Winter Solstice

By Sally Pudney on 21st December 2018

Winter Solstice greetings! It’s all about candles here . . .

This week I have finished the last calligraphy job of the year, which was updating the Book of Remembrance for St James’ Church, Little Clacton.

One of the entries was rather interesting because it was for an lady in her late nineties who had been in the Women’s Air Auxiliary Force during the Second World War. Her family asked for the WAAF crest by her entry so I had to source that and work out how to represent it in paint. When I returned the book to Little Clacton on Wednesday, I carried on down to Graham’s house. We had a lovely lunch at The Oakwood, followed by a chilly but enjoyable walk by the sea.

I’ve got the board all primed up for the last painting of my Four Seasons on the Stour project – a good job to do on these dark afternoons, as it doesn’t need natural light like painting would. Here is my studio on one of those dark afternoons recently, with a crescent moon!

Having finished my last ‘jobs’ I started decorating the house for Christmas. I decided against a tree this year, but the garden yielded enough winter greenery –

and my Twelve days of Christmas Fairies are cavorting on some large twigs of corkscrew hazel!

Yesterday my copy of Ness by Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood arrived.

I was lucky enough to get one of only 525 copies which were printed by hand, with stunning prints by Stanley Donwood –

and a ‘story/poem/mystery play’ which is deeply strange and dark but ultimately I think optimistic. It is based around the locality and former use of Orford Ness off the Suffolk coast – which is a strange and eerie place.  I need to read it again, probably several times, to digest it properly. If you haven’t come across Robert Macfarlane’s writing I would strongly recommend that you seek out The Old Ways and The Wild Places. To say they are nature writing at its best doesn’t seem an adequate description as they have so much in them and they are beautifully written.

So – its nearly Christmas and nearly the end of the year. I’ll be back here next week, with a round up of book recommendations, and then a reflection back on the year that was 2018.

For now, I hope you have a peaceful and very happy Christmas! 🙂

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