Candlemas Day

The wheel turns.
 The days are growing longer, the sun when it shines feels warm on my face, green shoots are appearing, lambs are being born, robins are singing and the Candlemas bells are flowering.
Spring is coming. It'll be several weeks yet before it is properly here but it is coming.
To celebrate I search the hedgerows for catkins and arrange them in a jug next to some candles.

Last year on Candlemas day I took a photograph of my Candlemas bells using my little Canon Ixus. Looking at these shots taken today with my Canon EOS 550D plus a macro lens which together cost 9 times as much as the Ixus I'm not at all sure that they are 9 times better.

As befits a feast of purification I have been clearing out and freshening things up around the house recently. The storecupboard has been cleared out, old and outgrown clothes have been bagged up, unwanted books have been weeded out and piled ready to be taken to Oxfam. I sorted out the linen cupboard yesterday placing each duvet cover plus a sheet in their matching pillowcases and stacking them on the shelves (thank you Martha Stewart Living for that brilliant idea). A dark, ugly old chest of drawers which stood in our dining room has finally been replaced by new a sideboard. The contents of the chest of drawers have been turned out and decluttered and the dining room now looks pleasant, warm and friendly. The children have been allocated cupboards of their own and have been forbidden to dump stuff on top of the new furniture. Charlie has been gradually working his way round the house with a pot of magnolia paint too. Things are looking clean and orderly around here.

This is our dining room. The new sideboard is on the left and on the right is my beloved pine chest of drawers which I've had for donkey's years. The picture above the sideboard was my Christmas present to Charlie. I had some of the photos I took on holiday in summer printed, then I mounted them in this frame. In the middle space is a map of where we stayed (cut from an old OS map). I painted the frame blue to match the blue in some of the pictures.

 The other picture is one I made about 10 years ago -everyone in our family is on it but they all look a lot older now.

 In the other half of this room (just out of sight on the left) is a pine table serving as a desk for the computer, an old saggy sofa, new cupboards for the children's stuff and a drumkit. There are also big windows in this half of the room. The idea is that the dining area remains 'adult' and the other end of the room is where the kids can entertain their friends, play on the computer and make a noise.

The other side of our dining room and our map wall. We like maps. These maps are really great for dinner table conversation. The world map is a Peters Projection.



  1. Oh those photographs of the snowdrops are wonderful! Isn't it such a gorgeous time of the year, full of promise and spots of teasy warm sun, green shoots and bird song. Not be long now til we are all blogging about our holidays I bet, which leads me to say how much I like your photo/map frame - what a fabulous idea!!

    Much love
    Julia x x x

  2. I do like your 10 year ago picture. We did one for each of our two when they were tiny with all their new baby cards and people that they had met. ( can't really say knew as they were too wee.)

  3. Hi Sue , love your dining room . Uncluttered but still colouful and homely . Your snowdrops are gorgeous and I was interested to read last years post about the significance of Candlemas day.
    Jacquie x

  4. What a great idea to store downie covers and sheets in their matching pillow cases!

  5. As ever, you put my housekeeping skills to shame. Please tell me what matching duvet covers and pillowcases are?
    I gave BigBean a picture with three of his favourite places cut out from OS maps last year for his birthday. We love it and it makes for good conversation too.
    Have a good week, Mrs Q, Ax

  6. I love your holiday collage with the map...a wonderful way of commemorating a family trip. Also, I wish we made a big deal out of Candlemas Day in the US, but I've practically never heard of it. Knowing that the darkest days of winter are behind us certainly deserves celebrating.

  7. Pati from London9:22 pm GMT

    Good evening Sue, just popping by to say hello and look at your lovely pics. Your room looks cosy and warm and love the idea of the framed picture collages. Till tomorrow, night, night... x Pati

  8. Arn't flowers the most amazingly beautiful things. To be able to look so close and see them in great detail. I think I will start celebrating the seasons etc more now, although I will do celebrating the opposite to you.
    x Sandi

  9. Hi Sue, I loved your arrangement of the growing hangie things.. funny thing is that when I drove into our farmplace this afternoon I saw some of those, I think they're from our filbert/hazelnut tree that is coming up through the middle of my 100 year old Lilac bush/tree - and I thought, wow, Spring is really coming! I ADORE the candles in the tiny clay pots with moss.. where did you come up with that? SWEET! Are Candlemas bells what we call Snowdrops?

    Hugs from Oregon USA -- Teresa

  10. So happy you stopped by my blog so I could come by and see yours! It's lovely-wonderful photos!

  11. What a lovely post - and I did enjoy seeing a little of your living room! (I guess I'm just a very nosy person!!). I think I now feel inspired to tackle the linen cupboard!!!

  12. You are so energetic Sue, and you put me to shame. I really MUST start sorting out my cupboards! I say this to myself everytime I read of your latest effort and then, of course, Other Things take over.xx

  13. It's amazing how a little more light, warmth and the sign of new life lifts our spirits. thank you for the reminder of Candlemas. I think you are very brave having a drum kit downstairs - oh the noise!
    Jo x

  14. Hey Sue
    As ever lovely post,loving your photographs(of your photographs)I like that idea too,could i be a little cheeky and ask where you had your spotty tablecloth from please,
    Have a great day
    Best Wihes
    Sue xxx

  15. Spotty tablecloth....I bought it on-line but I can't remember the name of the company. Probably the first thing that comes up if you google 'spotty wipe-clean tablecloths':o)

  16. Cheers Sue ,Thank you for the info,Numpty that i am,i bought a red spotty one before christmas from somewhere on ebay,will have a look,i like the colour of yours(can you tell i'm no techno whizz)?!!
    Thanks again
    Sue xxx

  17. Anonymous12:51 pm GMT

    Happy Candlemas. I hope you enjoyed the day. I love the crochet rainbow blanket you have draped over the chair!

  18. Anonymous2:39 pm GMT

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for sharing your home with us. Everything is lovely.

    Enjoy reading as always


  19. Things are a lot further ahead in your part of the world. Up here catkins are a long way off and our snowdrops haven't even appeared yet!

  20. When I get round to the linen cupboard I'm going to do that thing with the duvet covers. Today it was oils and vinegars. I am ashamed at the age of some of them and the quite unnecessary variety.

  21. I love to hear about all these old traditions. Coming from such a young country we don't celebrate any of these here. Any public holiday we have here no matter what the reason for it involves everyone heading off to the beach for a dip in the surf.


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