The Advent of Winter

Sunday, 28 November 2010

When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipt and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who;
Tu-whit, tu-who; a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who;
Tu-whit, tu-who; a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

From Love's Labours Lost by William Shakespeare



My blood was certainly nipt as I put food out for the birds this morning. I had to blow my nail and my nose was quite as red and raw as Marian's. I have no roasted crabapples to add to a bowl of spiced ale- how welcome that would be, but I do have a pot of pork, apple, parsnips and cider to eat with mashed potato. And some brownies :o)
 I imagine quite a few sermons (saws) were drowned out by coughing this morning and in case you were wondering greasy Joan is cooling or skimming the pot and not scrubbing it as I always imagined.
It has been bitterly cold this weekend. We haven't had heavy snow, just a dusting but enough for my daughter to make this tiny snowman.


Today is Advent Sunday. As I mentioned the other day Advent does not begin on 1st December, or at least not always. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. This can be as early as 27th November and as late as 3rd December. To find out more about Advent do have a look at the excellent Woodlands Junior School site which has information on all kinds of British traditions.
All those calendars with 24 windows to open should be called 'count down to Christmas' calendars or something. Today we have opened the first window on our Advent calendar.


The sun- reminding us in this cold, dark Advent season that we are waiting for the coming of the sun/Son.

This year I have not made an Advent wreath. I find dealing with prickly vegetation leaves me with itchy and scratchy hands. My candles never stand up straight. They crack and break when I try and put them on the spikes. And I get cross.
Instead we have one large white candle to light on each Sunday in Advent, and again on Christmas Day and each day of Christmastide after. 


Advent Sunday is the day I gather together my favourite Christmas music.


I found some beautiful Advent music for you to enjoy as well.


Wishing you a peaceful Advent filled with quiet joy and anticipation.



19 comments:

  1. What a lovely post. I am so excited about Christmas, the snowfall has made it feel closer than it actually is! I wonder if my enthusiasm will last if the schools are closed tomorrow?

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  2. Thought provoking post..loved Enya one of my late Fathers favourite singers ..brought a tear to my eye..

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  3. How lovely. Thank you.

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  4. What lovely traditions and we have very similar tastes in music Sue. I've lost my "On Yoolis Night" cd, must track down another.

    We've lit a candle this evening and will do the second next week. I love the advent of advent and how seasonal it feels this year.

    Have a smashing week.
    Stephx

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  5. Thanks a lot, and wishing you a peaceful Advent as well.

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  6. I love candles, particularly at this time of year reminding us of 'The light of the world'. You might like Jen Robins Christmas song. Follow the link on facebook if you go on facebook. It is lovely. Have a happy Advent.

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  7. Oh wonderful post! I feel even more Christmasy now. Thank you for your lovely comments... keep warm this week. Lou x

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  8. Hi Sue, loved your post and thank you for sharing the Enya music. How haunting and beautiful. She's a favorite of mine. We've played her music in my car for my Granddaughter since she was a baby, and she told me that the "music will take us home". How sweet is that? ((hugs)) Teresa

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  9. Hi Sue,
    That was beautiful. I just love your posts.The poem was lovely too.

    Love Carole from Rossendale xxx

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  10. Ooh, another Baebes fan! I love them and i love my Christmas music too. I'm hoping for Kate Rusby's Sweet Bells in my stocking - just the stuff for the big day.

    Tracey

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  11. Pati from London10:01 am GMT

    lovely post to read on a cold monday morning whilst I'm having a tea. I love Shakespeare's poems...Have a nice day! x Pati

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  12. Thank you for the lovely musical interlude.

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  13. I am seriously in love with your advent calendar! Can you do a post every day for us? It is bitterly cold outside - I am just pondering whether it's too cold for a snow-dusted walk this afternoon.

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  14. Anonymous7:44 pm GMT

    Lovely pictures. I'm tempted to buy the new Annie Lennox CD of Carols. Just posting to say how delighted I am by the 'All Year Round' book. It would have passed me by if I had not read your blog.
    Bee.

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  15. Bee if you look at my Halloween post you will see a witch decoration which is also from All Year Round :o)

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  16. Oh, Enya. I am right back in the forest with Michael Praed.

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  17. Anonymous9:14 pm GMT

    Hi again Sue, oh yes!
    I also bought the companion book, The Children's Year, Seasonal Crafts and Clothes. I'm finding both books inspiring reads, lots of ideas, food for thought.
    Bee.

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  18. Thank you Sue for such a beautiful and thoughtful advent post - the music took it to another level. We have started our "Star Path" and Mary has began her journey. My children go to a Waldorf Steiner school where two of the authors of All Year Round live and work.
    Sending all good wishes to you and your family
    Claire x

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  19. justjune9:08 am GMT

    Sue, what a beautiful post, i loved the music by enya, i closed my eyes and it was like being in an abbey, i shall be playing that again and again. Also i like the poetry that you put on , i especially like the line and greasy joan doth stir the pot, in the shakespeare poem. I needed a pick me up this morning and this was just the tonic, thankyou. best wishes june x

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