Friday, January 25, 2013

In the Bleak Midwinter

This morning I took a slight detour on the way home from work and ended up driving towards Firle Beacon where, on a clear day, you can see across the Weald to the North Downs. On the way up I passed Viscount Gage, who was on horseback, nonchalantly gesturing with his riding crop as I slowed down. The Firle estate has belonged to the Gage family for over 500 years.

Virginia Woolf used to walk along the top of the Downs to visit her sister at Charleston. On days like this, I imagine her fragile, bird-like frame trudging through the snow.

I find this time of year difficult. The lack of light, the greyness and the penetrating cold is enervating. I am counting the days until March 21st.









13 comments:

Flavia said...

Very picturesque, but definitely bleak -- reminds me not to moan about it being Too Damn Hot to concentrate here in Aus these January days.

Poetry24 said...

And now, the rain!

Steerforth said...

Flavia - Give me heat and sunshine any day. I wish that I could teleport to somewhere sunnier on a day like this. But I draw the line at Death Valley levels.

Martin - I hope it works its way over here, but not if it freezes over.

zmkc said...

I found eating helped at this time of year. Also, more sensibly, walking. The one mitigates the other to some extent. The walking was the only real antidote though - it helped to relieve the sense that the world had become one vast low-ceilinged flat, painted entirely in variations of prison grey.

James Russell said...

How do you ID a viscount? Did he have a special hat? Now that's something I'm sure they don't have in Australia - or do they?

Steerforth said...

Zoe - I'll have to try the walking. Unfortunately, as far as eating goes, I'm on a diet until my BMI drops to below 25. Another month of misery awaits.

James - I didn't recognise Viscount Gage, but the man had an unmistakably aristocratic demeanour. As soon as I got home, I checked Google images to confirm that the man I saw was 'is Lordship.

Little Nell said...

Snow is so lovely, especially in these pictures of yours. However, I prefer not to see it in reality.

Donna said...

Oh, to have a dusting of snow and green grass! Don't move to Canada, at least in the winter. Nevertheless, as I walked under blue skies and bright sunshine with the dog this afternoon, I couldn't help but be impressed by the sparkling white landscape. Hypothermia, perhaps. I made a point to enjoy it as Wednesday will bring -22C weather. It will be breathtaking, figuratively, and most likely, literally.

David Marsden said...

I drive past that stretch of the Downs (and on through Glynde) on my way to work. It has looked stunning these past few days - foolishly I have taken no photos. I once slowed my car and gave a wide berth to a horsewoman in Gloucestershire. As she waved and smiled at me, I realised it was Princess Anne. Does that trump a Lord? Dave

Canadian Chickadee said...

I've always felt as you do about the winter, and the long grey days and endless nights, and rain, rain, rain, with the occasional messy snowstorm thrown in just to spice things up ...

But the other day, a friend gave me a totally different take on the season. She loves this time of year. The Christmas madness is past, the plants are dormant, so she doesn't have to do any gardening. She uses this time of year to catch up on her reading and letter writing (yes, a few people do still write and send them!) and projects around the house.

She says it's so relaxing, to have tea by the fire with a good book, and a decent DVD on the box, and not to feel the pressure of rushing around doing, doing, doing, and going, going, going.

Is she making a virtue of necessity? Perhaps, but I have to admit, when I looked at the season through her eyes, I did feel better about it!

I hope you too will feel better soon. Take care and God bless, xoxox Carol


Steerforth said...

Nell - I think you're better off in Lanzarote!

Donna - I don't know how you cope with those long winters. I suppose the glorious landscape during the non-snow months must make up for it.

David - I've just looked at your blog/website - I loved the photos and agreed with your comment about being self-employed. I'm trying to work out where that Tudor priory is.

Carol - That's a far more sensible 'glass half full' way of looking at winter. It probably works best if you don't have young children or have to go out to work - I'd be perfectly happy curling up by the fire with a good book, but I keep hearing "Daa-aaad!" ;)

Annabel said...

But when the sun does come out, everything seems OK for a while ...

Donna said...

It is beautiful in the winter, just deadly. Gin helps.