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Winter NanoBlog From Darkness to Light

Updated: Feb 6

Don’t forget to click on the links to check out these posts from the wondering way this winter plus a playlist to accompany us, as we go from darkness to light.

How do you mark the changing of the seasons?

Winter opens with Halloween and closes with Candlemas for me.

Some people struggle with winter, and I agree, persistent dark and damp days don’t put a spring in my step and yet I still love it.

The season kicks off with Halloween, which is a night of excitement in our village. Whether it is the novelty of running about after dark or simply the buzz of the sweet treats offered by neighbours it brings our community together.  Could we make more of this “festival” and return to the tradition of reflection on our lost loved ones on All Souls Day? I often envy the more direct approach to death taken by other cultures whereas I find the British tend to try and avoid the subject.

Do you feel comfortable dealing with the dead and dying?

Interestingly, unless it is for our war dead, and then we have a national service of Remembrance. Here there is a discussion about how we deal with death and unfortunately some people resent Remembrance, feeling this time is used to glorify war. I do not. Perhaps, having a personal connection to a soldier killed, makes a difference? I feel very strongly a duty to remember his sacrifice and to make sure his name is not forgotten.

Do you have a relative who was killed in war?

However, what I enjoy as we approach the “death of the old year” is the celebrations. There is something about the long dark evenings that makes life more convivial and rekindles my interest in cultural events.

Do you think you go to more performances in the winter or summer?

Although we live far from the buzz of cultural centres, thanks to the #LiveandLocal programme, we do get touring performers come to our village halls. It requires effort from the community to host these events but the enjoyment and togetherness it generates makes it worthwhile.

According to Michael Mosley on Just One Long Thing it keeps us healthier to engage in cultural events. A personal contact encouraged me to attend the amazing V&A exhibition on Coco Chanel. Not something I would have chosen, as I was not a fan, but I was delighted to learn what an innovator she was and how resilient her character was.

Are you open to trying things you don’t expect to like?

I planned my trip to London to include some spare time. Instead of the underground, I decide to walk, and oh what a joy to wander through the streets and soak up the history. I discovered so many museums that I have never visited.

Can you recommend a museum you discovered by chance?

Some people think that the increasing influence of online life is negative, they see the “friends” and followers as less valuable than those we make in person. However, I feel it is so life enhancing particularly when you can connect with people with specialist interests. I was delighted to discover through twitter/X the talks offered by the Linnean society, where you explore their exhibits at the hands of their curators.

Have you discovered a niche interest through an online community?

Have you had much wintry weather this season?

I have been enjoying it virtually through a favourite Avercamp print and was delighted to learn more about this in the moving pictures series on radio 4.

Perhaps not such a joy of the season was to learn of the extinction of a glacier in Iceland in Dust in the BBCRadio4 series called LightsOut. The story was told in such an interesting way of how our perspective of the great timescales of geology can be appreciated.

And now as we approach Candlemas, I learn of a new holiday in Ireland to respect their patron saint, Brigid. It will be fascinating to observe which aspects of the traditional festivities are revived and what is invented to celebrate the coming of Spring.

How did you keep your spirits up this last winter?

I hope you enjoy this winter playlist

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