Thursday, 10 February 2011

The light

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Last night, just before I went to sleep, I wondered if the sun might be shining when I woke up. I was in a philosophical mood, so I decided it would not matter if it did not. As I had proved, with a little determination and some music at full blast, I could damn well generate sunshine in my heart even on the dullest day. It's just weather, was my last waking thought.

This morning, when I woke, I wondered for a moment if I were still dreaming, because lavish golden beams of light were raging through the Venetian blinds, bathing my entire room in a celestial gleam. It seems such a long time since this has happened that I could not quite believe it was real.

Outside, the sky was not just blue, it was a giddy, sapphire blue. The sun was not just shining, it was dancing and dazzling about like a wild thing. The light was so beautiful that my morning walk took ages, because I kept having to stop and gasp.

How is it, I thought, as I looked about at the hills and the trees and the sky, that I got the outrageous fortune to end up in this ravishing place? I know the winter can seem to go on forever, and when it is brown, it is very very brown, and the dreich can sap your soul, but oh, when it is like this, it is one of the most glorious places on earth, and I get to live here. I get to have all my arms and legs, and my opposable thumbs, and Scotland. It's crazy stupid luck.

This is the kind of thing I think when the sun is shining.

Which is why I am stopping now, before I gallop off into hyperbole and whimsy and intemperate gush. Tomorrow, I shall return to proper British scepticism and ironical understatement. But for today, it is all excessive overstatement, because oh oh oh The Light.

Pictures of the day are of the Beauty, obviously.

This was the colour of the sky:

10th Feb 1

10th Feb 5

Here is a funny thing. Often, on the hideous days, the photographs I take of the lichen and the trees and the bark come out much better that I would have thought. Although the light is dull, the colours are vivid and nuanced. Today, it was as if the beauty was so gaudy it refused to be entirely captured by one puny lens. The tree above, when I looked at it this morning, was actually much more lovely than it looks here. It had a delicacy and delight which has been slightly lost. Good photographers will probably know what this effect is. Anyway, I think it interesting and mildly mysterious. But at least you can see the blue of that crazy sky.

The light in the woods:

10th Feb 2

10th Feb 3


10th Feb 10

On the bridge:

10th Feb 4

10th Feb 9

An impressionistic tangle of branches:

10th Feb 6-1

My favourite logs:

10th Feb 11

10th Feb 15

More glorious trees:

10th Feb 12

10th Feb 14

10th Feb 18

Perfectly ridiculous colours:

10th Feb 6

10th Feb 19

10th Feb 20

How have these colours lasted? It is February, not October. I don't know if I have ever seen it as vivid as this at this time of year.

A view of the hill, from the west rather than the usual north:

10th Feb 13

Now, I don't want to go too dog nuts on you, but the Pigeon does have this very sweet habit. She goes charging along, very excited by everything, while the Duchess is usually muddling about somewhere behind, sniffing for moles, which is something she very much enjoys. Then the old Pidge suddenly realises her sister is missing, so she turns and looks for her:

10th Feb 7

Here she comes:

10th Feb 16

And off they go together:

10th Feb 17

For some reason, I find this absurdly touching.

Did you ever see such posing? It's like a publicity still of a film star from the 1930s:

10th Feb 24

As for this one, it needs a thought bubble saying 'I am so beautiful I find it actually quite tiring':

10th Feb 25-1

And finally, today's hill:

10th Feb 21

If I were the kind of person who said such things, I would add: I wish you all such light, wherever you are. (Really, really must stop now, before I go Too Far.)


  1. Thank you for the sky Tania. I've been sitting here in Oxfordshire all day looking out at rain pelting on the river, thwarting my hopes of going for my first proper walk since I had my knee operated on last week, and the colour of the sky lifted my mood, all by itself.

  2. Tania,what a lovely post.I'm really not a country type of person,but I do find I'm rather envious of you...and your lichen.Sue

  3. How lovely! We've only had rain and gloom all day so I'd happily swap with your for a while...

  4. ... and rural Norfolk hasn't stopped a bone-penetrating, misty drizzle all day. Having said that, when we dived for the car in order to go out for boring shopping, it did at least mean that you could smell springtime in the wet earth. Thank you for sharing your glorious Scottish skies.

  5. The lyrics that read, "And I never saw blue like that before, across the sky...", were the first thing that popped into my head. In February! Still waiting for the grey dreich to pass over here. Soon, sky gods willing. Such beautiful pictures with P & D so in their element. :-)

  6. Go ahead and rhapsodise. It's right to be deliriously happy when the sun shines and the sky is blue. It rained all day here today. It's impossible to fake that feeling.

  7. You can never go 'Too Far' with this happy blue sky lovely dog commentary. It has tipped with rain all day here - to such an extent that I thought I had better get some washing done before the septic tanks fills with groundwater again and floods the garden. I also suspect we have a squirrel living in our attic. So all in all your sun and your dogs look much nicer! Lou x

  8. What lovely comments; thank you. So glad you enjoyed the blue, esp those of you suffering from the filthy weather. :)

  9. It was teh sky - hoping that if I too think hard enugh I may be blessed down here in Suffolk!

  10. Dear Tania, non stop rain and greyness in London. I'm glad you've had some blue skies at last. The scenery looks wonderful. Your bridge is beautiful as are your two girls xx

  11. London damp and miserable so blue skies a total bonus.

  12. This - this - is what it is:
    'All in the blue unclouded weather
    Thick-jewelled shone the saddle leather
    And helmet-flame and helmet-feather
    Fused in one bright flame together.'
    It sprang instantly to mind when I saw the impossible blue.

  13. I really want to start a blog of my own but every time I read yours (which is now every day as I'm happily hooked)somehow I'm both inspired and defeated. I seriously love the way you write and the things you write about - and I especially love the two ladyships who tug hard on my heart every time I see their pictures.
    I too had a glorious blue-sky day yesterday - spent largely with my two horses and two dogs, and nothing comes much closer to heaven than that - and I too bless the guardian angel who chose to give me this life and not any other. It's a wonderful thing to be blessed - and to realise it!
    Today however is not quite so perfect - husband hobbling about with a crook foot - and definitely not being stoic about it. Hey ho. Some days a diamond...

  14. One of those days and skies yesterday that God throws in to help us get through winter! Almost hot enough to sunbathe on the lawn here in North Yorkshire!
    Love your blog and pics - in awe.

  15. So glad I could send a blue sky to those of you with the horrid grey kind. Special thanks for the particularly kind comments - sorry not to reply to each individually, it's Friday night and my brain has gone.


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