Monday, 15 December 2014

Thinking of Christmas

 Our Christmas tree is up and decorated and, at the moment, it is still standing!

We visited a Christmas tree festival this weekend and admired the fantastic decorated trees. The 60 trees are decorated by local groups, each one different and unique. The decorations created by children were so special, but the one that touched me was the white one in the middle of the second picture. It was created by a local day centre for the elderly and featured one of the clients memories of walking holidays in Austria before the War. It featured the Austrian flag. edelweiss and black and white photographs of those visits.

Meanwhile, in a neighbouring village these cheerful characters are looking for a welcome home!

We have bought Tavi a coat. It somehow reminds me of Sherlock Homes, while my husband remarked it looked like one of the kilts my mother used to wear! 

On our travels this week we passed the Sidmouth Donkey Santuary. We just had to pop into see the donkeys. One donkey in particular was very keen to say hello to Tavi - after this he was quite reluctant to come home!

The Donkey Santuary were preparing for their annual candlelight carol service, unfortunately due to other commitments we couldn't stay. All the paths were lined with tealights, it must have been a magical moment and one that we hope to participate in next year. Ann from Studiohyde was there see her post here.

In the garden we have our first flower in bloom. In our previous home our camillia never made an appearance until February. Are you also noticing flowers appearing earlier than usual?

We have suffered with high winds this week, but have had also had some beautiful cold and clear mornings. Walking down to pick up a paper on Saturday morning the light was fantastic and the colours sublime. The moon was still out too!

 Hope your Christmas preparations are going well  wishing you a happy week. Thank you as always for all the comments you leave.
Sarah x


  1. Sounds just wonderful to me. Tavi and those Donkeys are precious. I would like to attend such a sweet event. Your Tavi has influenced our decision for another puppy..we are getting a Westie. Not too soon, in a year or two. Our Bella will be seven this December 29th and a young companion with keep her youthful.

    Love to see your coast. It always blesses me. We have been in storm after storm but we need the rain to ease us of the severe drought.

    Christmas tidings xxo

  2. Glad you got to see the donkeys down at Sidmouth, I fall in love with all of them. The candlelight service was really good, such a great atmosphere.

  3. Your little Tavi is so endearing, and his expressions almost let one mindread his thoughts.
    As to flowers coming out early. When I was in Cornwall in late October, I saw a camellia flower out then in my cottage garden. It is true that the flowers and trees don't know if they are coming or going. Home here in San Diego, it is the same for our fig tree. It dropped its leaves because of the dry heat, and now has a new set as if it thinks it is going to start producing fruit.

  4. Your pooch looks adorable - quite handsome in his new coat. Your photos are lovely. I especially like the one just looking out to sea. I hope you're enjoying this wonderful holiday season.

  5. Tavi is so darling!! What a cute coat. No flowers here - more's the pity! Not much snow either though,so I'm pleased!

    Have a wonderful week! xox

  6. Ohhhh...that TAVI is a heart-stealer! He has stolen my heart, Sarah! This is a job for SHERLOCK! teeeeheeee

    His little coat is precious. You should see some of the dogs here with their BOOTS! YES!

    Now that Donkey Festival sounds like the most magical moment. I would have loved to see it and to hear the carolers. We did have some of our neighbors knock on our door last night to sing us carols with candles in hand. How I love this season.

    Happy Christmas to you! Anita

  7. So great to see Tavi! He's SO cute! We do not have any flowers in bloom here. I planted some Camilla but the deer ate them before they had a chance to grow.

  8. That Christmas tree is really beautiful and has so much meaning. I love Tavi's sweater. I don't know how, but I lost track of your blog for a few months and I'm sorry that happened. Your comments on mine reminded me that I hadn't seen yours in my feed for awhile but I've fixed it now and I hope to follow along again. :)

  9. Beautiful photos Sarah! I love the Christmas decorations, the collaborative tree decorating is such a great idea. Tavi's coat is adorable!

  10. Tavi does look a bit like "the game is afoot" there....needs a deerstalker hat though :)

  11. Hello Sarah,
    thank you for those lovely pictures! i love Tavi in his Coat , he is growing up so quick!
    Wishing you a wonderful Christmastime and looking forward for new Tavi-adventures ;O)
    Love and hugs and blessings,
    Claudia xo

  12. Oh to be able to walk down to the sea in the early morning, it looks beautiful. And that white camellia is gorgeous, they are some of my favourite flowers, so exquisitely tropical, but blooming at the most inhospitable time of the year. I love the photo of Tavi and the donkey, nostril to nostril, it made me smile. I went to the donkey sanctuary once on a really hot day. We walked down to the beach, it was such a good afternoon. I shall visit again one day. CJ xx

  13. Love the festive warmth and seasonal stillness of your photos, Sarah. Tavi is a little star! Claire xo

  14. Beautiful - I love childrens work at christmas. Give Sherlock a kiss from me!


  15. Merry Christmas to you and yours too my dear.
    One of my sisters has a Highland terrier (called Little Jeff...he is very little) and I am now thinking that I should rustle up a little jacket for him to wear this season...mmmm...might have enough time.....
    I have a bit of wind problem too at the moment
    All the best

  16. So many lovely things! I love those wooden reindeer and the snowmen, how cute are they! Not as cute of course as Tavi in his new coat - he looks splendid in it doesn't he!! xx

  17. "Down by the Sea" has been included in our Sites To See #421. Be assured that we hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

  18. Tavi is so cute in all his finery, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a safe and happy New Years X

  19. Have a wonderful Christmas in your new home. Belle and Misty send kisses to Tavi x!x

  20. Small cute dogs in coats, colourful Christmas trees and donkeys, what could be better!

  21. Such a lovely Christmas feel to this post - Tavi looks adorable in his little coat and the picture of him with the donkey is pure delight. The storms have passed and we are left with delightful spring like weather. Camellia in bloom already - the garden can't know whether it is coming or going.

  22. I think before Christmas is over Tavi and that Christmas tree are going to have some interesting encounters! The year Fergus was a puppy I bought some cheap stuffed animal ornaments at Costco to hang on the bottom half of the tree. I didn't care if he happened to mistake one of them for a chew toy, and also I knew he couldn't get hurt if he ate one. The funny thing is, this year I have done the same thing, only this time it's because of my granddaughter Lucy. Tavi's new coat is very handsome. I vote for Sherlock. :-)

  23. Tavi does look like Sherlock! The memory tree is a lovely thought indeed. Enjoyed the donkeys - I'm sure the illumination would have been magical. Lovely - thanks.

  24. I love Tavi's coat he looks very dapper. I can't say I have noticed flowers earlier than usual but then I'm much further north than I'm used to so it would be very surprising if I did! But my mum hasn't commented that she has noticed anything unusual and it is the sort of thing she notices. Maybe it is just this particular camellia, it will be interesting to follow it from year to year. Juliex

  25. Hi Sarah,
    I'm in love with your little Tavi. If you can only hear me squeal as I scroll down looking at his adorable photos. Good luck with your tree. : )
    It looks beautiful there. I"m sure it is cold, burrrrr. We are having some nice cold winter weather. A nice change from last year. We were all in shorts.
    Have a wonderful rest of the week.
    Bobbie Lynn

  26. Tavi looks adorable in that beautiful coat. Wish I had two for my weenies.

  27. Hi Sarah, when I see little Tavi with his mischievous little face it makes me smile! So cute! Lovely how the Christmas trees are decorated and for you to visit the donkey sanctuary...our tree is also finally up and I've finished decorating. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas next week! Hugs Sharon x

  28. Haha, Tavi is such a cute little fellow. How he is watching the tree with that waggishly little face. The coat suits him beautifully!

  29. So many good things in this post - that early morning shot of the sea is wonderful - but Tavi looking smart in his new togs has to be the best bit :)

  30. Just to wish you a lovely Christmas, Sarah, you and your family and Tavi. Fingers crossed the tree is still standing by Christmas ;-) I'm really glad I discovered your blog, I enjoy reading about a part of Britain that is very special to me. All the best for 2015.

  31. Oh Sarah, I just saw your comment and I laughed! SANTA being pulled by a car!!!!!! teeeeeheee

    When we lived on the coast of Massachusetts in a darling old town named ROCKPORT, we saw Santa coming in on A LOBSTER BOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think he has different modes of transportation wherever he goes. KEEP WARM! Anita

  32. Hi Sarah,
    love the photo of Tavi with the donkeys ,so cute with his tartan coat.
    What a lovely thing to do.. to put the christmas trees there for people to see.
    I see on the news, that you have been having weather similar to ours.. We have had some beautiful sunny days.. still cold.. but I like it when the sun is out.
    nice post Sarah.
    wishing you a happy christmas and happy days leading up to Christmas.
    val xxx

  33. How lovely to have a camellia in flower. Must plant the tulips before Christmas!

  34. Tavi with his Scottish coat! Unbelievably unique! Hope your preparations continue perfectly well and that you gave nicer weather now, it has been stormy and cold I think. Wish you a wonderful Christmas with your beloved ones.

  35. What can I say - Tavi in his tartan coat - adoreable
    On your previous post is that the cliff seen in "Broadchurch"?

  36. Yes Rosemary it is the cliff on Broadchurch and the same cliff as my header. Sarah x

  37. Wonderful Christmas trees, the donkeys give it all a Greek touch!
    Tavi looks so warm and snugly in his new coat, another Greek touch: When I hear Tavi's name, it makes me think of teve...Greek national insurance for the self-employed!!
    A wonderful Merry Christmas to you and your family Sarah, and to Tavi , of course!

  38. What a beautiful post...
    I wish you a Merry Christmas, take care!

  39. Hi Sarah, it's been a while (almost a year!) since I've looked at any blogs, so I've just been catching up on all your news! Wow you've moved to Broadchurch!! - thought that cliff looked familiar, and a new dog and garden, so a lot has happened in your life in 2014. We've also become first time dog owners, a rescue dog, and can't image life without Murphy. I'm not sure if you're on instagram, but its my blogging replacement! here's my link in case you're interested in seeing what I've been up to! so just wanted to pop by and say Hi and wish you a merry Christmas and all the best for 2015, Sally x

    1. Hi Sally, It was great to see your name come up on my feed. Finally enough I was only thinking of you two days ago and wondering how your art projects were going. I will be over to visit you on instances. Sarah x

    2. We are slowly easing ourselves into Christmas this year. But then with one very excited seven year old that is interrogating me constantly each day it's good (for us) to not get too wrapped up in the whole festivities. I'll let her go loose on Christmas Day :)

  40. Dear Sarah,

    A Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones and all the best for a Happy, Healthy and Magical New Year!


    Madelief x


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