Saturday, 21 December 2013


The county of Orkney, in which Our Lass and I now find ourselves, contains much archaeology, a significant proportion of it being from Neolithic times.

One of the more famous sites is Maeshowe, a chambered tomb and part of Orkney's UNESCO World Heritage landscape.

At this time of year, on the shortest day, like various neolithic structures, Maeshowe exhibits an alignment with the setting sun. As well as marvelling at the 5000 year old ingenuity of our ancestors, we can also share their joy in our present, in that we, too, can welcome the lengthening days on the journey to Summer.

In the annual cycle of the year, within this wheel of life, death and rebirth, the Winter solstice is known by many names. In this part of the world, with its Norse heritage, it is Yule.

Wherever you are, whatever your solsticial festival, have a happy day.

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