The Holly And The Ivy

Our white sofa, being a sofa bed, is extremely heavy. In order to avoid damaging the new flooring, this morning Connor called upon

Mark to help him lift it into place.

Jackie ventured into the garden on this much brighter day than yesterday, announcing “I am going into the garden to photograph some loveliness.”  Her results included

raindrops on oak leaf pelargoniums,

on nasturtiums – only the red ones -,

on roses including Hot Chocolate,

Winchester Cathedral,

and pink carpet variety,

on vinca,


on cyclamen,


on camellia,

and on branches of Japanese maple,

weeping birch,

and the stems of Félicité Perpétue.

She also pictured primroses,




cyclamen leaves,

weeping birch bark,


 winter flowering cherry,

and generous pansies sharing their trough with next spring’s burgeoning tete-a-tetes.

Finally she thought her collection would not have been truly seasonal – not that much of it actually is – without

the holly

and the ivy.

The blackbirds have eaten all our berries.

Apart from working on this draft, I wrote out a batch of Christmas cards which Jackie posted later.

By the end of the afternoon, Connor was working on the final corner, which he soon finished.

One of the benefits of not being able to get into your kitchen for three days is that you can eat out in one of your favourite restaurants each day. This evening it was the turn of The Family House Chinese at Totton where we enjoyed our usual M3 set meal with Tsing Tao beer.


  1. Coming down the homestretch with that floor, and how lovely it looks. Thanks for sharing Maddy Prior and Steeleye Span. Wonderful music! I’ve liked them since my college days.

  2. I remember photos from long ago showing the dodgy joins around the fireplace. Now every time you look at this fresh work there will be a thrill of satisfaction that it has been addressed. You are transforming the house room by room.

  3. Thanks for the wonderful music, Derrick. We have a sofa-bed as well and know just how heavy such a piece can be. 🏋🏻‍♂️🏋🏻‍♂️
    Happy Holidays and all the best for for 2020.🧚🏻‍♀️🤶🏻🎄🎅🏻🧚🏻‍♀️
    Warm greetings from the wintery coast of North Norfolk 🌊
    The Fab Four of Cley 😊😊😊😊

  4. Wow, I can’t believe you have nasturtiums yet! Nice collection of photos–and I’m glad your floor is done! BTW, the liking afterward works; I still need to get on to WordPress to figure out the issue.

    1. I’m pleased you can at least like the convoluted way. Those nasturtiums have been thriving for months. We have only had very light frost and they are rather sheltered. We have to try to get the room back today. Thanks very much, Lisa.

  5. Well done Jackie for capturing remnants of summer, so many beautiful photographs.
    Your Karndean flooring looks identical to the Chapel Oak wooden floor in my kitchen.

    I’ll let you into a secret, I almost never listen to music tracks on the blogs of others and usually because I know I will be disappointed, rarely is their taste the same as mine so I gave up listening.

    I love Christmas music and I’m partial to The Holly and the Ivy, especially from Kings. I listened to yours and was delighted with what I heard.The style took me back in time and I loved it. Thank you.

    1. I’m similar to you re music videos, Sue – that’s why I picked this version – I’m so pleased you liked it. Unfortunately it seems that no-one who tried after the day of posting could access it. Like minds on the flooring. Thanks very much.

      1. Derrick, They are not reading the instructions. There is an option to click play on Youtube, I listened a second time only ten minutes ago.

  6. I once had the privilege of dancing with Maddy Prior in a village Hall at a Burns Night. Whether she enjoyed the experience as much as I did is not recorded.

    How lovely to have so many flowers at the winter solstice.

  7. Floors are looking good. You should add scarch pads to the legs of your sofa then you can push it around without worrying about scratchess. Love Jackie’s photos 😌

  8. Sadly by the time I got here the video has been ‘disabled by the owner’ but I hummed something appropriate as I scanned Jackie’s photo collection of loveliness. It’s amazing to think you are approaching mid winter and still have roses blooming. The floor is looking good!

  9. OH! Lovely Jackie photographed some loveliness with love! <3 Thank you, Jackie! 🙂

    Your holly and ivy are beautiful! And that is a song I listen to each December.

    How wonderful of you to write a batch of Christmas cards, Derrick! That is being a great helper! 🙂

    Yes, nice to have some meals out when work is being done on the floors!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    1. Thanks very much, Carolyn. With Jackie being The Head Gardener, The Culinary Queen, The Maintenance Department, The Assistant Photographer, and The Chauffeuse it is some relief for me to be The Chief Accountant and The Head of Administration. 🙂

  10. Derrick I’m happy to see that you both kept sending postcards for Christmas
    This tradition is unfortunately lost in favor of the internet or sms
    I loved going with my mother to choose postcards to send and each year, in addition to the tree and decorations, we placed on a buffet all the cards we received

    1. Thanks very much, Yoshimi. Some we make ourselves from my photographs. Unfortunately we are a bit late this year – I couldn’t finish yesterday because I couldn’t get to the cupboard where some of them are. Today we will get our house back to normal 🙂

  11. What a great carol. I liked Steeleye Span’s version of Guadete and if I recall the name correctly, Boarhead Carol. There was a used record storekeeper who played a lot of folksingers in my college town, so it brings back memories.

  12. The group who uploaded the video to YouTube have disabled playing on other sites. The instructions are correct — click on the title to go to YouTube, and it plays perfectly well. I’m listening to it now, and enjoying it tremendously. I’ve never heard this traditional version.

    I had to smile at your flooring. Now you know what the floor in my new apartment looks like!

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