Lang may yer lum reek

On the day that the world might have ended, if the Mayans were to be believed, or some catastrophic event might have radically reconfigured the world as we know it, we appear to have survived to look forward to another Christmas. Only a few present wrapping days before all that expensive gold paper and unsticky tape are ripped to shreds to access hoped-for goodies.

Christmas has now become such a commercial bonanza dominating autumn and winter with its aftermath trickling towards spring, that it is hard to believe that when I was young Christmas was not even a holiday. My father, like most other Scots, worked on Christmas day, and instead we celebrated New Year – Hogmanay still chiming with significance here, as the Edinburgh celebrations testify.

Snow through the window

From the window – the snow we had a couple of years ago

Nor was turkey on the menu, that arrived later. Even chickens were less than plentiful, and expensive. I can’t now remember what we ate on Christmas day, probably nothing special. At New Year we had steak pie. Many butcher shops here still stock up on steak pies at that time of year. And so that she wasn’t caught out, unable to feed unexpected visitors, my mother always bought a large piece of ham as well.

My mother always made her own steak pie with the expensive meat generously supplemented by much cheaper kidney to eek it out. My mouth can still delight in the remembered light, flaky texture of the pastry, and the squishy underside where it met the thickened gravy. The steak pie was followed by trifle, proper Scots trifle, none of the masquerading jelly stuff, but cake soaked in sherry, spread with raspberry jam, layered with fruit, covered in proper egg custard and smothered in whipped cream, with a sprinkling of grated chocolate and decorated with glace cherries. A hearty meal suited to our hearty climate.

Beech leaves in the snow

The copper of beech leaves adds colour to the winter snow.

Occasionally we had white Christmases and New Years, but if there is one thing you can be sure of in Scotland, it’s that you can’t rely on the weather no matter how sophisticated forecasting has become.

Partridge on fence

A partridge, not in a pear tree, but perched on a fence

Yes, I'm referring to you...

Yes, I’m referring to you… An owl sizes us up.

I was hoping to include a photo of the Christmas tree at the well in the village, but a spell of wet and windy weather in which darkness only recedes to provide a half light, has meant a change of plan. So instead I’m including some photos from times around Christmas in previous years. The one exuding sun and warmth seems especially appealing on this day of torrential rain and wind.

Sunset in the snow

Sunset paints the snowy fields pink

Christmas tree in Tavira

Christmas tree in Tavira, Portugal

A very merry Christmas to everyone and lang may yer lum reek.

Holly in the snow

A Christmas card scene to wish you a great time

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About jingsandthings

I am me. What do I like? Colour Shapes Textures Paintings, photographs, sculptures, woven tapestries, wonderful materials. The love of materials probably comes from my father who was a textile buyer, and I grew up hearing the names of mills and manufacturers which sounded magical and enticing. Glass in all its soft and vibrant colours and flowing shapes, even sixties glass which makes its own proud statement. A book I can immerse myself in. Meals with family or friends with lots of chat and laughter (and probably a bottle or two of wine). The occasional trip abroad to experience the sights, sounds, food, conversation, quality of light and warmth of other countries. To revel in differences and be amazed by similarities. I like to create and to experience, to try and to achieve. And then there are words – read, heard, written at my keyboard, or scrawled on sticky notes, or along the edges of dog-eared supermarket receipts excavated from the unexplored nooks of my handbag. What do I dislike? Cold Snow Bad design Fast food Condescension
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30 Responses to Lang may yer lum reek

  1. carolee1945 says:

    What your wrote here about yourself sounds like my self, only I don’t think I can write as eloquently. Thanking you for your lovely photographs and reminisces.

  2. Rita Kay says:

    I love all your photos, but the two that are my favorite are the Owl and the Partridge on the fence, just beautiful !!! The steak pie that your mom made sounds delicious. My husband Wally would love it, you’ll have to post the recipe sometime. Have a very Merry Christmas.

    • I’m not sure my mother ever used recipes. I only remember her having one rather battered, brown covered recipe book, with no photos or illustrations. But I can probably have a good guess at the steak pie recipe. I’ll have a think about it and get back to you. Have a great Christmas.

  3. Divine pictures! The birds are killer beautiful as is the fluffy white snow. Merry Christmas!

    • Cotton wool snow. Yup, but the reality is that Scottish snow is not usually crisp but soggy and nasty. Guess you can gather I’m not keen on the stuff. I’ll trade sunshine for it any time. Hope your Christmas is full of sun and pina coladas as well as good cheer.

  4. Gail says:

    Wonderful pictures as usual, hope you are both well. Have a lovely Christmas and a great New Year. Gail, Ron and Ross

    • Good to hear from you. We’re just jogging along, keeping busy with all our ploys, enjoying new challenges. Hope you are all thriving. Have an awesome Christmas and a really satisfying 2013.

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