Hardly light; grey all around; sky meets land, moistly. Another swathe of rain rolls in and the dark conifers of Badnage wood are obscured by mist again. How very weary this old year is looking.
I sit at my desk and think of new beginnings - it is New Year's Eve after all - a day for reflection before moving on. I don't experience synesthesia - seeing numbers and days as colours and shapes - except at this time of the year. These end days of December, Christmas baubles aside, are dank dark shapes, cobwebbed and drear, which, come the stroke of midnight become January, sparkling and luminescent. Today is a spent match but tomorrow a fresh white sheet. However, I can't console myself with the thought that in a few hours
time the small mountain kingdom will be sun-washed, green and lush. No,
we have a few more months of mud and slush to come yet methinks. Sigh.
It's not that that this has been a bad year by any means. Same old, same old, perhaps - and none the worse for that. It's been busy, and quiet in equal part. A few pictures follow - only one of which could really be described as a highlight.
Snow in April, unforgivably late but breathtakingly beautiful.
The landscape is reduced to simple grey shapes. This piece of hillside -
unspectacular otherwise has graceful zen-like beauty under its blanket
But then things do come good - after an unpromising start the sun shone and shone - here on a bank of daisies outside our garden room.
Wilderness in miniature and certainly somewhere for the hunting dog Chester to consider elusive voles
Our garden was fruitful - we like to think this was the best crop of figs in Trelystan.
The sun shone and the grass grew - as did our thistles. Happiness is a man on a tractor. The Glam. Ass. spent a morning 'topping'. The b*ggers grew back, but that's thistles for you.
October saw a wedding - or rather The Wedding. Our son Harry married Sam and we gained the loveliest daughter-in-law. We wish them every happiness.
My ageing flock of poultry was culled and my daily excuse to stand on the field and look around me open-mouthed at the wonder of it all was no more. I had just got my head round having 2 birds at the bottom of the garden (sooo easy!) when an offer too good to refuse was made. Would I like some more? Point of lay? You bet. Thus another 15 birds are installed in the hen-house on wheels up on the field.
My daily round begins again - I stand and watch the sky and listen to the sough of the wind through Badnage wood. I hear the roar of the stream in the dingle on its way down to the Rea Valley, to the Severn, and onwards to the sea. My water going to the waves. I speculate that this same water will return as rain, brewed by the ocean's currents. Such is the circle of life.
My very best wishes to any passing reader. May 2014 bring peace, health and happiness.