This Candlemas (2nd of February) post was originally published in 2014.
Hot at Candlemas
I just sat in the hot place. It was good. It was sunny and bright, though it offered only a vague warmth today.
The ‘hot place’ is a point on our property that is sheltered from both north and east winds by walls, and situated next to large windows that reflect the sunlight and bestow a sort of ‘double sunning’. It is rather like a portal to another country, a warmer clime or different season. In summer it can reach unbearable temperatures. In the deepest months of winter the sun doesn’t touch it at all. This was the first time it lit up this year, fitting then that it’s Groundhog Day (wiki), Candlemas (wiki) and Imbolc (wiki).
Feeling the sun on my face, without the usual buffeting wind, was a good reminder that the Earth is turning and spring is on its way. More good reminders: brave little snowdrops.
Cold at Candlemas
It’s been an odd winter, very dark but with none of the usual bright and dramatic snow of Scotland. The continual rain, mud and roof leakages have made the season seem long and arduous. Grey. Dull. No enchanted snowy moonlit walks where surprised owls fly low overhead, no snow angels or sledging. I almost miss having to dig my way into the woodshed (almost, not really; it was fairly tortuous, and nasty when ice dripped down your neck too). Solstice 2010:
The wind has been notably fierce, bringing an ancient beech tree crashing to the ground one night. I heard it from my bed half a mile away. Three loud cracks sounded as its branches broke. How disorienting to stand among high boughs and look through to what was the ground, upended like the tree:
The world on its side. An oliphaunt fallen.
So, winter: snow properly, or let spring through. The sun is nice today; I’d like more of that, please, I’m ready to laze in the hot place with a book. And if the saying below is true, there’s hope for that.
Traditional Candlemas Rhyme
If Candlemas Day is clear and bright, winter will have another bite.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain, winter is gone and won’t come again.
And the Scottish version:
If Candlemas Day be dry and fair, the half o’ winter’s to come and mair.
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul, the half o’ winter’s gane at Yule.
Chosen Sisters, Romans and Romance
Set in 1st century Scotland, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance.
See the press release here
Review from Terry Tyler: “It’s a fabulous story, a real page-turner and so well written. It made me think about the passage and circle of time, of the constancy of the land on which we live and the transient nature of human life. Loved it.“
Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.
See the Page here
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