Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sartorially shite

I hoike up my jeans to half-mast - rolling them neatly to reveal pale winter-hairy legs, blue socks and Birkenstocks and pull on my wellies. I zip up a quilted body warmer and pull a fleeced hoody* on over the top. Gloves. Mustn't forget the gloves. (Knitted, plastic-palmed, gardening - for the use of.) Somewhere beneath all this my vest is well tucked in. My best-ever gardening hat (with it's 'nothing is ordinary' badge firmly afixed) is yanked firmly down over my ears, add a slick of lip-salve and I'm dressed and ready for action. We'll ignore the whiff of je ne sais quois - the miasma of compost, poultry and wood smoke which walks alongside me. Is there a hint of Worzel Gummidge in my appearance? Perhaps. Thank goodness it's dark you might think.

Sadly this passes for day wear too.....I hear fashion correspondents the world over weep as their advice re accessories and shoeboots, silk, cashmere and must-have hand-wrought tweed apparently falls on deaf ears. But now I am going to walk a dog. In the dark.

Out on the frosty lane and under the stars - it is one fantastic night. Wilson, the most handsome bull terrier in the small mountain kingdom of Trelystan, leads the way up the lane - his nose picking up bright night smells. What information is there to be read on the breeze, in a stone or blade of grass?

...Let's turn off the torch for a while and let the stars do the lighting - how I wish I knew their names. The Milky Way is, tonight, a creamy swoosh across the sky. I wonder, as I always do, what other lives and loves are out there in that vastness. At the top of the lane and across the valley we see the scattered and earthly lights of Montgomery and to the east Minsterley and Snailbeach. We stop, lean on a gate to take in the night. We see no one and (I think) no one sees us. (Considering my costume this may be a Good Thing.)

Our own house lights glow warmly beneath us. We strode up the hill with confidence, our feet crunching on the icy gravel, but make our way down again with caution; two days of frost have left a surface like glass. My multi-layered look has kept me warm - and I'm reassured that should I fall I will be well padded too. Wilson tows me home; he goes to his stinky dog bed and I come here to tell you the news as it happens: freezin' keen, ice underfoot, clear starry sky and the prospect of sunny intervals tomorrow.

Meanwhile some fog and frost pictures from this weekend:
This little patch of the Long Mountain was like the promised land on Saturday - bathed in sunshine - while fog hangs in the valley below.
The frosted landscape this morning as seen from our field.












Boxing hares in Saturday's fog.

and erm...frosty things**:

*Said fleece first saw light of day in the early nineties when it was bought as a bit of edgy street wear for one son or another - in retrospect what a good buy it has been. An early hoodie - now Vintage - it's a real bit of wash and go.

** ...not sure about the 'snowflakes'...

18 comments:

PAM said...

Did you really capture those hares boxing or are you pulling our legs?
Great pictures and wonderful description as usual.

Lindsay said...

Simply love the smell of wood smoke! Wonderful pics as usual.

Twiglet said...

Your blog paints a wonderful picture - the photos are the icing on the cake - beautiful. Wipso has nagged me into having a go with my blog - mmm not to sure but always up for a challenge!!

Eliane said...

Gorgeous pictures. And btw I've tagged you over at my blog if you're up for it.

mountainear said...

Pam - Would I ever tease? It is a sculpture of boxing hares (http://mountainear.blogspot.com/2006/07/mojo-workout.html) Real enough but not real hares.

Arosebyanyothername said...

Ah! -I hoped they were real hares too! It is still a beautiful picture though and I enjoyed the descriptive blog.

lampworkbeader said...

Oh do put up a picture of yourself in your dog walking costume. Just a peek. I promise I won't show anyone else.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

I have noted that your vest was well tucked in . . . *nods in approval* and will put this on your report card!!!!!

Amazing picture of the boxing hares even if it is a sculpture - they look so real.

There is something special about being out at night in the crisp cold. Although sometimes I get spooked. I have noticed that the dogs are very alert at night - I think the deer are closer than they are during the day - and often see their eyes shining in the torch light.

Exmoorjane said...

Aw, and I thought they were real!
Just one thing, do reassure me that you take OFF your birkies before you put on the wellies?!
Stunning pics.....

elizabethm said...

What utterly gorgeous pictures. I got my camera out on Saturday only to find the batteries flat but I suspect I might not have captured the beauty of frost so well.
My gardening gear is a similar picture of stylishness.

LittleBrownDog said...

Fab-fab-fabulous pictures, Mountainear. I love crisp frosts. And lovely, evocative writing, too. Yes, indeed - what information does the breeze hold for canine muzzles? Think my daywear sounds very much like yours.

x

Frances said...

This post of yours is just the sort of beautiful writing that first enchanted me with what the country can provide, and my city cannot.

Just to see that sky! And to be warmly wrapped up for the climb and for the descent, and to have that noble pup with you. Thanks for also posting the photos, but your words really did provide the pictures.

As for your costume, I would not be so sure that someday I will be browsing through British Vogue in my New York Barnes & Noble shop, and will see ... a new seasonal style direction. The photo spread will feature everything that you just described. Magic.

xo

ChrisH said...

I enjoyed walking with you... but I do wish you'd make an effort with the glad rags (ducks!)!!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Yep sounds about right - we must look like some strange nomadic tribesfolk in our respective dog walking gear.
Love the slideshow - the snowflakes grow on you

Nikki-ann said...

Great pictures! You had me fooled about the boxing hares for a moment there!

I'm one of the few people who lives this weather (though driving on icy roads isn't fun!), however I do seem to have lost my hat!

Pondside said...

That was a bracing walk! I loved following you and Wilson on your trek - so glad that no one can see what I wear dog-walking up here in the woods. I had to laugh at the description of the hoodie - when my son was (briefly) my size, I made sure to buy him sweaters and hoodies that I'd like to wear, because he was out of them in a blink and I was left with some pretty edgey clothes, for a short while. Sadly, I continue to wear them, much to the chagrin of that dear son!

Zoë said...

Simply stunning when the landscape turns winter white and everything sparkles like the fairies have been along and added a sugar glaze.

Boxing hares look wonderful, still hugely envious of those.

Zoë

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