Today everything turned to silver. Under the clear, bright sky fragile frost crystals scattered light in all directions and although the name 'hoar', from Old English, calls to mind white haired and advanced age it seemed as though, on this first day of the year, the world sparkled with fierce newness like a wilderness of stars in a moonlit sky. It was our third visit to Chenonceau and the interior of the Château, all a-quiver, rivalled with its frozen, fairytale gardens where box trees stood sentinel and hardy violet pansies shuddered in their cold flowerbeds. Inside, juxtaposed against the more muted colours of the glorious collection of Renaissance tapestries and paintings, were frosted evergreen branches, towering Christmas trees, clashes of gold and red jostling with silver and white. Ornamental snowy owls, hedgehogs, squirrels and glitter-coated birds raised an inquisitive eye to the sea of upturned faces and winked at the smiles of delight and wonder. "This tree is simply perfect for children", murmured a lady, her face shining. "And that is why it is surrounded by adults; look!", I laughed. Though some of the decorations seemed a trifle gaudy the dazzling show of white and green hyacinths carried hope through the air. 'Happy New Years' rang through the Château's forecourt and gallery as everyone's breath turned white.
So, dear friends, I will not be including a brief history of this exquisite château, embellished and protected by a fistful of remarkable women since 1513, - not this time, at least - but will turn to each of you with a glad heart and wish you a very peaceful, joyful and prosperous New Year. May 2015 be full of light, hope and a sprinkling of magic. There is something about the number 2015 which pleases me...
And below, of course, a spot of frosty knitting. Wintery Leaves glazed with ice; a delightfully addictive pattern by Jared Flood knit with five skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the Snowbound colourway. Completed in time for the winter solstice and sent, late, as a Christmas present to a special friend.
Happy New Year!