So... hello.

Hello. It´s been a while! I was going to post pictures from our wonderful christmas trip to the North Sea, but I forgot to charge my camera and so there were no pictures to post. Shortly afterwards all but one of my chickens got killed by a fox (or whatever) and honestly I couldn´t bear to even open this blog because hello there, dead chickens (I still get terribly sad when I look at their pictures. My lovely chooks, all gone). Anyway. Life goes on. We got a tribe of new chickens in the meantime, but more on that another time. I came here to say hello and post a few pictures from our winter break in the Czech mountains which was very very short because I managed to get the stomach flu and we ended up going home two days early. Which was a shame because we stayed in the most beautiful cabin ever, above, which you can rent here

It´s funny because on the way from Germany you drive through Poland and the Czech Republic for quite a bit and it´s, well, for the most part not exceptionally pretty (trying to not offend anyone here) and then you get to the mountains and it´s all like out a fairy tale. 

That´s me wearing a lot of clothes. It was very cold.

See? Fairy tale. 

And this is what happens when you finally remember that the manual mode of your camera exists. Pretty cool pictures of my dog (and husband) enjoying the snow! Speaking of Ludwig, as of Saturday he is going to be a big brother! Yes we are bringing another dog to the family - a 6 year old Setter mix recently rescued from a kill shelter in Spain. We will foster him for the first weeks but the plan is to keep him if everyone is getting along. Fingers crossed! We´re excited! And terrified! Mostly excited though!
Speak soon.


On my camera, the before christmas edition.

So here are a few random pictures from the past weeks that I wanted to share. Above is my very simple little advent "wreath", consisting of beeswax candles and moss I collected in the woods. I love it, I think it´s my favorite yet? Otherwise we are sort of skipping Christmas this year - on Wednesday we are going to run away to the North Sea where we´ll be staying over my birthday (on winter solstice) and Christmas too. Which means I haven´t even bothered to decorate the house this year nor did I do any christmas baking. It feels a bit strange but also really liberating?  

Anyway I did a little photo shooting with the chooks a few weeks ago and I love the pictures, especially the one of Luzia below. Luzia is a cheeky little thing and always hungry - she follows me like a dog when I am in the garden because I might have a treat for her (I usually do, so...).

Still very much in love with the extravagant bouquets from my flower subscription. Lutz says hello.

Last weekend we had our first snow! Most of it was gone by Sunday evening when I took these pictures (look, another picture of my "elusive" husband - he does exist!).

Then last week it got stormy which always results in good colors. 

Weird bonus picture that I for some reason like very much. 
Merry Christmas to all of you! See you on the other side with lots of pictures from our trip.  


Winter flowers. 

The garden is so bare and brownish right now, but amazingly there are still a few blooms that are hanging on for dear life. Somehow a single flower in an otherwise bare winter garden is such a beautiful thing, so I decided to take some picture today in the afternoon when suddenly the sun came out and the light was beautiful. Above are hollyhocks that decided to flower a second time. In November. Yup. 

This is Alcea "Parkrondell". I had a few of these in my garden but they´ve mostly disappeared by now. Such beautiful plants, I need to get a few more in spring. 

A rose bud at the end of November just is something special. 

Not technically flowers, but I love the foliage of my rambler rose, especially in combination with my newly (ish) painted gate. 

These are asters that have gone to seed. They look like snowflakes, yes? Winter flowers in the truest sense. 

Bonus picture(s) of my chooks (and Ludwig, can you spot him?). I find chickens are incredibly photogenic creatures. 
Also, this has nothing to do with anything, but I´m listening to Joni Mitchell´s "Both Sides Now" on repeat - it´s such a perfect November album. Enjoy what´s left of the this dark month!


The winter list.

Does anyone else do winter lists? Is this a thing? Anyway a winter list is a compilation of things I want to/need to do during the dark season, like renovation/house projects but also fun activities like ice skating or finally taking another pottery course. It´s actually part of a survival strategy for winter that is supposed to keep me from plopping myself onto the sofa after work and slowly but surely sinking into a seasonal depression. Anway on this year´s winter list is getting myself a flower subscription to make those dreary months a little more cheerful. My first bouqet arrived on Friday and it makes me so happy whenever I look at it. If all bouquets are this dreamy this is well invested money indeed. (My subscription is from here. No, this is not a sponsored post). 

We are pretty much done with the garden work. Today we lifted the dahlias and I need to do another round of cutting down the perennials in the walled garden next weekend. Oh and plant the bag of bulbs I bought a few weeks ago. And then, done. It feels pretty good I have to say. I love gardening but I need a break. 

In case you wondered how my new chooks Frida and Marie were doing, they are just fine! They are growing so much and I expect a first egg from Marie any day now. However it´s the first time I got baby chooks so late in the year, so I actually have no idea when they will start laying. I just know that right now we´re getting one egg a day from this lazy bunch and frankly that´s a bit underwhelming. 

This weeks bread: Pumpin (above) and beet sourdough - both from this brilliant book. We´re a bit addicted to the pumpkin bread around here which is kind of a good thing because I still have so many pumpkins in my barn waiting to be used up! There shall be lots more pumpkin bread in our near future.
Have a happy week!


Soak up the sun. 

Last year we started going on autumn breaks (and I hope we can make this a tradition). We have friends who come and hold down the fort while we are away (thank you!!); they take care of Ludwig too so that means we can actually hop on a plane and go somewhere a little farther away than we would with dog-in-tow. Last year we went to Portugal and this year...to Sicily! 

Our resort was built around a grove of citrus fruit, so beautiful! They had so many olive trees too; you could actually help with the harvest which will be underway for a few more weeks by the looks of it.

And there was a small but beautiful beach in a private bay. Fun story: I didn´t swim in the sea during our week there because I was concerned that it was too cold. I did swim in the pool daily though which I somehow thought would be warmer? Anyway on our last day they had a thermometer dangling in the pool which read 14 degrees Celsius. Ha! I guess the sea would have been the better choice. I did think that pool water was seriously freezing! 

As we had been to Sicily together before (15 years ago! We´re old!) and did most of the touristy thing back then this holiday was really all about rest and relaxation. On one overcast afternoon we took a little roadtrip to the Madonie national park and the higher mountain area was stunning with the changing leaves! So different than the usual landscape in Sicily. That´s actually an iphone pic because I sadly didn´t have my real camera with me (WHY.). 

We also strolled through nearby Cefalù one afternoon which turned out to be quite a lovely little town. 

One evening shortly before sunset we drove to a nearby beach and the clouds were insanely beautiful. Such good light. So I thrust my camera in my husband´s hand and told him to take snap a few pics so that there will be photographic evidence in our yearbook that I was on this holiday too. :) Yay for autumn breaks!