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Christmas at Blenheim.

*First Christmas Market of the Year klaxon*

What a lovely little Saturday. It’s beginning to feel that with the year winding down – where has November gone? – Moon and I are finally getting our lives back on track post-house move. We’re settling in nicely after a quick 7 months and it feels pretty good.

This weekend was the first in a while where we’ve slept in but not overslept, started the day with a relaxed breakfast before heading out and doing something fun.

As Blenheim Palace is now just 20 minutes down the road from us and we love a good fair, the Living Craft fair seemed like the perfect opportunity to pick up an annual pass.

After that first visit, I can honestly say I’m in love and I’m so pleased we’ll be able to come and go as we please for the next year. The grounds are absolutely beautiful and we’re so lucky that the weather turned from wintery showers to bright sunshine, even if it did take 6 or so hours for the feeling to return to my legs once we got home – I can’t wait for more chilly walks and seeing in all the seasons, it’s looking like a summer picnic will be a must.

The fair itself was pretty good and actually full of quite a few retailers I hadn’t seen before. Going to a few of these things, particularly in the same area, you often see the same products over and over but Living Craft wasn’t like that. We managed to pick up a few Christmas bits but didn’t get nearly as much shopping done as we would have hoped – still, December is still a week away, there’s no need to worry.

The pictures don’t do them justice but these adorable houses hide incense pastilles that make them smoke when they’re lit. ADORABLE. ♥

Ditto these tiny AGAs.

Moon trying his hand at giant knitting. It didn’t go that well…

Unfortunately, and I’m not sure if it was because of the extra crowds drawn in by the fair, but we didn’t manage to take in much of the house, the queues were ridiculous! I’m hoping we might be able to pop back before the season is over and have a look because I think the house is fully decked out but I’m sure we’ll get around to it eventually even if it’s not this year. It’s the one thing I wish we’d done with the afternoon but the leisurely hour-long stroll along the lake (THERE’S A FRIGGING LAKE!) away from the crowds, more than made up for it.

I was so surprised by how low the sun was all day, even though all of these were taken pre-lunchtime! It did make for some beautiful lighting though.

Even though it’s well sign-posted and a really short walk from the main palace, it seems that so few people were willing to take advantage of the sunny afternoon by taking a walk down to the Cascades.

Lake Blenheim.

The arboretum was my favourite part of the lakeside walk, I can imagine it looked beautiful when the leaves were changing a few weeks ago.

I always find myself enjoying the changing of the seasons and while I must say that I’m pretty pleased to have not had to defrost my car yet, chilly walks and warming up afterwards are nothing but a good thing, and after such a wet and mild autumn, a cold and crisp weekend to blow the cobwebs out was just what I needed.

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