In the Bleak Midwinter

15 Dec

A fog froze this week, leaving the ground frosty and white for two days running. Cold! Seem to be working through a tin of cocoa rather quickly.

Below, some images from the banks of Hilcot Brook, Gloucestershire, which I took two weeks ago and have been meaning to post. Seeing the clear sky and bright stars the night before, we’d got up early, before the sun had risen properly, and took a narrow road deep into the hills.

At times we got out to breathe in the clear air and, at one point, with a view of frosty pasture before us, In the Bleak Midwinter came onto the radio. It could hardly have been more fitting (although, if one were to be pedantic, January is probably the mid of mid-winter).

I have since read that Christina Rossetti wrote the words for that carol and it was put to music by Holst, who, in fact, was born in Cheltenham, which was only a few miles from where we were. Furthermore, Holst’s piece was originally entitled Cranham, after the village near Stroud, which is probably just on the other side of this hill.

Earth at Work DSC_1596

Earth at Work DSC_1612

Earth at Work DSC_1633

Earth at Work DSC_1619

Earth at Work DSC_1667

Earth at Work DSC_1666

Earth at Work DSC_1539

Earth at Work DSC_1665

Hilcot Brook is a tributary of the Churn, which, in turn, is a tributary of the Thames. When I’m in London and crossing the river from Waterloo to Embankment on the footbridge, I like to look down at the deep, worldly, shifting water below me and think that somewhere, in all of it, the youthful jubilance of these clear hillside streams persists.


2 Responses to “In the Bleak Midwinter”

  1. Cindy at enclos*ure December 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    Beautiful photos. Have a merry Christmas!

    • Vivienne January 19, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

      Thank you, Cindy. I hope you had a merry Christmas, too.

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