February.

taigh solais

February is a strange month. At once still in the depths of Winter, the days are becoming noticably longer, tempting us with thoughts of Spring. There was a fresh snowfall during the night over the low hills and Paps of Jura. None here by the coast; not even a shimmer of ice. I should probably be thankful.The snowdrops are out and the sheep are looking heavy with lambs.

“Ceum coileach air an latha”. An old Gaelic expression meaning each day is lengthening by a cockerel’s step. Not long til Spring now.

og mhadainn

on a Sunday

sgothan

It’s a Sunday. There are no buses on a Sunday, I don’t have a car and I’ve yet to have my bike shipped to me. Travel options are limited in this corner of the world. As a result, Sundays tend to be particularly easy-going. I’ve no garden with vegetables or plants to tend to, nor any animals to look after (much as I might want). Instead, I’ve been enjoying the wintery colours outside, muddling about indoors doing suitably seasonal things and trying not to be too forlorn for not being in Edinburgh when the city is truely at her best; at Christmas. I think there’s a real understated beauty in the muted colours of Winter. They’re not bold and brashy like the colours of Summer, but they have a quiet delicacy all of their own.

 

P1090305

I’ve also been bemoaning the passage of time realising it’s been ten years since this sublime album was released. It is still close to perfection. Today has been a ‘music day’. One of my favourite activities – a day spent with the simple indulgence of songs and records playing non-stop. Sometimes I find a frustration in not being able to sit down and listen to anything, or at least not finding anything that compells me to sit down and pay attention to it ‘Music days’ are the polar opposite of this – there is nothing that doesn’t sound good. Today I’ve been enoying Mountain Man, The Decemberists, Interpol (see above), The Great American Desert and various bits and piece of early blues songs. This album is one of the best I know.

Winter colour

I managed to steal a few days at home; North in the Highlands, my childhood home. It is a place under pressure from expanding towns, struggling to maintain it’s own identity and not get swallowed up by ever-encroaching suburbia. That said, it is part of an incredibly beautiful area quite different from so much of people think of when they hear “Highlands”; it is low rolling hills and lush, fertile farmland. It is my home.

I’m not quite sure what gorse is doing in bloom just now (I’m not sure it knows, either) but it, alongside the rosehips and the occasional elderberry and unripened bramble, provides the most fantastic contrast of colours between the frost on the ground, the snow on distant hills and icy blue sky.

Into Spring

A Winter malaise seems to have gotten hold of this little corner of the internet. It feels like it’s been ongoing for months and is – amongother things – hindering my attempts to finish certain tasks. Most notably of these is a test knit I’ve been working on for a while. You can see the original project here. It’s a beautiful pattern and currently one of the only things I’m grateful to Winter for – it being cold enough to wear it.

Though I’m complaining about it, the Winter is absolutely one of my favourite seasons. I adore the crispness in the air and, for the most part, the unpredictable weather. Still, every year at this stage I’m longing for a little warmth in the sun and flowers to appear. And lo – they are!

It’s incredibly to see such vivid colour after what has felt like an eternity of grey. Long may they continue to flourish…