Sunday, 30 November 2014

My Month in Numbers 2014: November

Greetings, greetings. Come on in, don't linger on the doorstep, your hair'll get frizzy if you stay out in that damp air for much longer. 

I've got some November numbers for you today ... and if you've got any you'd like to give me in return you can link me up after you say 'hi' in the comments [and if you'd like to know what on earth I'm talking about, then all is explained here.]

For me it's been one of those months where I feel I've been constantly on the go ... and yet when it came to write it up I couldn't find a lot of evidence of that! Being busy with my campus job, my magazine work and my shop products hasn't really led to any great stories to share ... unless ...

... unless I counted up:
  •  how many hours it took me to write my '101 alternative crafty supplies and where to find them' post ... which may well have been 101 for all I know!
  • or the longest day I spent finishing festive flavoured kits and adding them to Etsy [13hours ... if you're interested].
  • or how many ridiculous new jargon words I came across in one particular Uni module. [Anyone know/care what a 'scrumfall' is? And no, it's not a James Bond movie!]
But ... I have managed to summarise a few key moments in numbers, and here they are:

12 = the number of Doric columns in the hall at Belsay Hall, Northumberland, where we visited a Christmas fair at the start of the month:
We intended to make a good start to our Christmas shopping but instead we mainly just bought a beautiful piece of glass for ourselves from Joia Glasstried tasters of Cherry Brandy and then went for a wander around the hall and its grounds ... in the rain ...
And it was wonderful.

We hardly bumped into anyone at all as we made our way from the hall and through the 30 acres of gardens in their autumnal, decaying, glory:
And, although we've visited the impressive quarry gardens in summer before now, there was something even more atmospheric about being there in the mist, damp and drizzle:
Eventually, at the end of the walk we came across this view of Belsay castle:
Imagine having that tucked away at the bottom of the garden [we just have 3 wheelie bins and bag of compost.]

The castle began life as a fortification against conflict in the border regions [between England and Scotland] in the 14th Century!
Then later, in 1614, it was extended to become a family home for many subsequent generations:
 ... until December 25th 1817 when the family moved into the newly built Hall:
How's that for a Christmas present?

But, alas, in 1962 the last family moved out due to dry rot eating away at many of the rooms: leaving much of it a shell:
 Despite, or perhaps because it's abandoned it does still have an intriguing atmosphere and is worth a visit if you're up/down that way sometime.

Now my next statistics will take us from one set of bizarrely abandoned things ... to another ...
20kg / 3.15stone = the weight of the box of original retro Christmas cards I bought as a job lot! When the delivery man knocked on my door he said "Will you let me carry it in for you? It's heavy." ... and I didn't argue!
Here's what most of them looked like after James and I sorted them into piles on our living room floor:
 But of course ... for someone who documents her months in very specific statistics ... the overall weight was never going to be enough of a measurement for me to document and so ...

... I counted them. All. And, give or take a few - where I went Christmas-card-blind for a while - the total I reached was ... wait for it ... 863!!! Not to mention the 5 retro Advent Calendars that nestled in amongst them all too!

I'll share more photos of the cards themselves in a future post but for now, in case you're wondering:
  • I don't know where they came from, I bought them from a charity who, I assume, had them donated to them. Perhaps from a house clearance.
  • Judging by how many are immaculate, still in their cellophane wrappers with many still bundled together and wrapped in brown paper packets from the manufacturer ... my guess is they were overstock from a shop during the 1970s and 80s. Where they're been in the intervening years ... I'll never know.
  • And as for what I'm going to do with them ... well, you'll find 5 of them  inside each of the 'Festive Junk Journals' in my shop. And I'll offer some for sale individually too eventually [or you can get n touch if you fancy buying a lucky dip pack or ... whatever! There's plenty to go around!]. 
And while were on a festive theme ...

6 = the number of Santas who rode past us on motorbikes as we headed home on Saturday! And, once we were home I ate my 1st iced mince pie of the season. Ho ho ho indeed!


There were doubtless more Novemberish numbers ... but I'll better get out of the way for now ... I can feel an eager December waiting in the wings ready to put on a full festive performance.

If you'd like to join me with your statistics ... you're very welcome to. I've not been perfect at pinning and commenting everyone's in recent months ... but I'll keep trying! Just let me know if I've missed you.

See you soon.



  1. Two things really grabbed my attention here especially: those retro Christmas cards, and the thought of that family moving into that huge new house for Christmas. I wonder did the mistress of the house complain about the smell of drying paint, did the kitchen produce a fine dinner or were they missing something vital..just as we would today

  2. Hey, it's Helen. I've been blogging from this blog (where I'm leaving the comment from).....hoping you're OK and that we can get back in touch (have been missing all the OT ladies....)....Love your numbers this month....what a spectacular Christmas present indeed and - wow - you must have been in heaven looking through all the Christmas cards in that job lot (how fun to imagine where they've been all this time) get in touch xxx

  3. I love your photos this month!!! I long for "old stones" as we say in France, being all the way in the "New World" here :P BTW, I love the boots!
    My October numbers are on my blog today:
    Happy December!

  4. Scrumfall - sounds like a term that could be used in Rugby. What a huge selection of lovely old Christmas cards you have there x

  5. I always love seeing your month in number posts and LOVE the pictures ... especially the one of the castle. I would love to see and to go into a real castle, it's my dream but none anywhere near where I live that I've ever heard of anyways. Thanks for sharing the pictures of the one you come across. : )

  6. Such a wonderful tour round the castle with very atmospheric photos. Imagine the work all those poor servants must have had, moving on a Christmas Day :(. Your Christmas crd collection is amazing - a whole slice of cultural history in a box. You could start a museum yourself ... Lovely, interesting post!

  7. You always visit such beautiful places. I had one of those months too.
    Sometimes while I go about my day I think that somethings is "countable" for your project but then I forget to write it down!
    Missed a month but went back and added it in the appropiate place. Here´s November:

  8. Love that photo of the Doric columns, what a fabulous angle :) we went to a wedding in a ruined castle a few years ago and it was so cool (occasionally cold without a roof) we are lucky to have so many cool castles on our island!

    My numbers are here


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