Star Of Wonder
Click your sparkly heels together and ..overnight..it’s ‘Christmas’ everywhere. Well maybe not everywhere.
On Tuesday Edinburgh’s rain-soaked streets provided their own illuminations..
While waiting for a bus, I popped into the Christmas Market, where the sophistication of the wares was only outshone by the setting.
Back home in Dumfries and Galloway tonight – the christmas lights were to be turned on in Gatehouse-Of-Fleet, a beautiful small mill town – only just inland from the sea. Not without it’s own sophistications – it is famed for it’s poets, artists, craftsmen and women, it’s glorious local food and thriving music scene.. and ..it is at the edge of over a hundred square miles of astonishingly lovely wilderness.
Here celebrations began with a market too – but at a comparatively intimate level.
Gatehouse’s Christmas may be Lilliputian in scale – but it’s heart is not.
There were fairies and elves, and a shetland pony-propelled sledge. There was much imbibing of mulled wine and cider.. all in the shadow of the great mill restored and run entirely by the community. At the Galloway Lodge Cafe I took Tia-Maria Coffee and a miniature pumpkin pie to warm my camera-weary fingers.
Creetown Silver Band sat amongst us, woolly hats jammed well-down over their ears, as they knew the tunes by heart – outlined against the river-bank in the fading light.
We processed under the great arch of the mill gates. Hand in hand, we crossed the high street to the grassy bank, on which stood an excited little ‘princess’ waiting for her special moment.. and.. after a suitably booming announcement, she lit the few trees at the centre of this small universe.
In our very rural community – which last year suffered it’s very unfair share of sheep lost to vast tracts of impenetrable snow- it’s important to support each other.
I don’t live in Gatehouse-Of-Fleet myself – but visit it as a photographer, dog-walker and shopper several times a week. I may one day live here – for I find it’s quiet beauty irresistible.
It (if you’ll pardon the pun) is not a fleeting attraction.
Christmas may be – commercially speaking – with us for far too long.
But I, for one, love to photograph it’s magic and it’s rituals.
I am in this sense, and will remain -unapologetically – still a child.
Star Of Wonder