Christmas Present

It doesn’t seem possible that Christmas is just over a week away, a New Year chasing its heels. So much has changed, not least of all the weather. The last couple of weeks in southern England have been unseasonably mild, although unlike last year, we did have a few frosty days in November.

november-frost-2016-5november-frost-2016-1november-frost-2016-3-editedWhat happened to those white Christmases of my childhood I wonder?  For me, they really did exist.  It took me a while to get used to a Californian winter when I first moved to Los Angeles.  Winter wonderland scenes with fake snow, icicles and huge, plastic snowmen in front yards looked out of place against the azure sky, bobbing around in warm, Santa Ana winds.

But it is Christmas Present I am more keen to think about today.  Which means presents! And what better presents than books, especially debut novels recently published by three dear friends.

Sarah Potter, (and thank you again so much to Sarah for featuring me as her Guest Storyteller and to all who left such amazing comments), published her first novel Desiccation last year.

desiccation-cover-smallAn urban fantasy, sci-fi crossover fiction, it’s best described as ‘St Trinian’s meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  And it is, and it’s a wonderful read.  I know, because I read and reviewed it on Amazon.

Sarah followed up very recently with her latest upper-middle grade crossover fiction novel, Noah Padgett and the Dog People which tells:

The tale of a boy who fell into the paw-hands of a villain crazier than the Mad Hatter and more puffed up than Mr Toad…

npdp-ebook_imageI have the paperback ready and waiting on my bookshelf, but as well as for Kindle, it is also available in audio format.

Great stories take us to places we might otherwise never go.  A classic, of course,  Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, takes us back in time to a world very different to ours, yet its message of forgiveness and love is timeless.

Every first weekend in December,  with great anticipation of seasonal celebration, my family catches a steam train to the tiny, medieval village of Dunster in Somerset, England, its narrow streets transformed into a Dickensian candlelit delight.

A castle overlooks the village from on high, hosting a Victorian Christmas all of its own…

dunster-christmas-2016-7First some sweet music from this lovely harpist…

dunster-christmas-2016-3Then to open presents…

dunster-christmas-2016-13Time to feast in the grand dining room…make sure to look for your place card!

dunster-christmas-2016-9Followed by traditional Christmas cake and pudding by a warming fire…

dunster-christmas-2016-10And then, how lovely to retire to the library for a glass of port and a nice, quiet read of those recently purchased books…

dunster-christmas-2016-14 Away from the peace of the castle, once owned by the Luttrell family but now by the National Trust, things were more boisterous…

dunster-christmas-2016-2One man walked along a tightrope while playing a violin, accompanied by his friend playing a moving piano. Even Jacob Marley would have enjoyed this entertainment. Maybe…

Thinking back to that beautiful library, what a thrill it must be to at last hold the book you’ve written, laboured over and finally published.  I know this is just how Hugh Roberts is feeling right now with the launch of his debut novel Glimpses this month.

glimpses-kdp-cover

A collection of 28 short stories sure to delight – and shock – with thrills and spills, twists and turns, humour and horror. I know, because I’ve read most of these great stories on Hugh’s blog,  Hugh’s Views and News, although he tells us that he’s changed several and added some new ones. To celebrate his book launch, Hugh is running a competition with the top prize a £100 Amazon Gift Certificate.

One of the happier parts of this year have been the many, long walks I’ve taken, through sunshine and rain (but no snow, yet…).  I think of another lovely friend, ‘restless’ Jo, who takes us on her Monday walks with her gorgeous photographs and narrative no matter the weather; I know she will remember the beautiful, Roman city of Bath.

Hubby and I managed to squeeze in a visit to the Christmas markets at Bath at the end of November.  It was very cold that day – our brief frosty phase – but a warming cup of mulled wine helped greatly while walking around the market, admiring the beautiful, Bath stone buildings, including the old Pump Rooms (where afternoon tea is now served)…

bath-2016-10

bath-2016-4bath-2016-11bath-2016-13Although there is no skiing in Bath due to the distinct lack of slopes and yes, snow, there is an Apres Ski Bar for anyone who wants to pretend…

bath-2016-15It’s very cosy and Christmassy inside. Hot chocolate? Coffee? Prosecco?  It’s all there…

bath-2016-7And for those who have other things in mind, if not skiing…

bath-2016-14This year, my blogging hasn’t been exactly prolific, but I’m so grateful to those who still visit the Summerhouse.  I’ve known dear Jude since my very early blogging days, and I’ve always enjoyed participating in her photography challenges when I can.

Jude runs a Garden Photography challenge over at her gorgeous blog Earth Laughs in Flowers, and December’s theme is urban floral displays.  I wonder if her ears were burning when I told hubby I had to take photos of these pretty floral displays outside a restaurant just for her…

bath-2016-3

bath-2016-2

Although I don’t blog as much as I used to while working on my memoir, since returning in October, I have continued to write 99 word flash fiction over at dear friend Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch.  I post them in her comments in response to her weekly prompt rather than here for the time being, purely because of time constraints.

Through Carrot Ranch, I’ve met a wonderful group of writer friends, one of whom is Sarah Brentyn who blogs at Lemon Shark.  She very recently released her debut collection of short fiction, Hinting at Shadows

hinting-at-shadows-cover-reveal-lemon-sharkI have always enjoyed Sarah’s wonderfully edgy, what-lies-beneath writing, and look forward to reading her ‘microburst’ stories that promise and intrigue…

‘No one escapes life unscathed. Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness
that lives there.’

Last, but not certainly not least, I must tell you about the beautiful post my wonderful, sweet friend Patsy Parker shared, in which she tells of the absolutely stunning painting she made for me called Sherri’s Red Fox in honour of my dad and our walks in the woods.

And then she mailed it to me, from California, framed and all. Isn’t it stunning?  I cried when I opened it…

sherris-red-fox Please check out Patsy’s awesome blog Patsy’s Creative Corner and her other amazing artwork.  She is incredibly talented. You’ll get a wonderful welcome, guaranteed.

Thank you so much dear Patsy, and many congratulations to Sarah, Sarah and Hugh…thrilled for you all!

*******

This is my last post until after the New Year, but I’ll be hanging around to visit and do the rounds for as long as I can before launching into next week’s Christmas preparations.

Until then, I wish you, dear friends, a Merry Christmas and a
happy holiday season filled with joy, love and peace
from my home to yours…

picture-156

…and a Happy New Year to all!

Love Sherri xxx

*All photographs and videos copyrighted by Sherri Matthews and a View From My Summerhouse 2016

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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131 Responses to Christmas Present

  1. restlessjo says:

    What a lovely, lovely post, Sherri! Such a privilege to find myself mentioned in here. I watched with outstretched arms as that violinist balanced on the tight rope! It reminds me of the lovely Dickensian Festival that takes place in Grassington in the Dales every year. So much warmth in your posts, hon. You could warm the cockles of anyone’s heart. I so hope this next year is a good one for you, and that we finally get to read that memoir. But first things first! Have a wonderful Christmas, Sherri. Treasure your family and your memories. I know that you will. Christmas hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks Jo! You know I love your walks even though I don’t get to do them as often as I like. I’m priviliged to share them with you, and I knew you would enjoy this one through some Olde English Christmas sights and sounds…and of course Bath 🙂 I felt the same watching that violinist, my photos aren’t too great from my mobile in the dark, but I was glad to get this little video! Your comments warm the cockles of my heart! Love that saying, my dear Granny used to say that a lot 🙂 Happy Christmas wishes to you too lovely lady, bittersweet for us both. I’ll be over to you before signing off… xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely, uplifting post dear Sherri. Thank you for sharing the work of your lovely friends – something I shall endeavour to find time to check out later today. I remember my UK Christmases with affection – the Christmas Eve carol service in the Canterbury Cathedral, with those beautiful soaring voices reverberating all around the stunning architecture and the ceremonial walk-in, the costumes and the drama of it all ….. Coming out to darkened streets, most of the stores already closed, just the Dickensian sweet shop still open and invitingly lit. It was only 3 or 4 in the afternoon – I forget exactly the time, but it felt like the midnight services I used to attend at home when I was younger. Have a happy Christmas Sherri and a wonderful and productive new year! xoxo Much love to you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sherri says:

      Oh your memories of your Canterbury Christmas are so evocative dear Pauline…you are a wonderful wordsmith I hope you know! These days on Christmas Eve I’m awaiting the arrival of my boys and busy preparing everything, but this year they arrive the day before, so I’m hoping we can find the opportunity to attend a carol service on Christmas Eve. There is nothing quite like it to bring in the goodwill and beauty of the season. Thank you for your lovely comment and much love and very best wishes to you too my dear friend for a very Happy Christmas…and yes, let’s hope that 2017 is much better than this one! xoxo

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  3. Pat says:

    I love this, Sherri, and it’s full of presents with notice of the newly published books, photos of your latest adventures and the magic of Christmas. Thank you for taking me along and, like you, I love this time of year with the ambiance, music and cheer and spirit of love and giving. I could imagine myself in one of those libraries with castles outside curled up by a fireplace with a good book.

    Love to you and your family this Christmas and may it be blessed and full of love. God bless and will see you in the New Year. xxoo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Pat, you would adore the castle. I love how they recreate the days of old so wonderfully. I could easily live there too lol! Wonderful as always to share the magic of Christmas and this wonderful time of year with you my dear friend. Much love to you and your family, have a blessed, peaceful and joyous Christmas and happy New Year and here’s to more shared adventures next year 🙂 xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Heyjude says:

    Lovely to visit you again Sherri and thank you dear friend for the delightful Christmassy floral planters – how wonderful! I’m not one for crowds so tend to avoid all the markets being held all over Cornwall, but I might just try and catch an illuminated garden before the end of the year! Stay safe and warm Sherri, have a lovely, happy time with the family and I shall see you in the new year – meanwhile open that bubbly!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Always lovely to chat with you dear friend, whether here at the Summerhouse or in your beautiful garden 🙂 I was excited about sharing these floral planters with you! I’ve always wanted to go to an illuminated garden, I hope you do and I look forward to what I know will be gorgeous photos. Oh I know about those crowds, that was the only downside of both Dunster and Bath..soooooo crowded. Ahh…thank you Jude, so kind, and you too, I hope you have a very Happy Christmas…first in your new home! I will head over to you as soon as I can to catch up on those Lavenham posts and others before the year is out, of that I’m determined! And ha, yes! That bubbly is ready and waiting! Cheers Jude! 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lynn says:

    What a lovely post Sherri & those planters are spectacular! Over the past few days, we have received a fresh blanket of snow in Southern Ontario, Canada, making everything look so magical! Wishing you & yours the very best this holiday season!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Oh how beautiful! I know some don’t like snow, and it can cause havoc, but I love it, if at home and hunkered down! I remember those kind of winters and miss them! Thank you so much Lynn, it’s been lovely chatting with you, and all the very best to you too and wishing you the happiest of season greetings! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Gorgeous post, dear Sherri. Love all of your lovely pictures. The give me a real Christmassy feeling. Have a wonderful festive season with your family. 😍🎄xx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Tom Merriman says:

    Sherri, your post has just appeared in my reader just as I was about to close down for the night (well, it’s probably been there for a short while, but I’ve just seen it as I clicked on the tab in error, but there must have been a reason for me to do that – however, I digress!) I’ve been to Bath only a couple of times, and loved the buildings there, although I don’t remember seeing the Après Ski Bar… which doesn’t exactly mean that I didn’t walk passed it a thousand times and was always looking in the opposite direction… story of my life! Hehehe!
    Have a great Christmas and New Year, and I look forward to seeing you post again in 2017.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Tom! I’m so glad you caught my post when you did, and it’s funny as I struggled mightily to get this one out! The past three days one thing after the other with problems after the dreaded Windows 10 update and then all my comments going to spam – again! Hence I’m even more behind! But…got there at last and all seems in order again, so I will be over to you! Haha…I know the feeling Tom! The Apres Ski Bar might be a recent thing. I tend not to go to the markets there because of the crowds, but we did the park and ride and it wasn’t too bad…despite the crowds in the Christmas market itself. Happiest of Christmas and New Year greetings to you my friend, thank you so much for your loyal readership. Here’s to next year…better than this last one let’s hope! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Christmas is a time for friends and family, and I had so much fun reading about your blogging family Sherri. I’ve never actually read a book by someone that I know, so how exciting to have books to read by three friends! We are unfortunately getting a very white Christmas here in Michigan with 5 more inches of snow coming this evening! I’m envious of your lovely walks outside, as much of my time outside is spent scurry from one place to another. I wish that we had Christmas markets here, because they sound like grand fun! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas my friend. I am trying to get one blog post out before the holidays but we shall see if that happens!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Heather! I’m so glad you had fun,always walking with you, thank you! It is a thrill to know someone who’s written a book. It inspires me to keep pressing on with mine, that it can actually happen! Oh goodness, that is a lot of snow! Keep safe and warm my friend. I love how beautiful it looks, if safe inside and not having to travel anywhere, but it can also cause mayhem. We often see the salt gritters out when black ice threatens. The Christmas markets are fun, but they get too crowded. We ran out of steam fast…but it was fun to go and take a few pics and share here! I would have taken more of the actual stalls if not for all the people! I’ll take a look out for your Christmas post, but meanwhile, wishing you and Matt a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Much love to you my dear friend 🙂 xoxo

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  9. mvschulze says:

    A beautiful post Sherri, with plenty of leads to explore other reads. I know you will have a wonderful Christmas, maybe even despite the strange happenings this past year, in both your world, and here across the pond. (I prefer my socio-economic and political “changes” a little more subtle!) So, Merry Christmas, and a good and healthy New Yoer to you ant the ones you love. Marty (M :-))

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Marty! How lovely to see you again, my ‘old’ friend 🙂 I hope you’re well and looking forward to a wonderful Christmas celebration with loved ones. Thank you for your lovely message…and yes, very strange happenings on both sides of the sea. What times we live in indeed. And now we can but wait to see what next year brings…and I know what you mean about those subtle changes!! Take care my friend, very best wishes to you and see you soon! 🙂

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  10. Lovely post, Sherri. It’s wonderful to see so many familiar friends. Patsy’s painting is wonderful! I loved the photos from your visit to Bath, and of course the trip to the medieval village of Dunster in Somerset. Wishing you and your beautiful family a Merry Christmas and peace and joy in the new year. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Hi JBean! Always lovely to read your delightful comments my dear friend! A joy to share with you. The very same to you and DFD, wishing you both the happiest of Christmas wishes and a peaceful and joy-filled New Year…time to relax for you, I hope! Much love and hugs to you… 🙂 ❤ xoxo

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  11. dgkaye says:

    What a beautiful Christmas post to leave us with for the season Sherri. Loved the tour and the beautiful photos, and Apres ski where there is no skiing, lol. Wonderful books and authors and lovely tributes, all done in true Sherri style. Merry Christmas again my friend. 🙂 xoxo ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Lol…it struck me as so funny that, an Apres ski bar right in the middle of Bath! Although there are ‘dry’ slopes to practice on throughout the country, used to be one in our town, so it all adds to the pretence and feel of the real thing I suppose! I’ve never skied, I’d be the one back at the lodge snuggled by the fire drinking hot chocolate…or wine 😀 I know the snow isn’t for you, I bet you can’t wait to get to the sun! Aww…thanks dear Deb, so lovely of you, so glad you enjoyed it. Merry Christmas to you my friend…and still more to come! 🙂 ❤ xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Now I feel very Christmasy. Beautiful photos and the fox art is beautiful. It was nice of your friend to paint it for you. We’ve had the most unusual winter. A record breaking snowstorm. Portland never gets that kind of storm. I have Glimpses in my shopping cart too. Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. prior.. says:

    that was super nice of you to showcase three book releases – and done so well.
    🙂
    and a book like this is truly a special gift because it is unique and custom. So I hope some folks will order these books. Seriously, I think bestsellers have their place, but hand selecting an Indie author and giving it to someone as a present is a custom little gift that has a personal touch.
    Also thanks for taking us to Dunster – brought some nice holiday mood here and such wonderful holiday images made me want to have tea there (or in BATH in the pump rooms)
    I keep a copy of Dickens’ Christmas Carol in my Day Bag all of December. It is a copy from Barnes and Noble that has two other stories from him and it is a highlight for December. This is one of my least favorite months of the year – but the Christmas lights bring joy each year – and so does Dickens.
    lastly, sherri’s red fox touched my heart big time and speaking of customized gifts – well that is primo. Can I share a photo of her piece in one of my upcoming art posts?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      That’s the great thing about giving such a personal gift isn’t it? It’s great to share so much talent! Thank you! So glad to bring you some holiday cheer…wouldn’t tea be lovely at this time of year! I got a copy of Christmas Carol for hubby to read throughout the month as an early gift as he had a real hankering to read it again. Christmas lights and Dickens…what would the season be without them? And yes, Patsy is so kind and I’m sure she would be delighted for you to share her painting on your blog…I’ll mention it to her in my reply. Loved walking through Christmas Past and Present with you mon amie… 🙂 ❤ xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Merry Christmas to you, too, Sherri. As usual, beautiful photographs. Hope you have a wonderful 2017 — to my friend across the pond! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Mary Smith says:

    What a lovely post, Sherri – a joy to read.
    I wish you a happy Christmas and all the best for 2017.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    A wonderful Christmas post from Sherri Matthews looking back at the year.. and I think 2016 has gone so quickly…

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Sue says:

    Lovely post, Sherri….have a great Christmas, and look forward to seeing you in the blogosphere in the New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Dearest Sherri, I feel so honoured to be included in this truly awesome Christmas post of yours. It’s full of so many delights and you’ve left me thinking that a certain Somerset village is a far more entertaining place to be at the beginning of December than anywhere else I can imagine. What wonderful entertainment delights, all of an old-fashioned kind. That fiddler was amazing up on the tightrope. I just love watching acts like that. The whole time when I was reading your post, I had a big smile on my face. You are such a spreader of sunshine, my dear friend, even when things are tough for you, you’re always thinking of others and how to make their lives happy. Sending you lots of love, hugs and kisses for Christmas and the New Year. xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, dearest Sarah, the honour is all mine to share your wonderful books, I am so proud of you…thank you so much for your delightful comment, I’m so glad this post made you smile 🙂 I knew you would love that fiddler, and wasn’t the song he played wonderful? I love listening to it, as you say good old-fashioned, truly Christmassy entertainment. Not long to Christmas too, I hope you are almost ready! I’m getting there but still a fair bit to do…I’m scrabbling for time to get back on blog. Have a wonderful Christmas my dear friend, and a New Year filled with every good thing and we’ll be in touch soon. Here’s to better times ahead…lots of love, hugs and kisses right back go you 🙂 xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dearest Sherri, I’m am ready for Christmas, as I haven’t set too high goals. Fortunately, my family are quite happy with a few sprigs of holly brought into the house at the last moment and good food to eat. I’m being like a mother ship with deflector shields repelling the Christmas craziness. I’ve even eased the stress on the singing front, by deciding to give up singing descants and join the altos in the New Year. The only stress is not selling many copies of my books. I have a countdown deal for Noah Padgett and the Dog-People running from 25th December – 1st Jamuary, and have had to bite the bullet in paying for a BargainBooksy feature on 26th December. Will keep trying, but have exciting plans for a new novel, as I’ve identified a slot in the market where my quirkiness might pay off! But it’s Shhhh here! I’m jealously guarding this idea. Will share the secret by email. Lots of love, hugs, and kisses xxxx

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sherri says:

          Haha…love the idea of those deflector shields! I’ve done a fair bit of that this year too, determined to keep away from the stressful side of it all, but then, the extra work for getting ready for the kids to arrive seems endless (only because I’ve put so much aside this year). Still…almost there now and what’s been lovely is being able to take time out to attend some carol services and really enjoy the beauty and meaning of the season despite the craziness out there. Good to hear your decision about your singing has eased your stress, but sorry about the book sales…I hope your countdown deal proves more successful..but wow, your new novel plans sound very exciting indeed! Can’t wait to hear more about it, I won’t be on my laptop at all over Christmas but will check emails on my phone as I can. Meanwhile dearest Sarah, I wish you once more a very Happy Christmas and New Year…and we’ll catch up properly very soon. Lots of love, hugs and kisses… Sherri ❤ xxxx

          Liked by 1 person

  19. Mumblypeg says:

    Sherri … What a delightful post to bring us all into the warmth and joy of Christmas. Your photos as usual are amazing. How very kind and thoughtful to have the fox painting created for you. What a special friend. I am so happy to live in this land we call England, especially at this time of year. You wove your magic again.. Blessings and love to you and yours this Christmas. Love from Mumbly xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Me too dearest Mumbly, so glad 🙂 Thank you for your lovely comment, and all blessings and love to you too! So glad to share all here with you, I knew you would love Patsy’s red fox painting. Much love and huge hugs to you… 🙂 ❤ xxx

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  20. Wonderful to see you, Sherri. This is a fantastic post. Love the pictures too. The violinist on the tightrope had me hanging on to my table with stubby nails. Every time he moved, I was certain he’d fall. What an exciting tour showcasing authors and their books. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Sherri, so wonderful to get an update – always makes me feel closer when I get to read of your wand’rings about. I do pray you all have a lovely and peaceful Christmas. We’re having a cold one here in Northern California. It’s almost 11am here and the thermometer has yet to reach 55. Br-r-r-r-r-r! Thinking of you and yours, sweet friend. Please give everyone the warmest hugs from me!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      So glad you enjoyed it Susan! Thank you so much for your prayers and kind thoughts, and the very same to you my lovely friend. Keep warm and cosy, brrrrrr indeed! It’s gone cold again here since putting out my post, down to the 40’s in the day, and we’re in for gales taking us through to Christmas…will be good when the boys arrive safe and sound 🙂 Warm hugs going both ways…! Merry Christmas Susan, and I pray the New Year brings healing, hope and peace in every way… xoxo

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  22. I loved taking this tour of Christmas preparations and Christmas gifts with you Sherri, your blog posts are a gift at any time of year. Wishing you a contented one this year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      And I loved sharing it with you Andrea…oh what a lovely thing to say, thank you so much. I had such troubles getting this post out, darn Windows 10 updates and other such stuff. But okay now, phew! ‘Contented’…the perfect word. I will take hold of it and hold it in my heart. And I hope the very same for you , wishing you a wonderfully Happy Christmas my friend. I’ll be over to you before signing off… xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I know…where did this year go?
    I kept thinking how much I loved a part of this post then got to another, equally awesome, part and thought the same. Love your summerhouse lights. Then Dunster! And Bath! I LOVE Bath. Though never been there in winter so missed the “ski” lodge. 😉 And that painting for you…how amazing. What a beautiful gift.
    Needless to say, and yet I will, I was surprised and delighted to see my book here. I am honored to be included in this lovely post. Thank you, my friend, for the share and the beautiful words. ❤
    Merry Christmas to you and yours. Have a wonderful holiday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      No idea! Hard to believe Christmas is days away…! Ahh dear Sarah, I’m honoured to share your wonderful book, and so glad to pleasantly surprise you 😉 My absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. The lights hang from my little potting shed at the bottom of the garden…I would like to think it looks like something out of a Beatrix Potter story inside, but it is very cluttered with garden’junk’…! Merry Christmas to you my friend, enjoy all that you enjoy at this time of year and I wish for you a peaceful, happy and love-filled New Year ❤ xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Have you mentioned this before because I ALWAYS think of Beatrix Potter when I see your shed! 🙂 (From the outside…the inside is fairyland.) Thank you, again. I am sending love and light to you, my friend. Peace, health, happiness, and joy for this coming year! ❤

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sherri says:

          We have talked of Beatrix Potter…so probably so! The inside is fairyland…we shall make it so 🙂 Ahh…dear Sarah, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I am barely emerging…the boys arrived, filled our home with clutter and mess and laughter and love and left again, I miss them, but at least we have had the leftovers to eat since I do not want to see the inside of a grocery story for a while 😉 Thank you for your lovely message, and I send you the very same, every blessing for the New Year and 2017…we got through 2016 which is cause enough to celebrate! Love & hugs & peace and light to you my friend! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  24. Tina Frisco says:

    What a lovely post, Sherri. The photos are exquisite! I love the violin video and all the Christmas stockings lined up with care. I know what you mean about missing the change of seasons. I grew up in Pennsylvania; and even though I’ll never move back there, I do miss autumn leaves abounding and snowflakes falling on my nose. Thank you for a lovely journey down memory lane and thoughts of Christmas present. Happy Holidays, sweetie. Love and hugs ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Tina…Christmas and winter memories, so poignant and also so bittersweet…I can imagine in Pennsylvania you had white Christmases growing up every year just about! I did miss the seasons living in California, although when we moved more inland (we lived on the central coast), we had more of a taste of the seasons, and one Christmas, it actually snowed for about ten minutes, ha! I love walking down memory lane with you dear Tina, and sharing in the today…thank you so much for your lovely comment…have a wonderful Christmas my friend, and I hope the New Year brings you very blessing…much love and hugs right back to you… 🙂 ❤ xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  25. A final post for 2016 and it’s one that goes out with a bang, Sherri. First of all thank you so much for mentioning me and my new book, Glimpses, and for also mentioning the competition I am running to celebrate the launch of the book. I am so very grateful to you for including both in this post and I’m honoured to find myself with two other great authours, Sarah and Sarah.

    The Christmas market looks terrific. I haven’t visited one this season so I must thank you for publishing all the wonderful photos you took in Bath. I now feel as if I have visited one. I would have certainly bought a Christmas stocking or two. 😁

    It looks as if we’re in for yet another green, mild, and wet Christmas. I always wish for a white Christmas but I don’t think I’m being listened to. Maybe a letter to Father Christmas, next year, will do the trick? What do you think?

    Finally, I’d like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I’m looking forward to 2017 and will toast the new year in with a glass or two of bubbly and look forward to your book being published.

    Merry Christmas 🎅
    xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Hugh, I think you need to write that letter to Father Christmas and get it in early for next year…surely we are due a White Christmas? Perhaps if you offer him a copy of Glimpses, he will be so delighted and thrilled at the read, that he’ll finally relent 😉 At least it’s gone a bit colder…and now I hear we are in for gales! It’s my absolute pleasure to share your book and competition Hugh, as with Sarah and Sarah, I wish you all every success and want to thank each of you for giving all of us reading such wonderful inspiration. And that is very kind of you about my memoir…I thought 2016 was going to be my year, but things didn’t turn out that way. Yet I believe there is a reason for things happening the way they do and so we look to a New Year with great hope and optimism. Thank you so much for your lovely comment Hugh and happy Christmas wishes…a very Merry Christmas to you and yours too, and I will join you in raising my glass of bubbly on New Year’s to celebrate 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Annika Perry says:

    A wonderful post, Sherri paying tribute to some lovely bloggers and their creative work. 😀 Where to begin…the fox painting is astonishing, so vibrant and colourful and even more special as in memory of your Dad. I love the photographs you took for your friend of the Christmas floral display, beautiful and the video of the tightrope violinist was brilliant.Congratulations to all the writers with their debut books; best of luck to them all and I hope to catch up on some in the new year. Reading your post feel more Christmassy than ever, having already partaken in port today I raise a glass of prosecco to you and wish you a peaceful Christmas surrounded by your loving family and friends. Hugs xx❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      I’m so glad this post made you feel more Christmassy Annika…I get so caught up with all I have to do, but taking time out to actually enjoy the season by visiting such places, seeing all the beautiful lights, soaking up the atmosphere of Christmas celebration whether outside or inside singing carols in a church service makes it all worth it…and of course when the family all arrive and at last, glass of prosecco in hand, I can sit back and really relax! It sounds like you’re already enjoying the season with a glass of port then prosecco! I know how you love Christmas! Thank you for your lovely comment Annika, I join you in raising a glass of bubbly to wish you and your family a really Happy Christmas and a New Year filled with every good thing…and of course, more hugs back to you 🙂 ❤ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Bath is indeed a wonderful place to visit and I would love to return to it at some point. In the meantime, it is lovely to hear you are enjoying the season. Wishing you a peaceful holiday and a New Year filled with love and good cheer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Hello my friend! How lovely to read your comment, knowing you’ve visited Bath…I’m not surprised knowing the extent of your travels and do hope you get to visit again. Thank you for your kind wishes, wishing you the very same for a peaceful and joy-filled Christmas and New Year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Pingback: Anticipation: The End | What's (in) the picture?

  29. Mabel Kwong says:

    Lovely to hear you got our wandering to the medieval village of Dunster. It looks like such a charming place where Christmas is celebrated in full swing, such a welcoming village. Bath looks brilliant in that winter sunshine, almost like it is glowing for a moment there when the sun came out. I like markets like these too – there is always so much variety to pick from, from all kinds of foods to handmade gifts for special someones 🙂 So generous of you to share some blogs and bloggers that strike a chord with you. Some of them are familiar, and looking forward to checking out the others. Hope you have a wonderful season, Sherry. May that light shine from your Summerhouse as always. It was lovely to see it so bright today when I popped by 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Mabel! The Bath stone, quarried locally, really does warm up in the sunshine. I’m really happy you noticed that 🙂 Always a pleasure to share the sunshine with you my friend…you bring your own warmth and light to the Summerhouse, thank you for popping by 🙂 Merry Christmas to you, I will pop over to see you very soon 🙂 >3

      Liked by 1 person

  30. simplyilka says:

    Hi Sherri!

    Lovely post. And thank you for the presents. I love presents, especially when they are so nicely wrapped like yours.

    As always you posted absolutely beautiful photos with so much atmosphere. I just want to jump into them, sit down at the fireplace and read some more. Or maybe have a chat.

    Thank you for being a great friend this year. I wish you all the peace and warmth for Christmas and hope that you can put a thankful smile on your face while looking back to 2016, even with all the struggles and losses it came with.

    Hugs, Ilka xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Ilka! Always so lovely to hear from you my friend! Ahh…and how I love giving presents! So glad you enjoyed the photos…how lovely it would be to sit by a fire and chat with you, what a great pleasure that would be. Thank you so much for your lovely, kind wishes, you have been a great friend to me too, your loyal readership and connection means so much to me. I do indeed have many thankful smiles from this year, despite the sadness. A year of painful lows and joyful highs, it has certainly been a year many of us won’t forget for many reasons. Merry Christmas to you and your family dear Ilka, I look forward to catching up with you in the hope, light and love of the New Year…and of course, hugs right back! 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Merry Christmas, Sherri and Happy New Year! See you in 2017. Meanwhile enjoy this beautiful season with your family and friends.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Merry Christmas to you dear friend and yours! How I would love to take a stroll through the Christmas Village with you! What an amazing place. Well through you I can dream and do! As for the painting of the gorgeous Fox, so meaningful and beautiful. Such a treasure to enjoy through the years while remembering your dear Dad. Pasty is amazing and what a generous spirit! 🙂 much love xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Merry Christmas dearest Diane! Oh I would love it so much if you could stroll with me, what fun we would have! And for sure, we can keep dreaming 🙂 I was amazed at Patsy’s gorgeous painting and gift in honour of dad. She is so kind…just like you dearest friend 🙂 Much love and Christmas blessings to you…how I love your visits to the Summerhouse! 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤

      Like

  33. Congrats to all your newly published friends!! The only one I’m familiar with, is Hugh. I love that cover! Sherri, you are so sweet to promote all these friends, and their books, and art.
    I love your pic of the frosty bulbs!!
    And that FOX!!! WOW!! Gorgeous indeed! I can see why you cried!
    Merriest of Christmases, my friend. See you soon!
    ❤ Melinda

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Charli Mills says:

    Oh, Sherri! I feel like we all just got to go on a Christmastime walk with you! What a fun first weekend in December tradition to visit the Dickinson village. Your sequence of photos was like an experience and I really wanted to linger in the library, reading! Ah, but the activities outside were exciting. How nice of you to gift us all with your post and highlight the creative efforts within your community. Patsy’s art is beautiful. Merry Christmas, Dear Friend! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      And I’m thrilled to take a Christmastime walk with you Charli, thank you so much for joining me! I knew you would love that library, I could have stood in that room all night! Loved sharing it all with you…and Patsy’s art is just gorgeous isn’t it? Merry Christmas to you too dear friend! ❤

      Like

  35. Tom Merriman says:

    Hi Sherri! I know I’ve already commented here, and probably said the same thing, but I’m on a swift hurtle through the blogs I follow with a quick pre-prepared message (to save time, but i’s taking me ages!) 😀
    My visiting, replying, commenting and the like have fallen a little by the wayside of late, for which I apologise, but wanted to call by today and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Seyi sandra says:

    Awesome post dear Sherri as always. I’ll be visiting your friends’ blogs and also reading their books. I enjoyed the pictures and listening that nice music. I was scared the guy on the rope would fall though…
    I love Hugh’s book cover, it looks neat and captivating. I hope you’ll enjoy your Christmas my friend.
    Lots of love to you and all that is yours!
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Hello dear Seyi! Thank you for your, as always, warm and kind comment, always such a treat to see you 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, I am barely emerging lol! Happy New Year to you my friend, I pray the year ahead brings you blessings in abundance. Much love to you and yours, take good care of yourself 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  37. mihrank says:

    May the Christmas spirit shine like the Christmas lights and warm your hearts this holiday season. Have a blessed holiday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      What a beautiful message, thank you so much my friend! I hope you and your beautiful family had a wonderful Christmas! Wishing you the very best for the New Year, may it be filled with every blessing for the year ahead! 🙂

      Like

  38. Annecdotist says:

    Lovely post, Sherri, I especially liked your frosty photos – as you say, not seen much of that in the UK so far this winter. Wishing you all the best for the holiday season.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Hello Anne, I hope you had a lovely Christmas. I’m glad you enjoyed the frosty photos, thank you! Pleased to report some more frosty days since I posted this, which seems an age ago,and now here we are into 2017. Happy New Year!

      Like

  39. Luanne says:

    A gorgeous post with gorgeous photos, Sherri. But the best was last :). Merry Christmas! xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  40. A love and warming Christmas post. Those books look great fun too.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Pingback: Three Modern Artists: Day 50 of 365 Days of ART – priorhouse blog

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