16 January 2012

January Hymn

I had a treat of a walk today. Got home from errand running at about 4pm and the sun was sinking fast, so I darted off through the fields for some air. It was freezing - the mossy ground frosted white and the air a cold blueish mist.

When I reached the lakes, the swans were stock still on the third pool down, harbouring in the reeds and the overhanging rhododendrons. Even they looked chilled to the bone.

Glancing up towards the hill I noticed that the wood at the top was still bathed in sunshine. The warmth had retreated out of the valley but could still be caught if I could muster the will to huff and puff my way through the chill to the top. I couldn't resist.

It was gloriously worth it. At the summit, the view down into the Welsh valley beyond was lit up by the last of the pale winter sun. I leaned against the trunk of a pine and let it warm me through.

It was absolutely still, not a breath of wind, and the only sounds were the pip-pips of tiny birds watching the sunset with me. 

I paused and felt that glow you get when you take the last ski lift to the top of a mountain and wait until everyone else has skied down before you set off for one last clear run down the deserted pistes.

The song humming in my ears was January Hymn by the Decemberists - click here to listen:

When I turned back down into the valley the sky had coloured sugary pink bleeding into smoky blue. The air was crystal clear and I drank it in as I sped back the cottage for tea and a roaring fire.

I found Dickie in a truculent mood:

Me: "Which of those three wines can I use for cooking? I'm going to stick it in a bolognese tomorrow."

Dickie: "The one in the middle. If you touch either of the other two I will literally drown you."

Me: "What, take me down to the river, tie me up in a sack and chuck me in like an unwanted kitten?"

Dickie: "No, I'll drown you in that wine in the middle. The cooking wine."

Happy days.

Final thought: I think I love Benedict Cumberbatch. It's been a slow burner, didn't see it at first, but has kind of crept up on me. Does a cross between BC and Monty Don exist? Hope so.