About a year ago, I was on holiday in Northumberland. We drove down on the Friday night from Edinburgh. It was freezing cold. I had been at the football and remembered driving through the lights of the capital and out onto the A1. We turned off the road near Alnwick towards Embleton, where we were staying, and the sky was very black but coated with stars. I will never forget it. It was a clear, dark night and I remember just standing outside the car when we got there, looking at the stars. I live in the city and don’t often see them these days. It was special.
I love natural light. Whenever possible, I like to switch the lights off and work with what comes through the window. It is winter as I write this and light is accordingly in short supply. From the sky. As I write this, Christmas lights, LED lights, bulbs and whatever else, are far more plentiful. Proper, natural wintry light, though, is therefore more precious and more vivid. Nan Shepherd put it best, in The Living Mountain, when she said ‘Light in Scotland…is luminous without being fierce, penetrating to immense distances with an effortless intensity.’ Some of the best days happen in the winter. It is just necessary to put on more clothes to enjoy them, that’s all.
I never used to like winter. I now do, mainly for the light. It means I have the opportunity to go out and have some amazing experiences. Here are a few photographs of wintry days I’ve had, complete with added light: