Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Eve

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I woke early this morning, in order to go to the village and do all my last-minute errands. I had a plan, and a list. It was quite stern and meticulously ordered.

Then I went outside. The sky was dark blue, and the moon, almost full, was still up in the west. Organisation and plans went out of my head, and I just stared like a dolt at all the beauty. Quite silently, a roe deer walked past, steady but determined, as if he had an appointment to keep. Down by the burn, I saw him again, with the rest of his family: an elegant mama, and four brothers and sisters. I have not seen the deer for ages. It felt like a present.

In the village, the butcher's shop was so full I could barely get in the door. All the butchers were wearing special Christmas hats, and there were huge signs everywhere saying NO MORE TURKEYS. The shop was entirely peopled with men, collecting their birds. I had a vision of the incredibly organised women at home, who had risen with the dawn, consulted their own lists, and despatched their gentlemen to get in the food. Either that, or the ladies of the village had too much sherry last night and could not get out of bed this morning.

I went to say happy Christmas to the postmistress and the always smiling newsagent (also wearing special yuletide hat), bought my last two presents for the great niece and great nephew, got a little white hyacinth in a pot as a treat for my mother, and went home. Everything on the list had a thrilling tick next to it.

Just as I was getting in the final shopping, I saw smoke. I thought for a moment that something was on fire. Then I realised it was not smoke at all, but a low cloud, moving fast along the ground. All around, everything was quite clear. It was an extraordinary sight, as if one rogue cloud had broken free of the pack, and was being pushed by an unseen hand along the base of the hill.

I suppose really it was just a bit of fog. But it looked like a magic cloud to me.

I hope you all have a lovely, peaceful Christmas Eve.

Here are today's pictures -

First glimpse of the hill, on a perfect clear morning, with the thermometer hovering at minus ten:

24th Dec 1 

24th Dec 2.ORF

The moon, still up at 8am:

24th Dec 3.ORF 

24th Dec 5.ORF

The village, in all its Christmassy pomp:

24th Dec 6

24th Dec 7

24th Dec 8


24th Dec 9


24th Dec 9-1

24th Dec 10

24th Dec 11

My magic cloud:

24th Dec 12

24th Dec 13

24th Dec 14

24th Dec 15

24th Dec 16

And above it, the hill, in utter clarity:

24th Dec 18

PS. May I say thank you for all your enchanting comments of the last couple of days. I have not replied to them all, because I have been a little frantic with all the arrangements, but they have been particularly touching. The internet can be a cross and alarming place, but you, dear readers, make this little corner of it entirely charming, and I do not take that for granted for a single moment.


  1. I don't know what it would be like to wake up to all that beauty. Have a wonderful and merry Christmas.


    Miss W x

  2. Miss W - I do feel insanely lucky. Also sometimes slightly terrified - what if I had never come to live here and not been able to see all this? (Moved to Scotland on whim and chance.) I hear there are terrible rains in California; hope you are not getting swept away.
    Have a very happy Christmas with yr lovely family. xx

  3. A beautiful post; the moon is enchanting; and as for your magical cloud, I am beside myself with admiration and envy.

    For the delight you have given so many of us this year, a heartfelt thank you; sending you every good wish and much affection for Christmas and 2011; and keep ye in health and fine spirits. (I have a vested interest in that wish; I now would be bereft without my daily dose of your unique images and words.)

  4. Cassie - that is such a very kind thing to say. It has made me a bit teary. What a lovely way to spread the Christmas spirit. Very happy Christmas to you. :)

  5. Beautiful pictures for this Christmas Eve, thank you. Enjoy your festive season, and thanks once more for the pleasure your writing, your photographs and the dogs have given me this year.

  6. Lovely pictures, as always. The low cloud (or maybe the fog?) is just amazing. Hope you will have a very merry Christmas, and I'm looking forward to reading your posts and seeing more beautiful pictures in the next year.

  7. Have a Christmas full of joy, peace and happiness.

  8. Beautiful post and yes the clousd does look magic indeed! Happy Christmas...

  9. I love the picture of the dogs standing side on: they look so noble and intrepid. As for the cloud, the trees, the moon - all superb.

    Happy Christmas and big pats to the girls.

    Cheers Sue


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