End of the Year
2010 has been a weird year. One thing for sure it’s been cold.
I’m going to post a few things here. The first is a link to a Radio 3 Podcast on iTunes. I strongly recommend you download Tom Service’s excellent Welsh Christmas programme to listen to while reading.
We went to collect holly just before Christmas and because of the snow we haven’t really been able to get out much. It was -17 one morning and on that day the lunchtime temperature was -12. “Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone”. The snow, as in the Bleak Midwinter, has indeed fallen snow on snow. The year started under heavy snow and looks as though it will end with it too. The track is very steep up there and all along the sides the snow had gripped the hedgerow in large white clumps. The iciness of the blue was not too bad as the sky was so clear and the sun came out. Amazing how the snow reflects the light so much. It was still light at 4.30 the other day inspite of the shortness of the days. Incidentally the sky was a beautiful pink this morning that bruised as the sun came up. We climbed higher and higher, the big blue sky opening up above us, the land opening up around us as we raised our heads above the village parapet. The frost encrusted everything around us creating intricate snow flowers on the skeletons of last summer’s plants up to the small clump of holly trees near the top. We only scrobbled a few sprigs to put on the table in the kitchen. A farmer came up past us on his quad bike, zig-zagging the lane to get a grip up the steep incline and there at the very top a hawthorn bedecked in jeweled and frosted berries. Around us we could see the Berwyns and over towards Bala and Cadair Idris. We took a moment to close our eyes in the sun. No warmth to be had but for the memory of summer days and skylarks, curlews and grasshoppers. We turned for home.
Filed under: Art and Life: so often one and the same | 1 Comment
Tags: BBC radio 3, holly, snow, Tom Service, Welsh Christmas, winter