My, but the nights are fair drawing in! The lack of recent entries is because, this past fortnight, I have been mostly hibernating. I love my wee country, truly I do. Cut me and do I not bleed a stinky mix of whisky, bits of hillside and swearwords? But it also puzzles me deeply. The Celts and the Picts were clearly quite switched on, with a better grasp of astronomy and international trade than I’m ever likely to have. Frankly, it baffles me why these blue-faced sophisticates clapped eyes on the boggy, benighted plains of the central belt in the eternal dark of December, and shouted, “Right Glenda! Pitch the goat-hide! We’re home!”.
To give the foreign readership a better picture of how our darkness is darker than your darkness, I came over all scientific and looked out the window to conduct an in-depth survey, the results of which I list below:
7.30am – Bible black.
7.53am – Grey as a smoker’s lung
8.09am – Muddy puddle
8.23am – Pewter, streaked with pink. Very pretty.
8.59am – Night.
One of the biggest benefits of not working this year is therefore avoiding the truly miserable process of having to get up in the dark and cold, go out in the dark and cold, and travel all the way to work in the dark and cold. Of dodging days spent inside a gloomy building only to emerge, eight hours later, just in time to catch the last of the scarlet rays of sun disappear behind Possil. It is unremittingly grim. For any Scottish workies reading this: I really do share your wintry pain.
There’s an observatory near here, the Coats Observatory in Paisley, and, amazingly, in the five minutes during winter when Scottish skies are cloudless, they let punters such as myself in to look through the telescopes. I’m therefore making it my wintry mission this year to brush up on my nebulae and constellations. I’ve got the time after all and when all there is is darkness, well, we might as well settle down, get comfy and gaze at the stars.