Monday 7 January 2013

Half Light

The ever-expanding array of Christmas decorations may be packed away in the loft until next year, but I'm not ready to kill the lights just yet. As I have no religious inclinations I celebrate Christmas in the ancient way - as a time for family, fun, feasting (and a little drinking), but also in the other old sense of being a time to light up the winter darkness.

My ancestors, lacking LED technology, would have done this with blistering bonfires, and with torches made of bound-together twigs or rags soaked in animal fat attached to stout sticks. No such trouble is required to fend off the winter gloom these days, which makes it all the more odd that most people insist on removing every trace of festive illumination the moment 'twelfth night' arrives.

I do try to keep this continuing effulgence subtle. One string of 'warm white' lights adorns the crab-apple tree outside, and the 'bright white' Christmas tree lights have been relegated to a large glass jug I have placed on a shelf near a plug socket.

On a more serious note - winter darkness can have a serious impact on mental and physical (all the same thing anyway) health. Don't be put off lighting up your life by daft conventions about removing all that stuff, when you could keep at least some of it in place to help to cheer you up in the dark months.

Cinnamon-laced coffee now plunged and steaming away in my new Roland TB-303 (Bass Line) themed mug, I look forward to the remainder of the flaky hot-smoked salmon which I will be having for lunch.

It's properly dreich out on Gastrobeach today. At least the mountains are visible as I view their grey bulk through the reflection of my jaunty light-jug.

The attached photograph is from a walk we took on one of the few dry days. My wife captured the image - a creel-boat heading out of the bay at sunset.

I wish you a Happy New Year but at this moment I particularly wish you a happy January and February. And if their days can't be merry, then at least make them bright.

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