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:
The amazing Scottish light on the rowan berries:
The ominous sky to the north-west, from whence almost all our weather comes:
Looking at the trees and sky over my garden fence:
Someone has been eating the snow again:
While someone else is sneaking off to hunt for moles:
The Duchess roaming the garden like a panther:
Dignified and yet somehow questing:
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:
You can see I got slightly carried away. I even did one in moody black and white:
Finally, today's shot of the hill, lost in cloud:
Have a lovely weekend. I hope you are warm at home, and NOT stuck in Luton airport.