Winter is a such a season of surprises.
It's a pleasure to put down on paper some of my thoughts on winter on such a *dreich day.
*Dreich - wet, dull, gloomy, disal, dreary or any combination of these. Scottish weather at its most miserable. The "ch" is pronounced as in Scots loch or German ach.
I've tried to summarise in a short sound-bite format thoughts and phrases often used to by us (Nory and I) to describe day to day observations and thoughts.
Our days can be so clear, bright and fresh at times. On the clear days when the air is crisp and fresh, the ground can be as solid as white concrete with a shimmering sparkle.
Mountain peaks are sharp and clear, jagged enough to be dangerous. This winter sky is Aquamarine.
The Deer and the Robin are at low levels just now as they search for food. Higher grounds are perilously scarce.
When the days are shorter, we long for night times to "coorie in" and snuggle down, being close with family and loved ones.
Winter solstice brings with it a sense of hope for new beginnings, as future days are to be longer.
The long night skies are often velvet black with a peppering of stars to admire. A full (cold or long) moon in December is mesmerisingly close to us as it lingers by.
Dark sky areas in Scotland make it possible for us to experience magnificent sights due to low levels of light pollution, revealing ink black skies filled with dazzling stars. Galloway Forest Park in Scotland is home to the first Dark Sky Park in the whole of the UK.
These natural Christmas lights are almost superseded by the some of the urban spectacles on our doorstep. Edinburgh do it best with a Castle back drop and the beautifully illuminated Botanical Gardens at night.
The Scottish winter fayre offers rich, roasted meats, Grandma's shortbread and Tipsy Laird (sherry trifle). Clootie Dumpling is not for the faint hearted. Hours spent at a stove by Granny's cooking these steaming hot puddings to take centre stage. Winner receives the lucky penny from the inside. Leftovers to be warmed on the frying pan with breakfast next day.
Hogmany (New Year’s Eve) time to celebrate and share with family and good friends. A bottle to be shared around the houses as we first foot our way through the New Year. Woe betide anyone who doesn't bring good fortune (a lump of coal for the fire, some silver pennies or a some shortbread) into the house.
Time to reflect in the quiet and calm of our favoured walk. The impeccable stillness of the motionless loch. A perfect way to "clear the heid".
It's time now to sharpen the memories of the works of Robert Burns and celebrate his life on Burns Day (25th January, 2019). Kids practising a poetry recital in their piece for Burns Poem competition.
After a month of abstinence, the grown ups are looking forward to "Addressing the Haggis" and enjoying a night of revelry and ceilidh. Haggis, Neeps and Tatties all round!