Monday - half a dozen parcels are delivered by couriers. Two others go missing. One of them has been dropped off in error at a house in the village. The church elder who lives there walks it down the road. He's joined on this half mile journey along a rutted farm track , in the fast fading light, by Brenda his ten year old Labrador . She has hip problems but this doesn't lessen her enthusiasm for this late afternoon adventure. We have a wee blether as the sunsets. Then he and Brenda, her tail waving happily, head off home. The other parcel is more problematic. The courier company says it was signed for by Angus but it certainly wasn't this Angus who signed for it. ' Are you Angus ?' asks a young woman in customer relations with more than a hint of aggression in her voice. On learning that I am indeed Angus she then informs me ' You've signed for it so it's not our problem'. With that she puts the phone down. It must be a sign of age but this trifling rudeness and illogicality makes me angry. I find myself saying 'What a bloody cheek !' out loud. Of course when I call back to remonstrate the phone is miraculously engaged.
This morning there's a solitary dolphin out in the bay. The hills to the north covered in a thick layer of snow which glows bright orange as the sun rises. A man and a woman with bobble hats are setting up some ranging poles in the field by the waters edge. They're talking to the surgeon who lives in the converted church hall at the landward edge of the village. The surgeons up early walking her dog before the start of a busy day in the theatre. The two bobble hatted folk are archaeologists come to survey the stone dykes. It seems that this area was once covered in large stone circles. The archaeologists think that it may well have been a major centre of Druid worship; possibly THE centre of Druid worship . Even now sacred springs and preaching stones dot the landscape. After the Reformation the larger of these 'heathen' sites were swept away with Calvinist zeal. The stones were recycled as building material . For those with the time and the patience - like the bobble hatted couple - the old standing stones can still be made out in the field walls and church porches. If I was an archaeologist I'd like to excavate Egypt in the winter and perhaps Picardy in the summer. Places that are neither too hot nor too cold. I certainly wouldn't want to excavate anything in a field on the north east coast of Scotland in December with a gale blowing and with the temperature hovering close to zero.
Sophie and her companion head into town for a coffee and a pain au raisin to warm up.
Off to Sweden for todays seasonal song :https://youtu.be/Qf8WU6w45TU?t=1219