Watercolour sunsets and Winter swimming

So winter has arrived, and the UK has had the first snow of the season!  None near us yet.

We were down in Cornwall this week visiting Belinda and Jack, and had a very four-seasons-in-one-day time with hail storms, ferocious winds, sunshine and balmy warmth. Very nice to see them both and we are hoping for news of a house purchase soon.

Back in Clevedon the all or nothing weather continues.  Yesterday Nature was catering for the artist in us, with displays that anyone would want to photograph, paint or turn into a multi-media extravaganza.

First, the water on the Marine lakes had a marvellous texture.


It looked like tweed with many crossing diagonals – but you have to look closely to see the effect in the photo.

And a little later we had a real water-colour sunset.


Wales was a very attractive variety of blues, setting off the pastel sky beautifully.

On Saturday it was freezing and a strong wind was coming straight off the Bristol Channel.  However that did not deter one brave swimmer, who we saw tackling the waves.


He didn’t get far before heading back in – we snapped him as he emerged from the tempest.  To be fair, I think the waves would have defeated all but the strongest swimmers, even if the temperature hadn’t been just over freezing.  It reminded me of the scene in Cast Away where Tom Hanks just couldn’t get over the breakers into the open sea until he built the super-raft.

I guess he’s in training for the traditional winter swim that takes place every News Year’s Day by the pier. (The swimmer, that is, and not Tom Hanks.  Although he might be there too, of course!)

I was thinking the other day how a few years ago my daughter was bemoaning the warm winters, and the fact she hadn’t seen more than a grey dusting of snow since she was tiny. That same year there was a television documentary considering whether, due to global warming, we in South of England had seen our last local snow and would need to become snow tourists to enjoy a white Christmas.  Well, things have changed since then with snow every winter and, for the last couple of years, snow before Christmas.

How is your Christmas shopping going? I think I have got everything I need, but it helps that I have family and friends well used to having low expectations. We are fine tuning arrangements now, with family booking train tickets and food shopping being planned.  I’m going to make some Christmas Chelsea buns, filled with dried cranberries, golden sultanas, butter, ground almonds and cinnamon, and drizzled with orange icing.  The plan is to arrange them into a Christmas tree shape on the baking tray.  If they turn out well I’ll post a photo!

Good luck with the shopping, everyone, and don’t forget to have fun!

3 comments on “Watercolour sunsets and Winter swimming

  1. Sue Westgate says:

    Fabulous pics Margaret! Have a great Christmas. Thinking of you.


  2. Thanks Sue. Thinking of you too. Hopefully I’ll be visiting Hertford in the New Year. When are you going to start blogging!

  3. Angela Cato says:

    Another well written blog Maggie. When are you starting that book. I would be unable to put it down! Hope you and Alec have a wonderful Christmas.

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