24 December 2013

Low Winter Sun

The view from my kitchen window when I'm washing up the breakfast things.

At this time of year, if I time the washing up right, I can have a short moment with my hands in hot water and the sun shining brightly into my face. I close my eyes and enjoy the contrast between my warm hands and cold feet, while the sun, like a miracle, beams out comfortable pleasure.

It doesn't last long. It's surprising how low the sun travels across the sky in winter. These images were taken about quarter past 10. Look how the sun is just about to slide behind the neighbour's house. Poor Garden65 is doomed to shade for the rest of the day. No wonder gnats swarm over a mossy lawn.

However, to be generous there is a spare kind of beauty to the scene. A bit Stanley Spencery, if you see what I mean - twisting tree limbs, an over-white sky with dramatic clouds, cold, and wind, and red bricked houses. There is a whiff of Auden and Larkin; not quite Orwell (being in Didsbury we're cushioned from real poverty) but with a definite early 20th century air about the place. I'm picking up a kitchen sink drama vibe: This Sporting Life, A Taste of Honey, Look Back in Anger, Saturday Night Sunday Morning.




It's something to do with the quality of light that makes things a little starker. And why, perhaps, we like to blot it out with the excess of Christmas.

And here's my Christmas pressie for you - Richard Harris in This Sporting Life  ;-)