Snowed in on my first Aberdeen Christmas…
As I write this I am slouched in a chair, head banging and eyes sore from the remnant of a cold, the only hint of Christmas out here being the podcast I am listening to, profering explanations for the Star of Bethlehem. In my head though, I am back to my first proper Aberdeen Christmas from which this picture comes, the enduring image being one of snow, bitter cold and loads of time for introspection. Many years ago, when I still was in children’s Sunday School in the University Chapel my family attended, the carol service and reeling off lengthy passages committed to memory were most looked forward to, alongside rice and plentiful chicken. At one of those, I played the Magi with Myrrh, in addition to the scripture memory. Since then, the story of the Magi who bearing gifts has always intrigued me, particularly as it relates to the moving star.
At the linked podcast, Justin Brierley, Mark Kidger and Gillian Straine ponder the physical evidence for an event observable from the earth as a moving star and the theological implications of a natural explanation. Well worth a listen if that kind of thing is your bag. Merry Christmas regardless….
A few places around town, for the WordPress photo challenge, Tour Guide
Morning light, Man, Monument, Mansion. For the prompt scale.
Somewhat fortuitously – long story for another day – I have somehow found myself working bang in the city centre for most of the last six years, the chief joys of which include being able to stroll leisurely into work in twenty minutes tops, and this – views of the harbour through the window of the canteen on the third floor.
Between the middle ship and the green ship, if you look hard enough you’ll see the remains of seagull poop. For now at least, these two are constants, ships and seagulls.
For the prompt, Windows.
One Friday this summer, S and I decided dolphin watching would be a good thing to do, which was how we hopped into the car, drove to the Aberdeen harbour and paid for a harbour cruise. The dolphins had other plans – 92% chance or not – and we ended up not seeing any. We did get the joy of about an hour of cruising round the harbour along with other equally disappointed would be dolphin watchers. Good bonding though, I guess?
For the prompt, Layered.
Aberdeen’s Mercat Cross, which dates back to the 1600’s. A different sort of structure from the lines, freckles, and tiny hairs which were ostensibly the subject of this week’s photo challenge but a structure nonetheless; in that other concrete, physical constructed sense of the word.
For the weekly photo challenge, Structure
The view out to sea, mid way through my morning run. For the prompt, Transient.
I suspect it was more a question of when – rather than if, given the extended run of near zero weather we had had for pretty much all of last week – we would have the snow come down. When we did, we woke up to a blanket of snow everywhere on Sunday morning, and then again on Monday. That managed to add 15 minutes to my Sunday morning commute – for all the scrapping and cleaning that my car required – and made me break out a proper winter coat for the first time this year.
For what it’s worth, the somewhat apologetic – if uncomfortable silences – which weighed down my conversations with folk down south are all now gone, lost in the whiteness of a return to the norm. Nine times out of ten, it is us northern folk who must bear the burden of weather induced lock jams and disruptions, not those further down south, who have been spoiled by slightly warmer, drier weather.
I find the snow infinitely better than the rain, mainly because the constant drizzle of the rain leaves in its wake a certain granite grey mood – depressing for the most part given the city’s signature buildings are all grey granite. Stuff does look better in snow. We’ll face the downsides of the snow soon – once it has had a chance to melt and re-freeze into a thin, nearly invisible layer of slippery, dangerous ice.. Until then, I’ll revel in the whiteness of everything.
A prolonged stretch of sub -five degree weather has finally left its mark on the pavements, the light sprinkling of rain overnight freezing into a thin layer of ice which makes for treacherous walking conditions. Walking to work at a little past 7.00am this morning, it is slightly reassuring to see I am not the only one bothered by the icy conditions; on the corner of Justice Street and East North Street, I share a smile with a woman in a big red coat who appears to be in at least as much difficulty as I am, only she has several bags to balance in addition with managing to not slip. The bond of shared difficulty I suppose?