Saturday, 11 October 2008

October Images

I haven't written about my two and a half acres for far too long so here are some October photos to fill the gap slightly:

I was walking my old dog a few days ago, in the rain, and came across this gorgeous little chap sitting in the middle of the road. I ushered him into the grass, well away from the cars, but not before I'd taken this shot of him - what a gorgeous colour he is, and what striking markings!

This image is typical of the things I find on the hill - it's insignificant, not colourful, not exciting, yet how beautiful is that lichen?

At the risk of looking far too pleased with myself, I am thrilled with this photograph. I was wandering round the garden in the rain (as you do), and thought this might photograph well - very chuffed that it came out so well.

And finally, do you see what I see in this photograph? I pass this tree stump every day on my walk, and I see the same thing every time. Do you see anything?

Look a little closer...

In case it's just me, I'd better describe what I see - a rather indignant squirrel, one ear up, one arm stretched out, as if making some point. Please tell me someone else sees this, and that it's not just me having hallucinations on my very slow walks with an old dog.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

The Fifties Croft in August

I'm going to cheat a little here and pretend that I wrote this post in August. I've been busy in the real world and haven't had time to post the final extract from a year on Wendy Wood's croft in the Highlands in the 1950s. She's in reflective mood this month. You can almost smell Autumn's approach in her writing.

"Having a room with a skylight is half way to sleeping out of doors, yet it keeps all the luxury; one sees much more of the sky and the elements than one would either in a tent or with any other kind of window. One sees the rain as the grass sees it, falling straight down to arrive in large round drops instead of slanting streaks. When the sun is making only a confined slit of light in the downstairs rooms, it floods my attic like a lamp in a box. The birds do not recognise it for a window, and when the wren sits on the roof I could touch her with my hand without stretching. A robin sings for his breakfast on a twig of the nearby holly tree; I can see the glint of his eye and a ruffled feather in his breast, and feel that this close-up performance is really meant for me. The tom-tit who prefers to be upside-down seems enormous at such close range. The young bats use the edge of the window as a rest when making their first flights, and chitter right into my face, whether with delight, fear, or just excitement at a world so big after confinement in the dark roof, I do not know.

Of course there are times when I do not appreciate this proximity to the sky. One of these is when the thunder seems to fall off the hill at the back and roll down the roof right beside my head, and the lightning floods the whole room, indeed seems to come right inside at each flash. I like the skyliught most on a calm frosty night when coloured leaves fall and make a pattern on the glass; when the moon silvers the loch, when the whole twinkling regiment of stars is in that small square patch, silently marching actoss the line of my vision."

I hope you've enjoyed reading this lyrical account of life in a simpler time. Reading about her way of life has just strengthened my own dilemma about country living. I feel just as she does about the animals, and the closeness to the change in the seasons, but it is such an isolated life. The pull to be amongst other people is very strong too, especially as the nights draw in and one's aloneness is emphasised by the long hours of darkness. I go visiting the city and I love participating in the best of what humanity does - the culture, the beautiful buildings, the interactions, the buzz of it all.

When I began this blog, it was intended to record what I thought would be my last year here on my two and a half acres, as I intended to move on - to a smaller house and people to talk to. Now, a year on, I will probably move on quite soon. But when I reread Wendy's book, I am reminded of all the magical experiences I have had, amongst the difficulties and the sadness, and I'm not so sure.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

A Fifties Croft in July

Phew! Almost didn't make it, but here is the extract from Wendy Wood's book for the month of July. There's such a lot of interest this month, but I have made do with two extracts:

"My field generally looks quite small to me, but covered with new mown hay it looks the size of the Atlantic. I turned the whole field twice - that sounds as if I were a female Cuchullin, but I mean of course that I twice shook and turned all the hay on it. The task was frequently interrupted by the need to remove toads, big ones and little ones, to a place of safety and better usefulness. I like them, for they have so wise an air as they sit humped up and stare into your face, or clamber clumsily away as if they had on outsize trousers that impeded their movements. It must be a shock to them to have the whole roof of their world suddenly removed, exposing them to the scorching sun. Suppose you were in a wood and without warning the trees all disappeared! I remove the toads, tickling them under the chin, which they like, and put them in the garden among the lettuce, where they can gorge themselves on slugs to our mutual benefit."

The same month, she had to attend the funeral of a good friend:

"Returning from the funeral we were wrapped in a heat haze which blotted out the hills, rolled over the water and came creeping up to hide the rocks beside the road. The silver of the rising moon that night shone subtly through the mist, a light so diffused that the whole earth seemed luminous, a place of strange mystery. In the early morning when the mist rose, it wafted up the hillsides on the breath of a breeze, leaving the glen below freshly washed and every blade of grass individually polished. Combined with the lights on the sea, it looked like the beginning of an entirely new world. All among the heather tufts, the spider webs still held the entangled mist in millions of gossamer saucers at every angle, as if flocks of angels had moulted on the hillsides. When the sun had fully risen, each web imprisoned a rainbow, and as the moisture evaporated, the airy threads disappeared against the varied background. As I climbed the hill to look for the cow to milk, the land below showed lochs and seas of cloud mist, studded with magic islands."

Monday, 16 June 2008

June on the Croft in the Fifties

Reading the chapter on June in Wendy Wood's little book From a Highland Croft, published in the 1950s, was less exciting than I had been expecting. I thought June would be full of the glories of a Highland summer but in those days, even more so than now, summer came late and June felt more like the back end of Spring:
"The first of our calves came today. The mother is an old hand and so I was lucky to catch her on her way to a hidden place on the shore. It would have been unnecessary work to have had to put the calf into a creel and carry it back home, with an infuriated cow bringing up the rear and bellowing to the whole neighbourhood about my kidnapping. It is a bull calf. Some years it is nearly all bulls that arrive and some lucky years nearly all heifers. I hope that this first event does not presage a "bull year". I gave the mother half a bucketful of chopped raw potatoes. I also gave her a hot drink of pease-meal, and because it was not the more usual oatmeal, she gave me a look like a gillie offered sixpence at the end of a hot day. I have no oats left. Preparations for the sowing of this year's oats started a long time ago in the building of a new hen-house in the woods away from the proposed crop, and the purchasing of rolls of wire for a fence to protect the latter.

The ploughing of the field was not easy, for it had not been disturbed for many years, and the soil is very shallow. The ploughman was young and new to the job. He turned up in a bright blue shirt, a joy to see, and I strongly suspected that he had anointed his head with oil, as one appointed. It is always a thrill to see the first brown wave in a green plain, and I could tell by the ploughman's worried face that his job took a bit of daring, like cutting out a green velvet dress without a pattern. I noticed too that when I was in the house, all proceeded in silence, but when I came out, the horses had to be "clicked" and sworn at with terrible swears. Not that the creatures behaved any differently; they just plodded on good-naturedly with the job they knew so well.

It must have been a lonely life, and a hard one, living out in the wilds but it had a rhythm and a balance that we lack today. Have a great summer everyone!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Wendy's Croft in May

The extract I've chosen from Wendy Wood's book From a Highland Croft, written in the 1950s, for May is interesting because she writes about things that having fallen out of favour back then, are now right back in the mainstream - at least in part. She had been cutting rushes to use as bedding for the cattle, and then...
"After cutting rushes I turned to a tougher job, for, lacking my pony, I had to creel the seaweed on my own back. The weed lay on the shore in a rough semi-circle like a rusty scimitar. It was in that half-decayed condition which is so good for the fields yet is unpleasant to touch. I could have put on rubber gloves, but the weed is the very best of hand softeners, and I found the under layers warm. The loch water was so crystal clear that it almost tempted me in for a swim, but the appearance was sufficient, for a test with the pinkie nearly paralysed me.

Big farmers sometimes regard crofters as being behind the times, but with no more than lime or shell sand, seaweed and dung, we are enriching our land, while they with chemical fertilisers, will ultimately impoverish theirs beyond retrieving. I have tasted some of the produce grown by "medicine" and whether it is grass for beast or cabbages for humans, I think it is responsible for some of the diseases of man and beast. The forced production of eggs is spoiling the hens, and the unnatural milk yield is spoiling the cows. In my grandmother's day the cures for human ills were such as sea water, horn broth and elm bark, and folk lived actively to a great age. The cattle had no more when ill than boiled seaweed or home-made cod liver oil, and half the diseases that keep vets busy today were unknown."

I'm not sure I agree with absolutely everything she says but, as ever with this wonderful little book, we are given a glimpse of an older, more balanced, and possibly wiser age.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Brimstone and Toads

The daily walks with my old dog are very slow these days. I may not be getting the brisk workout that I used to get, but now that I have a fab new camera phone, I get to take photographs of interesting things that we see as we crawl along. I was thrilled today to see a new (to me) moth sitting low amongst the grass. A gorgeous sulphur yellow, I was thus not surprised to identify it later as a Brimstone moth.

I had my phone with me while digging in the garden too, and a lucky thing too. I disturbed this gorgeous toad and, before I had my phone, I'd have had to dash indoors for the digital camera, by which time Toady would no doubt have hidden himself again.

Just look at that fabulous camouflage. You can barely see where the toad ends and the soil begins. I was relieved that I had done no damage with the spade - all his limbs were still there and I enjoyed carrying him (in my gloved hands) to a safer green spot. Toads seem so ancient and wise somehow - much more so than frogs...or is that just me?

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Horsetails in a Hurry

It's the damndest thing. In the winter, when there's nothing to blog about, you have all the time in the world to do it; Spring arrives, there is life everywhere, but you are too busy out there working in it and watching it to blog about it. That passes as an excuse for not posting here for a couple of weeks, despite having loads to report.

I still don't have time to write much but I was very excited yesterday to find a new (to me) plant while walking my old dog very slowly up the hill (she now walks so slowly that I have plenty of time to spot new plants and to photograph them, so there are compensations in everything.)

And here it is - it's a horsetail - Equisetum sylvaticum, I think. It took ages to identify it because it is not in any book of wild flowers. That's because it's actually related to ferns, and so does not count as a flowering plant. It propagates by spores, as ferns do.

It's a fabulously exotic looking thing, I think, and it made a (very) slow walk well worth the effort.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Spring Flowers

At last! Some colour in the garden. The daffs are still not fully out - most still tightly in bud. Everyone agrees the season is a couple of weeks later than it's been for a few years. But it is coming - even though there was frost on the ground this morning, it is definitely Spring. The light levels are fantastic, and the days are already stretching way out past eight o'clock in the evening.

And some brave garden flowers are in full bloom. In my garden, that means the primulas and the flowering currant.

Oo! Seeing those photographs has me feeling all poetic. I must look out a poem or two on the wonders of Spring. Stay tuned for the next post...

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Not Looking for the Loch Ness Monster

Fed up with the prospect of another Sunday at home alone, I thought I'd take a trundle out to a plant nursery that, considering how close it is, I don't visit often enough. Abriachan Nursery is enviably located on a steep south-facing hillside overlooking the world-famous Loch Ness.

Over the last 25 years, the Davidson family have carved out a tranquil yet exciting garden from native hillside and on a sunny day, looking out over the loch, you couldn't wish for a better way to spend an hour.

It was a mixture of sun and showers, so I spent a soothing half hour only, wandering the many paths of the garden, trying to pick up hints for dealing with my own unsculptured hillside and enjoying the fabulous views.

I treated myself to some primula (Abriachan specialises in alpines)and headed back home feeling refreshed.

Of course, you don't just come to Loch Ness to buy plants. Most people are looking for the Loch Ness Monster, the fabled inhabitant of Scotland's biggest loch by volume. It is very deep - 230 metres at its deepest part - and that is, I think, why people believe that relatively big creatures could live here and yet be seen so rarely (if at all.) If you want to search for him/her/both, you can now do it online, courtesy of this live-streaming webcam. Have fun!

Friday, 11 April 2008

Spring has Sprung!

At last, and a couple of weeks later than last year, I think we can say that Spring has arrived here on the hill. The daffodils are still well short of their peak - most are still in tight bud, but they are going to look gorgeous in a week or two.

The first of the wild flowers have emerged - only just, and I had to look hard to find them, but definite evidence that nature hasn't forgotten how to do it. To celebrate, I have loads of photos to share:

The first plant in flower was some coltsfoot in the ditch outside the house - just one clump, but a wonderful, defiant sunshine yellow.
Next was one of the classic Spring woodland flowers, Anemone nemorosa - again just one clump, but I know that in a few days the ground will be carpeted with them.

The trees here (and the fenceposts and anything that stands still long enough) are covered with lichen. I'm no expert but there are at least three varieties , probably many more. I liked this small branch on a flowering cherry, with a leaf bud just beginning to unwrap, barely noticeable in the forest of lichen.

And here's another branch - on an apple tree this time. I love the contrast between the close-hugging orange lichen and the seaweed-like branching grey one.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

April on a Croft in the Fifties

I haven't had anything to say about my bit of hillside since my last extract from Wendy Wood's book - it's been cold, wet and miserable and I have not been at all inspired - but, nevertheless, it is time for an April look at croft life fifty years ago. And what a wonderful passage this is:
"In a town many a person stops to watch a man at work digging up a pavement or a road; and here at home I find myself ready to 'stand and stare' at the first ploughing of the year without sense of time. It is not only because it is so fundamental, but also because there is so much movement to it. All winter the still, flat field has been without much interest, for only an occasional crow or a few sheep have crossed its dull surface, but when the plough scrapes in at the gate, the field wakens to know that is it springtime.
There is a great deal of preparation and adjustment before the shout of the ploughman starts the great rhythm of moving earth. The horses tuck their heads in and sinews ripple under their glossy coats, the great hooves plod to a hidden tune, the traces strain, and behind them the coutler cuts the green turf like the prow of a ship, while the following share lays aside the regulated waves of shining furrow, a slow, inevitable march of rising, turning slabs. Behind them the ploughman paces, exact in his skill, his body bent intently, the muscles strongly modelled on his bare arms. At his back, high and low in the air, are the swirl and dip of the white-winged gulls and the hoodie crows crying their joy at the treasure that has lain too long in the winter-locked larder. A lark rises, pouring the silver of its treble to fall like narrow ribbons on the dark broad bands below. The dog dashes round the field barking, his eyes glistening with a fever of excitement at the wakening earth. High above, the clouds move majestically across the inverted blue fields of the sky, and between the two an eagle soars remote. The air is warm, and as I lean over the stone dyke my body relaxes from the tenseness with which we have fought the cold winds of winter. There is a faint scent from the newly turned turf, reminiscent of the smell of uncooked plum pudding. Somehow this is not just an ordinary ploughing; it is symbolic, a ceremony, a saga; with delight akin to pain I sense the hidden significance of brown earth. It is small wonder that I sing on the way home."

Wonderful! And as so often in these extracts, a glimpse of a world not that long ago but completely unfamiliar to us now. Oh, how I'd love to see horses ploughing the fields round my house.

Two of her remarks strike a familiar chord though. That feeling of a body constantly tensed against the cold is one I've felt myself, and the physical frustration of a late Spring holding back the release of all those tensed muscles is palpable this year. And her description of 'delight akin to pain' also reflected words I've written in my own journals. Here on the hill, sometimes when I look out across the firth, and the air is full of birdsong, and the Sun is warming my back, I have declared the scene to be so beautiful that it's almost painful. Her remark is so similar to mine that I think there must be some deep genetic memory at work. A glorious Spring to you all!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

March on a Highland Croft

Time for the March instalment from Wendy Wood's book about life in the Highlands of Scotland in the 1950s.

"Drip, drip - the rain tub is full and running over, wellingtons and sou'westers are the garb all day long, and the stream is suddenly visible right up the hillside among the bare trees, a series of waterfalls too impetuous to keep to the usual course, somthing that has suddenly leapt from the paralysis of a frosty trickle to a sense of power and joy. It makes a multitude of sounds as it splashes and surges, tucking dead leaves under its shining apron. All night I hear it thundering as if a line of vehicles were pounding ceaselessly along the road.

The croft seems alive with little things. The wren pops in and out of her winter nest beside the stream and I am anxious in case she is swamped out of her home. The robin that roosts in the woodshed gives a sleepy chirp at night when I go with the lantern for logs, and I see him fluffed up with his chin amongst his breast feathers on the handle of the hoe. A vole is living there too among some rubbish in a box. I am well aware of a tiny worn path from her house into mine, and no offering of cheese in her own parlour will stop her pilfering meals in my pantry."

Although the talk everywhere today is of climate change, Wendy's account of Spring is not much different from what I see around me here on the hill. In fact, in some respects, her Springs seem to have come earlier than mine. Her winters might have been colder and deeper, but she talks about lambs in March and of being woken by the cuckoo calling, but the lambs come later than March here, and I haven't heard a cuckoo yet. There is snow on the ground as I write, and more forecast next week - it certainly doesn't feel as if this part of the world is warming up much.
And Picture of the Day is this one of a wren posing like a professional for the camera in my garden.

Thursday, 20 March 2008


Well, I don't know where my brain has been, but it wasn't until I switched on my computer this morning that I realised that the Spring Equinox occurs today - in fact it occurred at 5.48 a.m. Oh frabjious day! From now on, the days are longer than the nights and, for those of us up here in the far, far north the days lengthen quicker and longer (sounds a bit like one of those rude emails that keep being sent to me.)

I don't know if you knew - I didn't until a couple of years ago - that at the Equinoxes, the length of day and night are equal - more than that, they are equal all over the world. It is quite a thought - unifying somehow. And even better to know that, soon, there is going to be so much daylight here that I am going to be heartily sick of it and wishing for the cosy, dark nights of winter again.

Here's a suitably celebratory picture for you all and HAPPY SPRING!!

Monday, 17 March 2008

An Altogether Nicer Spring Image

And to make up for the hideous wrinkled thing in the previous post, I offer you this...

...a kestrel taking a break on the power line outside my window. I am rather chuffed with this pic, as it was taken from inside through the window. Now, if I could get one of it hovering in the air...

Beware the Mushroom

I give up, I really do.

It's been feeling almost Spring-like the last few days - still cold, but dry and, best of all, steadily lengthening days. After a long, dark, miserable winter, I have refound my enthusiasm for keeping my nature journal and so have begun looking around my two and a half acres for signs of returning life.

Frogspawn in a puddle, a toad ambling past my back door late one night - nature is waking up. No wild flowers yet, so I was surprised and delighted to find a solitary mushroom-type thing on the path in front of me. Filled with this new enthusiasm, I bent down to touch it, noticed that it had broken loose of its stem and decided it woul dbe nice to bring it into the house and describe it in my nature notes.

Now as a natural townie, I have an instinctive aversion to wild fungi. I just don't see the point of risking your health by picking something that not only doesn't taste that great but which could also kill you - what's the point? So I was feeling very proud of myself as I bore it back to the house. It was a funny-looking thing - like a little brown brain - so I reckoned I'd be able to identify it without too much trouble...I did. It was the highly poisonous False Morel. Typical.

Having touched it with my bare hands, and even tentatively sniffed it, I am now expecting to die before morning...well, maybe not, but just in case I do, I wanted you, my blogging buddies, to know why I was no longer posting. I am afraid that that is an end to my fungi forays - it'll be back to the look, don't touch strategy of before.

Here's a pic so you all know what not to put in your wild mushroom omelette...

Mind you, looking at the ghastly, wrinkled little thing, I can't imagine who would want to eat it. Happy Spring everyone!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Saving the Best for Last

I adore this photograph, maybe expecially because it's such an unprepossessing subject (and not very well photographed!) Again, it's the sun that works the magic. Who would have thought that a humble nettle could have such beautiful form, such gorgeous colour. Look at the subtle yellow-green of the flowers, hanging down like bunches of grapes. And the spider's threads glistening between the leaves. I love it.

Unexpected Beauty no. 2

Okay - this isn't quite an unexpected place - a tree is a beautiful thing - but I loved the way the sun backlit these larch branches and I also love the quiet subtlety of the grey-brown bark behind.

Beauty in Unlikely Places

To cheer us all up at the end of winter and to inspire us that beauty can be found in the most mundane and unpromising of places I thought I'd post three of my recent photos taken around my two and a half acres:

I came across this seed head of some wild umbellifer in my garden last week. My photo doesn't do it justice but the subtlety of the colours in the plant and the variety of shapes had me spellbound.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Pleasures of the Fireside

The latest instalment from Wendy Wood's From a Highland Croft has me wishing my wood-burning stove was fixed. I really must get it sorted...
"I had intended to visit friends today but the log fire with its leaping flames was too good to leave, and I have volumes to move into a new bookcase made this morning. It is not a decorative affair, but it is sturdy, and I should be prouder of the job is I had not hammered my thumb with emphasis. It is where a bookcase should be, beside the fire, where I can stretch out a hand for a favourite book or a reference. I say "where a bookcase should be" but in this cottage, bookshelves, mostly over-loaded, are all over the place. Time to read and time to think - isn't that a real luxury? Here we have lovely places in which to do our thinking according to our moods: beside the couthy fire or out on the rough shore by the length of the loch and under the height of the sky; in the silence of the small room or by the noisy waves in singing wind. One minute I am out to get water at the well with the tang of winter on my face, the hills showing purple and deep blue in the fading light and the holly leaves silhouetted in detail against the evening sky, and the next minute I am inside at the fire and busy with the big bellows and amusing myself making long sighs or wee puffs, that make the flames and the sparks we used to call faeries go leaping up the chimney; with the smell of toast, the tinkle of a spoon in a saucer, all one's senses are satisfied."

That's just how I feel about living in this place. It's lonely and maddening at times - the threat of being cut off in the winter and those damn ticks and midges in the summer - but I too feel that overwhelming luxury of choosing where to do my thinking. I can wander up to the back of the woodland and pretend I am alone in the world. I can walk down to the pond and connect with the newts - those links to a far older world. I can sit by the window and look out enigmatically at the ridiculously beautiful view. Or I can snuggle up in a chair with my dog by a radiator (the stove being broken) and write or read a book from one of my many overloaded bookcases. Life doesn't feel so bad today...

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Frost in Spring?

At last! Into February and I have found the first signs of life in the garden. Fellow blogger, Jenny B., posted a lovely photo of crocuses in full bloom in her Oxfordshire garden and I'm trying not to cry with envy. Nevertheless, I am thrilled to have found these tight little snowdrop buds - a couple of weeks and they will be nodding in the sunshine...maybe.

I know they are bulbs, not strictly seeds, but their sturdy defiance of the cold reminds me of the lines from the Robert Frost poem:

The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.

That's what February is all about in my part of the world - sturdiness and hope. Whisper it - Spring is coming!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Spring tensing

It's a mild day here on the hill, the days are getting lighter and, best of all, the birds have started singing again. The great tits have been throwing out their see-saw call all day and darting through the bushes. And when I took the dog for her walk, we saw two pairs of buzzards wheeling overhead and calling - wonderful!

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Venison and chickens

There are times, as I sit here in my modern-day croft, with a dog at my feet and the wind whistling outside, that I feel like a real countrywoman. And when I read Wendy Wood's From a Highland Croft I really feel that I understand how she felt. Most of the time that is. Most of the time I could imagine myself living her life. Most of the time. Not in January though...
"Even on freezing nights my pony is quite content to be outside...In winter she grows a marvellous coat, almost vieing with the Highland cattle...But snow time is not the coldest in the glen, and the frost can make harder conditions for the beasts when every waterfall is static, every burn looks like blurred glass, and the water hole in the broken ice gets lower and lower. Tanks are frozen, and that strange medley of old baths, sinks and tubs which acts as field supplies for stock is filled with ice as solid as the metal.
On a day showing the first signs of thaw I crossed the hill to get the food supply. Below me lay the mountain loch, still gripped in ice, and to my amazement, in that still atmosphere the loch roared! It roared exactly like a lion. It was some time before I gained its shore and found that the wind was getting under cracks; the level of the loch had dropped since it froze, the imprisoned wind was roaring to get out. Had I heard such a sound in the darkness I certainly would have wished for a rifle in my hand. On the hill beside the loch lay a fine young stag: it had died of thirst beside the frozen water. There was the spoor of a wild cat that had taken advantage of a bigger prey than it could have brought down for itself.
Next day I took up a saw and cleaver and brought down some of the carcass for the dogs. Judging by the latters' behaviour, I think it must have been a dog's dream of paradise, after so many meatless days, to have a whole leg of venison thrown to him, all the better for being a bit 'high'."

Cutting up dead animals that I might bump into on the hill is, I must confess, way beyond my capacities as a country dweller, though I suspect I am not alone in that these days!

Monday, 14 January 2008

Happy New Year! (a bit late)

A little late but happy new year to you all. I've hardly posted over the last couple of months because I had a job over Christmas, but that contract is now finished and I hope to be back to full blogging strength as soon as I get organised.

Like everyone else in the world, I take my fair share of sunset pictures. When we first moved here, being on a north-facing hillside, we didn't think we would see many sunsets from home but we were wrong, especially on those long summer nights, when the sun sets almost due north. I took the photo above on one of those nights and the glow from the setting sun was so bright, the sky looked as if it was on fire. It was like a view of Mount Doom in Mordor, but without the rampaging orcs, of course!

All that fiery orange reminds me that the world will be in full-colour again soon, instead of this wintery grey.