Saturday, 18 December 2010

Saturday; or, a small domestic report

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Today was a gentle domestic day. The Heavenly Stepfather very kindly came to get me in his car (mine was frozen solid) and we set off, intrepidly, to the village. It was minus ten by my thermometer and the sun was glittering off the snow. It looks vastly pretty, but no one can get anywhere, except the posties, who will not be stopped.

I sent off Christmas packages to my old dad, and my dear godfather, who is 87 and fought in the war and is not awfully well. He is of that great generation, and I thought the least he deserved was a little Christmas present.

The postmistress cast a seasoned eye on the weather. 'It's all very fine,' she said, 'but it's time for it to stop now. People would like to be able to get to Aberdeen.'

Outside, people were gingerly picking their way over the ice. The village's very splendid Dalmatian was dressed up in a most festive scarlet coat. I am not normally much for coats for dogs, too P Hilton for my taste, but this fellow did look very regal and Christmassy.

Then we did a little tour of the shops. I bought chicken for chicken soup, which is imperative in this weather, armfuls of eucalyptus, a gardenia in a pot for my mother, silver tissue paper, and bags of yellow lentils, as I fancy I may make a dhal.

I got back to find my little robin had somehow got into the house. I tried to guide him out, thought he had flown from the front door, and came back in, only to find him perched on a copy of The Pursuit of Love. The dogs set up a tremendous bark, thinking it was a  hunt, and the tiny bird remained incredibly calm, considering. I am always frightened when birds get into the house that they will die of shock, they get themselves into such a state. Finally, I coaxed him to the office window, and he made a dash for freedom. He looked so thin and hungry that I put out food for him on the stone wall. (Top of list: must get bird feeders.)

Now, the soup is made and the snow is falling again. The only blight on this lovely day is the bad news that the younger niece is stuck in Luton Airport. This is never a sentence that strikes the heart with joy. All flights were suddenly cancelled twenty minutes before she was due to take off, and now we are tying to get her on a sleeper. I have horrid visions of her stuck in a snowdrift somewhere north of Stonehaven. It is all fingers crossed.


Pictures of the day are of - you will never in a million years guess - SNOW AND DOGS.

The view south:

18th Dec 3

The amazing Scottish light on the rowan berries:

18th Dec 2

The ominous sky to the north-west, from whence almost all our weather comes:

18th Dec 4

Looking at the trees and sky over my garden fence:

18th Dec 6

18th Dec 6-1

The garden:

18th Dec 7

Someone has been eating the snow again:

18th Dec 5

While someone else is sneaking off to hunt for moles:

18th Dec 8

The Duchess roaming the garden like a panther:

18th Dec 9


18th Dec  11

Faintly wistful:

18th Dec  10-4

Dignified and yet somehow questing:

18th Dec  21-6

The eucalyptus was because of the not having a tree. I wanted something verdant and festive. I am rather delighted with the effect, and so had to take several shots of it:

18th Dec  12-6

18th Dec  14-6

18th Dec  16-6

18th Dec  17-6

You can see I got slightly carried away. I even did one in moody black and white:

18th Dec  18-6

Finally, today's shot of the hill, lost in cloud:

18th Dec 1

Have a lovely weekend. I hope you are warm at home, and NOT stuck in Luton airport.


  1. I'm currently trapped in a Somerset town hotel because of the snow (my job means I have to be able to get in to work at ghastly-o'-clock, no matter how much snow), feeling rather alone and homesick - and your lovely post, with its lovely pictures, has cheered me up enormously. As, in fact, it always does - I've been reading it for a long time (I'm a big fan of the book) and it acts as a wonderful soothing balm when my brain is cross and scratchy. Especially the pictures of the dogs.
    I hope the niece gets out of Luton!

  2. Lovely post and pictures. Hope everything will turn out OK for your niece. Have a great week-end.

  3. Rachelea - so know that hollow hotel feeling. Hope you can get something very nice to eat to cheer you up. That usually works for me. So pleased the blog was a little ray of light for you. A very kind compliment, thank you. And especially glad you like the dogs.

    Oana - so pleased you liked it. Worried I was a little inconsequential today, so very nice to hear your comment.

  4. Loving your indoor Christmassy shots Tania.

  5. Connie - thank you so much. Feared I had rather overdone it. V kind of you. :)

  6. Hello Tania - I do enjoy your domestic posts, you take life at the pace it should be taken and there is something pure and wonderful about it. Your soup and sprigs of greenery made me think of Willa Cather in frontierland... Lou xx

  7. Beautiful Photos. The snow looks lovely, but only when your indoors in the warm.

    Great Post.

  8. I enjoyed your post and especially the part about bird feeders. Here are some tips if you are going to get one. I really don't like any type of ground feeder as they do attract rats and mice, so I avoid them. The bitterly cold weather in Ireland at the moment is a real pain. That said, it doesn't take long to get to my various feeders and break up the ice. I use a couple of different feeders, a lard bird feeder and a bird feeder pole. They both work well and attract different species. I also use sunflower seeds and peanuts and they seem to like them a lot.

    I am going to buy a solar feeder as the reviews look very good on them and they are an attractive ornament to the garden.

  9. Lou - what a lovely thing to say. And Willa Cather is one of my absolute favourites.

    Spangle - so agree about the warm.

    Enda - brilliant tips; thank you.


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