-upon-Avon

It was raining very heavily this morning but by midday, the sun had come out and it had turning into a really beautiful sunny day.  This meant that our planned afternoon in Stratford was still on the cards – hurrah!

As I’m sure you know, Stratford is the birthplace of William Shakespeare and a thoroughly lovely town to visit.  We started our afternoon off with a spot of lunch in The Golden Bee pub and then headed off to browse the shops and market.

Fish & chips...yummy!

Fish & chips…yummy!

There are quite a lot of charity shops in Stratford and they tend to be full of really high quality stuff.  A couple of years ago, I bought a grey silk Banana Republic dress from one, which I ended up wearing to a friend’s wedding.  There is a fantastic Oxfam shop that specialises in books, CDs, LPs and DVDs.  I saw this lovely book in their Christmas display:

A cornucopia of Christmas cheer!

A cornucopia of Christmas cheer!

As the title suggests, the book is full of Christmas stories, poems and carols.  I thought it would be nice to read a bit here and there over December to get me into the festive mood.  It cost a mere £2.99, which is a real bargain for a nicely illustrated hardback book.

I was really lucky to find a book to help me with my latest essay.  My local library were unable to help me source a good biography of Lord Byron and I had given up hope of finding one unless it was on the internet.  On the literature shelf, I found this one from the 1970s, which is full of colour plates, engravings and black and white photographs:

Mad, bad and dangerous to know?

Mad, bad and dangerous to know?

Hopefully, it will give me a bit more background knowledge of Byron’s life and help with my essay on Don Juan!

I got a record player for my birthday, so I am constantly on the look out for bargain vinyl.  I regularly pick up an LP when I visit a charity shops and can often get them for around £1.  The three I choose today are a bizarre mixture (as the lovely man on the till pointed out), but I do have pretty eclectic taste!  The first one I chose is the wonderful Frank Sinatra singing with Count Basie and his orchestra.  This was the most expensive of the three (£4.99) but well worth every penny.  I love Sinatra’s voice – I think of it as the aural equivalent of melting chocolate!

Just sublime!

Just sublime!

The second LP is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 ‘Choral’.  I love listening to classical music whilst I’m reading or drawing and I don’t remember hearing this one before.  It was a snip at 99p.

beethoven lp

My final choice is admittedly a very strange one, but I loved the cover!

A bit of an odd choice?

A bit of an odd choice?

I’m actually listening to it as I write this post and, although it took a bit of getting used to, the music is itself is quite interesting.  The harpsichords and oboes make me feel like I am sat in the court of Henry VIII.  Even though I wont be playing it everyday, I am glad I bought it; is it is very atmospheric – plus it only cost 99p!

I apologise if you were hoping for lots of pictures of Stratford-upon-Avon but I’ve been so many times before I forget to take any.  So here’s a couple I took when I attended an all-night poetry writing workshop in the summer…enjoy!

Inside a very old building!

Inside a very old building!

anne hathaway's bed

Yes, this is Anne Hathaway’s bed!

Feeling Festive already?! Eek!

Our local Costa had their Xmas preview last night.  Mum and I spent a lovely couple of hours eating yummy cake, sipping tea and having a chat to the fantastically hard working baristas.

Despite having a great night (and I have to say, I did enjoy humming along to the Xmas tunes), it did leave me wondering whether I’m going to be sick and tired of Christmas by December 1st?  Ah, well it’s a chance I’m willing to take!