‘Tis the season…

Well now, doesn’t time fly when you’re…busy?! And hey presto, the 1st Advent Sunday has  been and gone, setting us up for the holiday season – though it’s one of those things where the journey is what it’s all about, the getting there really has more going for it than the quick couple of days of actual celebration. It’s a good reminder to heed, to change down a gear, enjoy what is getting on for the dead of winter, a feeling of anticipation – what for? – a time to encourage even more family get-togethers!

I actually feel a little like this

Like having a bit of a dream, enjoying a bit of sunshine, the smell of evergreens, some knitting, a cup of tea, an interesting book, a good sleep, some leisurely baking…! I can’t complain, as I do get to do all of these things, albeit inbetween driving here, there and everywhere, lugging bags of shopping, wearing my eyes out on the computer, staying up too late to watch a great series on DVD (what off button?!) and racking my brains for words in various languages where no thesaurus will ever quite do the job.

See, here’s proof

  Twisted Diamond socks by Ann Budd from Sockupied, made up in Madelinetosh Sock Yarn in the colourway “Home”.

I adore these socks. In fact, I adore the yarn, Madelinetosh being my favourite sock yarn so far. This particular colour, which was hard to photograph, includes a bit more golden-pink than is obvious, and along with the crisp blues and golden brown-yellows, is very well named, “Home”, and I think it’s gorgeous, lots of favourites in there, but the combination is stunning. They were easy to knit, too, in the twisted rib with just a few simple cable crossings to deal with and remembering to keep that up along the foot… it completely escaped my notice that I was also supposed to do cables down the side of the heel, I was so absorbed and things were running along so smoothly. Never mind. Really, quite delightful. And adorning my tootsies as we speak.

And there was more, too. My friend asked for a hooded scarf, so a fair amount of brain power went into working out a pattern, with prototypes for my grandkids and then, tada, the final result in adult form

She loves it and is considering making another herself for her daughter, while one of my daughters has put in an order, too! If anyone else is interested, I’ve written the pattern in German for my friend but could easily do it in English, as well.

We’ve had to go looking for sunshine quite often just lately, as our area is too close to the river and the autumn fog sometimes never lifts for several days. Conveniently, the vet is at a slightly higher altitude and so following our regular visits over the last few weeks (Alina is now bandage-free and doing fine, thankyou, except for speed, which continues madly on three legs!) we’ve tried to take advantage wherever possible, including a marvellous drive over the Zurich Oberland, a winding web of roads that often run along the top ridges of the hills, allowing fantastically glowing and golden panorama views over multiple layers of smoky hills to the distant mountains – absolutely breathtaking!

 (sorry, I stole this photo from a hiking group…!)

We also found sunshine on a chilly, wintery Saturday pre-Christmas market lull in a surprisingly quiet Lindau (Bavaria, Germany), at the other end of Lake Constance, as the fog parted half-way across the lake to unexpected brilliance

 (sorry, Wikipedia!)

It really does look like that, the famous entrance to the harbour. The original Lindau is a small island tucked into the bottom corner of Lake Constance, reached either by a single bridge or by train (we can’t for the life of us imagine what they were thinking when they decided to use half of a mediaeval town on a tiny island for a large railway station, including building a railway bridge out to it… there isn’t that much cargo to be had from the lake! Political? Probably!). Because of its age and some very narrow streets, there is hardly any traffic, so it’s a charming place to visit, easy to walk all around and then the harbour with it’s bold entrance – we have ourselves had to resort to coming into this harbour in heavy weather when boats were packed in like sardines and the cafés steamed with sailors ducking in out of the rain in their oilskins, and it can be a godsend. That’s alongside the large pleasure boats that trundle in and out regularly throughout the season – always three long toots of the horn for those going in or out, no matter what the size of the boat.

But on the whole, it’s an introverted time of year. We have birthdays in the family, time to squeeze in some visits before other family members jet off to different places for Christmas and we can guarantee some cosy time. I’m watching my amaryllis grow – looking a little eery in the light

and now the countdown begins, with the first of the Advent candles lit

 Edit: I’ve just checked up on Lindau… it was originally founded onshore, but soon moved to the island (1079) for security reasons. The harbour lion and light didn’t appear until 1856, apparently – though I still can’t see why the rail people built on the island! The name of the town means “island where lime trees grow” – pretty. There is more info on the Wikipedia sites, in various languages, for those of historical bent: it’s a busy history! http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindau_(Bodensee)#Geschichte and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindau

Another edit…!

So….my clever husband tells me the reason the railway was built on the island is because some train carriages used to run directly onto a train ferry (linking Friedrichshafen and Lindau on the German side to Romanshorn on the Swiss shore) and the water would have been too shallow for a ferry to get close enough to the mainland. It would also have been exhorbitant to build a strong enough jetty out into deeper water, which would have been subject to wind and weather to a greater extent than on the island.

At least, that’s the theory! 


5 thoughts on “‘Tis the season…

  1. What a lovely post Mel! I still haven’t got as far as making my advent candle decoration…or baking…or doing anything remotely Christmassy….maybe tomorrow…although it’s Besuchstag at school….so maybe not! Anyway you’ve inspired me!!!

  2. I love traveling down memory lane, haven’t been to Lindau for quite a while but have very fond memories of several trips there.
    I’d love to have the hood pattern – no need to translate I can read (and speak) German.
    Have a cozy 2nd Advent Sunday – you are probably lighting the second candle as I write this.

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