January Bowland

Bleakness can adorn in simplicity. If that is an oxymoron, I apologise. But oftentimes the smooth, unadorned fabrics carry an elegance in understatement, a similar state to the landscape on a cold January morning.

The angel in Great Mitton’s graveyard stoically endures the cold with frozen tears and folded wings, seeking a warmth inside, it seems, of which we can only guess. The stone-walls in the Hodder Valley are glazed in frost, the skies of a metallic blue.

The lights have been taken down, and all that decorates now is nature. Frost has a crystal quality, a fleeting one that disperses with the first ray of sun, waves goodbye in a glittering forest of tears.

The sheep move across the landscape, a constant in the changing, their woolly coats threaded with a touch of Christmas silver left, soon thawed and forgotten, as all needs to be scraped off a canvas to start anew.