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The week before Christmas

December 22, 2010

Without much time to write in the run-up to family Christmas, I still wanted to share with you some of the sights that are giving me pleasure this week. I hope you enjoy them too.

Morning sun on the Solstice, about 9.20 a.m. The temperature had risen to minus nine.


A wreath of Douglas fir, mossy twigs and  pheasant feathers found in the woods.


Sol Invictus: Solstice sun rising through the firs, golden on silver.


Reindeer 1. A favourite ornament on the little tree decorated by the children: a felted wool reindeer on a leather string, from the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum, Denmark.


The best method of transport at the moment.


Reindeer 2. A family of reindeer on the piano, made from reclaimed wood.


Looking past a snow-covered ash tree to the black and white woods. Crows sit in the topmost branches, arguing in the freezing air.


Reindeer 3. The real thing: some of the Cairngorm reindeer who brought Father Christmas on his sleigh to our village the other day.


Guess whose library these books are from? This and the next photo are the front and back of one of the best Christmas cards I’ve ever seen, sold on behalf of the cervical cancer charity Jo’s Trust. My links have not been working properly recently, I’m afraid, but you can find out more at

Wishing you a merry Christmas!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2010 11:27 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Beastie! Thanks for all your pictures and your stories of castle life.

    We went to Roskilde aout 15 years ago – a wonderful memory.

  2. December 22, 2010 11:29 pm

    A charming post, Dancer…quiet, simple, beautiful. Aren’t Scandinavian ormaments just perfect for a country Christmas?
    I love the way you have decorated your wreath especially…I’m going to poke pheasant feathers – from my garden – into my wreath in the morning (hoping you will feel that imitation is the best form of flattery ! :-))
    Amongst the ensuing bustle of your family Christmas and Hogmanay, I hope you get time to enjoy a few quiet moments of your own. Thank you for your lovely blog this year – i look forward to reading more in 2011!

  3. December 23, 2010 1:10 am

    In spite of your epic life you have been busy creating beautiful posts!

    I am stuck on the idea that you can have a wreath made with “phesasant’s feathers found in the wood”.

  4. Margaret Lambert permalink
    December 23, 2010 4:38 pm

    The wreath is marvelous- all the beauty of your woods, combined. And I am laughing with delight at your improbable book titles: “Penguins for Fun and Profit”, “Zen & the Art of Sledge Maintenance”, “Elf and Safety Manual”!! So clever…I think some of your readers will miss the fun, they look so authentic. Where ever good humor remains, life is good.

  5. December 23, 2010 8:43 pm

    May you have the very best Christmas ever and may your dry rot get dealt with in the New Year!!!
    Looking at your snow pictures makes me feel quite bereft – we are likely having a green Christmas here on the other side of the Atlantic.

  6. December 24, 2010 10:41 am

    Merry Christmas to you and all the other besties you hold dear!

    Love the piano photo, looks so cosy and the reindeer are rather nice.


  7. lizzie permalink
    December 27, 2010 8:14 pm

    Those book spines are fantastic, make a great card and for such a worthwhile cause.


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