Archive | December, 2012

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without…a Christmas jumper (and socks!)

25 Dec

I’m sad to say I’ve never had a Christmas jumper before so this year I was adamant that would treat myself! Here’s me in my chosen pullover – I love it!

Christmas jumper

And, finishing off the festive ensemble are these incredible socks from my lovely housemate J. Perfect!

Christmas socks

Carols at Imber

22 Dec

I am just back from the most amazing experience ever and I had to write straight away to tell you all about it. I first read about the carols at Imber in Country Living magazine and knew immediately that I had to go, especially because they take place not far from my mum and dad in the neighbouring county of Wiltshire. Imber is a village on the Salisbury Plains that, during the Second World War, was taken over by the Armed Forces for training purposes. The inhabitants were relocated, but told they would be able to return to their homes once the war had ended. But they weren’t. Today, the public is granted access to Imber on 60 days of the year – so former residents can visit the graves of loved ones buried at St Giles, Imber’s Church, for example. The Christmas Carol Concert is one such day so today me, M and my mum went along. What an experience.

Imber carols Little Miss Married

The organisers put on a vintage London bus from Westbury train station to Imber, which is fun in itself. We all huddled together and willed it forward as we manoeuvred steep hills through the pouring rain. When we arrived there was a rush of umbrellas as everyone quickly weaved their way through the mud to get inside the church. There was mulled wine and a mince pie when we got there – much appreciated – and then we found a seat at the front by the brass band. We’d got there in the nick of time because there was a constant stream of people coming in and before we knew it, it was standing room only – outside! It was packed. But, even if we had been one of those left standing, it would have been worth it. The atmosphere was incredible; such an overwhelming sense of coming together. Everyone sang at the top of their lungs and it felt so special to be part of this seemingly secret community. It was like entering another world. What a way to start Christmas and one I will certainly never forget.

Putney WI Christmas Market

15 Dec

After just a couple of weeks putting it together the Putney WI’s first Christmas Market took place today at the Regenerate Rise Centre on Felsham Road. It was fantastic! We had 16 brilliant stalls selling everything from handmade tree decorations to quilted cushions, jewellery and these stunning gingerbread houses – that actually lit up!

We also had carol singing from some of our members by the tree, which really added to the festive spirit. We had a fantastic response from the public and it was a great chance to raise awareness about the Putney WI as well as, of course, supporting Regenerate Rise – we made over £300 for the charity!

WI Christmas Fair 2

WI Christmas Fair 3

WI Christmas Fair 4

WI Christmas Fair 1

putneywi.wordpress.com

Festival of Carols

13 Dec

I love carols but, every year, I end up only going to one carol service so barely getting to sing them myself. I’ve therefore vowed that this year I have to go to at least three events where I have the opportunity to sing. First up was tonight’s Festival of Carols, hosted by The Eve Appeal at St Botolph without Bishopsgate. It was beautiful. I began with a candlelit procession, which was followed by a programme that included Once in Royal David’s City and Hark the Herald Angels Sing, as well as readings by Celia Imrie and Helen Lederer. I feel so festive this year!

eveappeal.org.uk

Cecil Beaton at the Imperial War Museum

2 Dec

Cecil Beaton's photograph of Eileen Dunne, aged three

The Theatre of War exhibition has been on my list of things to do since it opened in September so I can’t believe I only just got there today – as it enters its last weeks! But, as I knew it would be, it was worth the wait. Not only am I a massive fan of photography exhibitions, I love Cecil Beaton. The exhibition follows Beaton’s time working for the Ministry of Information during the Second World War, taking images that would create sympathy for the British side such as the famous picture of three-year-old Eileen Dunne in hospital at Great Ormond Street that appeared on the cover of Life magazine. It’s an eye-opening and thought-provoking collection and one that truly demonstrates Beaton’s skill.

The excursion was made better still when I stumbled across the Morley College Christmas Fair en route and picked up a stunning set of antique soup spoons and dessert forks, which I’ve been hunting for, for a while. Now all I need is for M and I to move back into our own place so I have a space to invite friends over to use them!

Theatre of War runs to 1 January 2013; iwm.org.uk