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:
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:
On the bridge:
An impressionistic tangle of branches:
My favourite logs:
More glorious trees:
Perfectly ridiculous colours:
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:
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:
Here she comes:
And off they go together:
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:
As for this one, it needs a thought bubble saying 'I am so beautiful I find it actually quite tiring':
And finally, today's hill:
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.)