It's Bloody January again' sang Flanders and Swann in 'The Drop of a Hat'. Swann is a good Borders name so he probably knew all about January in the Merse; bloody it can be. Its not the cold*-its the murk, the mud and the mizzle-dreich in a word. 'Awfu'Dreich' at times. Global Drying is what we all hope for here despite having the lowest rainfall in the UK. But in a bloody January the air is sudden, clothes hanging hopefully on lines are like blotting paper and puddles can swallow you up with a single gulp. And once you are off the sodden track you are in Hippo-potamus country-another song by Swann and co actually glorified mud-plenty here without bothering to go to the Limpopo. The Whiteadder Gorge as seen here is looking much more attractive in this Genetically Modified image than the real thing: great,grey, greasy and all hung around with crab apple trees. And even the Old Manse, mellow and welcoming has a gloomy and sinister look at this time of year-Wuthering Heights on Merse. And of course no one seems to venture out. Hutton is deserted at the best of times-and we do have those but in these dank days the stage set of the Marie Celeste is positively crowded compared to here.
* Effete southern based relis will of course not fail to mention the cold but compared to N13 in mid December this is the Tropics