Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Roll on the solstice.

In another ten days it will be the Winter Solstice and it can't come soon enough.   For one thing, the sun is so low in the sky that on the occasions when it is shining, it is difficult to drive after about 2pm because any journey going Westward makes driving impossible.  Apart from that, at this time of the year the sun can only be described as 'watery', casting a gentle, rather pleasant light, but one without the slightest hint of warmth (rather like a candle compared with a one-bar electric fire!).

Today is one of those days.  The air is still and the temperature on our outside thermometer hovers around nought.  There are still patches of ice on the lane and the puddles on the sides of the lane which have not been broken by traffic have a thin, pretty film of icy patterns.   One our walk earlier I couldn't resist jumping on some of them.   Alright - I might be an old dear but I can still enjoy myself with simple pleasures.   Tess, in her thick winter coat, doesn't seem to notice the cold to any degree, being far more interested in pheasant and rabbit smells.

At the bird table the birds are devouring the fat which we hung in the rowan tree.   The meal worms on the table are slowly going.   Two robins are eyeing them warily but have not yet ventured under the canopy - it takes a day or two for them to trust it, but if we had the table without a roof, the food would get so wet.

This morning the farmer kept warm by sawing wood for the stove and chopping sticks for kindling.   Yesterday he dug part of the vegetable garden and would probably have done the same today except that I got cross with him for being out in the cold at his age.   So he has stayed in this afternoon, lit the stove and as I write this is trying to fit a few more pieces in the jig saw of Herdwick sheep I bought him the other week.   It is proving hard to do, but he is nothing if not determined and says he will have it done in time for it to be cleared away for Christmas goodies to be put on the table.

  • A fortnight today will be the big day.   Santa will have been and we shall all be sitting down to roast turkey at around this time.  Speaking of Santa reminds me that I read an amusing story in today's Times about someone called Mr Santer, who happened to have a heart attack around this time of the year.   When his wife phoned the emergency services and gave her name they said something along the lines of, "Oh yeah, I suppose he had too much to drink with his elves - we always get some joker at this time of the year!"   Keep warm.  

10 comments:

Gwil W said...

And you keep warm too, Pat!

Heather said...

The sun has been totally dazzling recently and lovely though it is to have some sunshine it does make driving difficult.
They say that wood warms us three times - once when we cut the tree down, a second time when we cut it into logs and a third time when we have lit the fire. The jigsaw looks beautiful but very challenging.
Do hope Mr. Santer got the treatment he needed!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I so wish Edward and I could stop by and help with that wonderful puzzle! The perfect activity for a winter's day. Even if, technically, it is not quite winter!

Speaking of jumping into puddles... you must pay me a visit and see the video at the end of the post! Just the best thing ever!!

xoxo,
pamela

mrsnesbitt said...

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! very cold indeed. 3pm and we know we are in for the night!

acornmoon said...

This reminds me of a child my husband taught who cycled the wrong way down the motorway. When apprehended by the police he gave his name, his actual name- James Bond.

Arija said...

Oh Pat, I too love cracking the ice on puddles, also splashing in puddles in my wellies. I am in two minds with the solstice, our days will be getting shorter.
That puzzle looks like great fun. Sweet looking sheep.

Pam said...

40 degree heat today in South Australia Pat, reaching 45 degrees a bit further north. Such a huge difference in our weather!
My funny name story is this. Husband and I went to university with a very attractive woman, who ended up (decades ago now!)to win the title of Miss Australia. After her reign, she told many of her old friends funny stories about that time in her life.My favourite was when her tour secretary found it necessary to make a hair appointment in a small remote country town.
"I'd like to make a hair appointment for Miss Australia" said the secretary, rather importantly over the phone.
"First name..." said the hairdresser nochanlantly.
"Eleanor"
"O.K" was the blase reply "that will be 11 a.m. for Eleanor Australia".

Heather said...

Just read your comment about your father-in-law's little tale about larch wood warming you four times. I haven't heard that before - we might need some this winter!

MorningAJ said...

I drove back from Hull in those 'low sun' conditions and you're right. It was almost impossible to see.

I keep telling myself that 10 days from now the nights will be getting shorter again.

That jigsaw looks like fun.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I've spent several days reading back through your blog - it has been delightful. I'm temporarily sidelined from back surgery and it is wonderful to have something new and so interesting to read. Thank you for the wonderful time.