The gloomy weather continues, and so I've been keeping myself busy in the kitchen making preparations for Christmas. It's creeping ever closer and, although I don't like to start too early, I also don't intend to leave things until the last minute. At the weekend I baked the cake and made the cranberry and apple sauces. I've put the cake in an air tight tin and it will be fed with brandy over the next few weeks, while the sauces have been tucked away at the back of the freezer. I have yet to make any mince pies and I'm putting off straining the blackberry vodka too soon, so as I'm not tempted to drink it, but that's a few jobs off my list, at least, and for a while the house was filled with the most delicious aromas, lifting my spirits and allowing my mind to wander to activities and plans for the festive season.
There are a few places we'd quite like to visit during December and I must remember to book to go ice skating very soon. It's been a few years since I've been on the ice, so there's a chance I may regret this particular activity, but Lily is so very excited to go that I simply can't disappoint her. In the next few weeks I've a Christmas wreath to create, cards to write and gifts to buy, but first things first, I need to hang the advent stockings in time for the weekend.
Last weekend, during a break in the wet weather, we went for a morning walk from Wray castle. From the castle, our route took us along the shore of Windermere, through woodland and up over Latterbarrow fell. An early start, along with the misty weather meant it was lovely and quiet and we hardly saw a soul the whole time we were out. Unfortunately, the weather also meant the views were rather limited (apparently, on a clear day, you can see the sea from the summit, we could barely see the lake!) but it was a very enjoyable walk nonetheless, and we rounded it off nicely with some delicious soup and hot tea in the café back at the castle.
The forecast for the next few days is cold and sunny, which will make a lovely change from the grey days we've been experiencing lately. I hope this will mean we can get out and enjoy a longer walk. I might even bake some mince pies.J. X