Tag Archives: walking in the snow

Winter: a post of few words

photo of frozen pond

pond on the edge of an icy nowhere

There are such a lot of things that have no place in summer and autumn and spring. Everything that’s a little shy and a little rum. Some kinds of night animals and people that don’t fit in with others and that nobody really believes in. They keep out of the way all the year. And then when everything’s quiet and white and the nights are long and most people are asleep—then they appear.

― Tove Jansson, Moominland Midwinter

Winter still has us in its grip. It’s too cold to do anything much other than survive and dream and paint indoors by electric light and, if you are lucky, the shy, rum things might creep out to watch.

In the short daylight hours Tilly and I take to the hills seeking compositions for future paintings.

image of snow on the hills

snowy path marks the entrance to Crosdale (round the corner)

large cloud image

a huge cloud floats across the valley

image showing sun, cloud and snowy hills

sun breaking through the cloud

photo showing Howgill Fells and Lakes mountains in the distance

Lake District mountains on the horizon

Tilly the Welsh Springer

lovely Tilly

hollow in the hills with mountains behind

a bowl-shaped depression frames a mountain backdrop

photo of cloud composition

an assertive cloud arrives

Christmas Eve – the best part of Christmas

Christmas Eve walk on the fell image

looking towards Sedbergh in the muted, colourful, afternoon light

When I was a child I realised that I preferred Christmas Eve to Christmas Day. It was so still and mysterious and there was that wonderful anticipation in the air. You could imagine anything was possible and it could be true, in a way, before reality arrived the next morning.

Being a Catholic family we went to church at Christmas and Midnight Mass when I was older. This seemed to make everything even more charged and exciting, because staying up so late meant entering an unknown world – a sleepy, magical, miraculous place where people gathered in the darkness inside a hazy candlelit church. One year it snowed and we were cut off from the rest of the world, a small quiet village marooned by a bypass stuffed with drifts. That Christmas Eve felt especially enchanted as we trudged around streets devoid of engines, with glowing stars, the blue dark sky and waves of snow shimmering with crystals.

This year a walk on the fell saw gloom pierced by rays of light, fiery bracken all around and beautiful gentle colours of violet and green in the distance.

photo of sun's ray in the gloom

could this be the fabled ray of hope?

Tilly may have been looking forward to the future with enthusiasm and hope or she may just have been lunging for a treat. Who’s to know?

photo of dog in bracken

Tilly lunges into the future

In 2015 I hope to paint furiously and, if I can, adopt the mindset of Ray Bradbury who once said:

“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”