Friday, December 8, 2023

Christmas music #2.


The hills on the far side of the bay coated in thick snow. At sunrise the light catches them and they glow first purple then salmon pink. The weather up here may be Arctic but on cloud free days the skies have a lustre that is Mediterranean. There is a Royal Navy minesweeper at anchor offshore. It's being pummeled by the swell. In these northern waters young  Lieutenants given their unexciting  first 'coastal patrol'  command certainly earn their money... and their sea legs.

Christmas trees appearing . The prices at the shops in town are outlandish.  We go to the local garden centre and order an 8 footer. It's half the price. They promise to  deliver it ' Just as soon as we can'. How gloriously imprecise is that ? 'Will it be before Christmas  I ask. 'Oh aye' says the young lady behind the counter.

The old newsagent that's closing after 144 years is having a sale. I'm guessing the low extension to the right with the 'Christian Institute ' sign will become an indifferent  restaurant and the taller section to the left will become flats on the first and second floors with 'premium retail ' below.

The newsagent is displaying photos of old staff gatherings. This one, of folks in their finest, dates back to 1888. White vans proudly displaying some of the same surnames - Aitchison, Nicholson and Johnston -  are parked further down the road. A little reminder that in some places time is still measured in generations.

Sobering to think that the two young lads at the top left probably served in the Boer War, might have been called up into the Yeomanry in the Great War and quite possibly were still working during the 1939 unpleasantness .

Into the bookstore to pick up Frank Trentmanns new book on Germany 'Out of the darkness'. It is a new 'moral' history of the country. A dog walking village neighbour in the German department tells me  that writing history that is not political or economic or social is 'extraordinary '. That sounds like a good recommendation.

Off to Pennsylvania for Christmas music #2 . Another old favourite but the voice is outstanding and merits being linked to again  :

December 14th :


Tigger's Mum said...

Thank you for the beautiful music. It has been bookmarked for several reruns/playlist

jabblog said...

Such beautiful music - thank you.

Lisa in France said...

I got a Chinese drumming group as an ad when I clicked through to today's lovely song - took me a moment to realize that was not the song. Even if the trees in town are too expensive, that decorated bicycle is gorgeous - my family used to have a flower shop, and I wish we'd thought of that. I just read the most amazing story about an attempted Russian infiltration of St. Andrews, thwarted because the Russians opened their message to the head of the IR school "I hope this find you well." Apparently this was a dead giveaway as the head of the University has banned email niceties.

Angus said...

Lisa - The lady who runs the place also refuses meetings with anyone wearing corduroy clothing. This is presumably an attempt to get professors of esoteric academic specialties to 'smarten up'.

Travel said...

Such a great local bookstore.

Stephanie said...

Thank you to Lisa for drawing my attention to the beautifully ornamented bicycle. I was pleased to see my maiden name among those surnames, though my Scottish ancestors spelled it Etchison.

WFT Nobby said...

An unforgettable voice.
But how can history be neither political, nor economic nor social??

rottrover said...

That flower-festooned bicycle! So cheerful against the grey background!

Jake of Florida said...

So.much to enjoy in today's blog! The prohibited corduroy clothing to smarten up the professors one of my favorites.