Black & White

There is certain starkness to the landscape this time of year that is best appreciated in black and white. The skeletons of trees. The texture of  bark. The glossiness of holly. The glitter of raindrops hanging from branches. It all seems to stand out, somehow, in the gradients of grey.

Time, as always, seems to be slipping by so fast. How did the end of November come so quickly? I am not ready for it to be gone yet. Are you?

Now the anticipation of the holidays is coming on. A breeze picking up speed. Moving over the surface of our lives like the wind on the ocean. The inertia of excitement gathers within like a wave.

Already, we have stirred up the Christmas Pudding, from East to West of course, for good luck. Another English tradition I am happy to embrace, a ritual that pulls the rosy merriment of a Dickensian world into my kitchen. Cinnamon and sherry. Cloves and honey.

The Christmas lights of Falmouth were lit up last night, to a throng of people gathered shoulder to shoulder, counting down together with mulled wine warming their hands. Three, Two, One…

This weekend we will hang up the mistletoe. Gather bunches of holly and laurel and string up the lights.

We will read a chapter each night until Christmas from Dickens (at least I hope so, M. is not so sure about this…), who has become an obsession of late. I’ve even been dreaming of him.

And so the days will pass, the wave will gather intensity.  We will not be going home for the first time since I can remember. It will just be the two of us, alone with our rituals and dreams. Perhaps that will be alright.

What will you be doing in these days of gathering anticipation?




  1. I took out my Dickens today too, to start browsing through again. Unbeatable! I love your photos – somehow the grey and dull days seem to come to life in black and white – lovely idea and very effective. I shall, of course, also be baking cookies in the next few days. 😀 I will also not be “home” for the first time in ages this year. Mixed feelings about it.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the photos – perhaps it was the fact that the landscape looked so grey that I thought I might as well take the photo that way as well 🙂 Let the cookie baking begin! Do you have any special recipes you like to make?


  2. Oh Dickens! Little Dorrit and Bleak House are my favorites and every time I pull out Bleak House, my boyfriend rolls his eyes and gives me a lecture on how depressing that story is.

    • What is it with those men and Dickens? They just don’t appreciate him fully, do they? I had a moment of weakness (with my strong susceptibility to Dickens and Christmas both) and purchased the book I have linked to – which is full of every Christmas related story Dickens ever wrote, some surely are depressing but there are a few good merry tales in there as well 🙂


      • M. is probably having flashbacks to the year we watched all the screen versions of “A Christmas Carol” that we could find. He was probably 8 or 9. We even went to the community center to see one that wasn’t being shown on tv.

        • Too funny! I had forgotten about that!! Perhaps I should have a little more sympathy then for his Dickens aversion 🙂 Or even better, maybe I should renew this old Davies family ritual? What do you think?

  3. Lovely photos of the bleak but beautiful landscape. Dickens sounds like the perfect build up to Christmas. Even my Dad (who doesn’t read books) likes a bit of Dickens so I’m sure M can get into the spirit with a bit of persuasion. 🙂
    Frosty hugs to you xxx

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