Friday, December 31, 2021

In Between Days

Season's Greetings!  Here's a short little post to tide us over until New Year.  

The days in between Christmas and New Year have a strange, otherworldly quality I always think.  Rules and routines go out of the window - I say this with snowball in hand.  Incidentally, anyone who saw the festive edition of Gone Fishing with Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse, will know that there is a correct way to drink a snowball.

There's a sense of limbo; a wrong footedness about the last days of December, a time for shedding our proverbial skin and an optimistic openness to some kind of renewal and a bigger, better and altogether brighter new year.  Whatever you're striving for, I hope 2022 comes good.

In the meantime, here's my record of the last week of 2021.

A Christmas Day greeting.  Despite having no enthusiasm for Christmas this year, we did have a really lovely, relaxing few days.  It was freeing to get together with family, safe in the knowledge that we wouldn't be passing on an unwanted viral Christmas gift.  (I have a wonderful Corkscrew Hazel moustache in this photo.  My table decoration went rogue).

Gareth and I had agreed not to buy for each other and instead plan a getaway in the New Year, but we did exchange a couple of token gifts.  Mine included books and a curious bottle of gin liqueur...more of which later.

We have enjoyed lazy, late mornings in front of old films, my particular favourite being the 1957 film Witness for the Prosecution, which had more twists and turns than a bobsleigh run.  

The rain came as predicted, but also transformed the world into a beautiful mirrored surface through which to glimpse the landscape anew.

In Comer Wood (near Bridgnorth, forming part of the National Trust's Dudmaston Estate, which dates back to the Norman Conquest), I took advantage of the dingy low light and practised some abstract and double exposure photography.

We had a leisurely walk in the dying afternoon light.  Still beautiful.  One couple stopped me and asked if there was enough light to photograph.  I said that I tend to favour dark and moody photos in any event, so they wished me a Happy Dark and Moody New Year!

We spotted honeycomb in the hollow of a fallen tree - my first sighting outside in the natural world....

....and had a meet and greet with the resident swans on one of Comer's three pools - charmingly named Wall, Seggy and Brim. 

 In fact, our encounter was so up close and personal, that I had to remain very still with my camera until the swan moved away from me, grunting its irritation at not having been fed.

So, as we bid farewell to 2021, what have we learned?  Well as if I haven't had enough Covid news this year, I've also watched the Christmas lectures by Professor Van Tam.  The good news is that Covid can't last forever.  Apparently, viruses only have so much potential to mutate and throw up surprises before they fizzle out and become entirely manageable.   Hopefully 2022 will be the year of goodbye and good riddance!

I'll leave you with a photo of the aforementioned gin liqueur.  There are a few of these illuminated gin bottles doing the rounds this year, but mine has a dance floor and people and is the closest I will get to a party this New Year's Eve.  I still haven't decided whether I am going to the lounge party this year.  I suspect it will be the same old faces.

Stay safe and see you next year!  


  1. Happy New Year!
    I love the family snap and the photos from the woods and the elegant swan are wonderful. Dark and moody - that just about sums up the last week or so, it's been wonderful today, light until almost 4pm!
    Killjoys that we are, we're in our lounging about the house in our scruffs, my hair's in a ratty bun and I've taken my make-up off - I pity our poor friends who've just video-called us in their finery, champagne in hand! xxx

    1. Thank you! Oh we’re the same. My hair is a frizzy, just washed mess! I’m really can’t be bothered today. I barely slept for some reason last night so I’m quite happy to veg in front of the TV! xxx

  2. I totally agree about the otherworldly quality of these days. Nothing very much is happening at all, especially this year, as the weather has been too abysmal for walking, and soon one loses track of the days. I never liked the forced jollity of New Year's Eve, and for once I was glad to use the pandemic as an excuse not to join friends for celebrations. I'll probably be on the couch with my latest book and wait for the - illegal - fireworks, which will be erupting all over, to be over and done with.
    I'm glad to see the rain didn't put you off going for a wander as the photographic results are beyond atmospheric. Mind you, if I had Comer Wood practically on my doorstep, wild horses couldn't have kept me home.
    How absolutely magical to find honeycomb in that fallen tree ...
    See you next year, Claire!

    1. We're a little weary of fireworks too. I read recently that there are more instances of wildlife road kill after a fireworks display (as they try and flee the noise) which has made me dislike them even more. Comer Wood is beautiful, but I'm amazed we managed to stay upright - it was so muddy! I couldn't believe it when we found the honeycomb. What a privilege. xxx

  3. happy new year!
    the photos are gorgeous - wonderful moody and magical - and the swan came out very brillant.
    your dinner looks cosy and it is so great to see family/friends again without fear - lets hope the virus gets manageable in the next few months......
    how did the gin liqueur taste??

    1. Thank you. Yes, I hope 2022 will prove to be the year things really start to improve. The gin liqueur was lovely actually - orange and gingerbread flavour. xxx

  4. Happy 2022 Claire! You have captured the weird time realm moodiness perfectly. Your witchy den shot in the woods chills my spine and makes me smile at the same time! The Christmas lecturer was fab wasn't it, and I always enjoy seeing Bob & Paul going fishing..... "and away". What a brilliantly bonkers liqueur bottle. Sounds like good medicine! Lulu xXx

    1. Thank you Lulu. Glad the witchy den shot hit the mark. I did think "Blair Witch" when I saw it (will I ever grow up??) The liqueur bottle is bonkers. I did wonder whether I would shrink, Alice style, when I drank it, and join those crazies on the dance floor, but sadly no. xxx


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