Sunday 2 December 2018


December is the month of the darkest days. Fellow Suffolk resident Sue at The Cottage at the End of the Lane points out that during December day length deceases down to 7 hours and 49 minutes on the 21st, at least in these here parts. 

If you are of a certain disposition, the darkness might get you down and for many this can be a real problem. For me, being a smallholder, there is always something to look forward to. Filling the barn with hay bales in the summer to see livestock though the winter. Manuring the vegetable plots to prepare the earth for the next season. Winter pruning fruit trees for greater returns next autumn. Sowing seeds for future crops. Putting the ram in with the ewes for new spring lambs.  Actually, despite the dark, December is a time of anticipation.

Behind us a flat arable field stretches out, and in the distance a line of Scots pines marks the field margin, with an expansive grey sky above.  The field is dull brown after the potato harvest. It will soon be ploughed, though, and re-sown with wheat. It won’t be so long before new shoots come though and the field turns bright green; the prospect alters once again. I look through our rear window daily, anticipating the changes.

After the winter solstice the days will ever so slightly begin to lengthen and nature perceptively signals the changes: buds begin to swell, snow drops appear from nowhere. Our hen's come back into lay. We anticipate the birth of the lamb.

Having something to look forward to is a way of letting in the light. 

The view from my window


  1. I walk a lot because its too wet here to prepare the land. Lovely post.

  2. You do seem to live in a wet area Dave.