Tuesday, 19 December 2006


I sit in the bay and watch the sun go down. Although the day started with frost glittering on everything around and a ragged fog lay in the Valley, the sun put on a brave face and burnt most of it away. But now the sun is going down.

It has dropped behind the Silver Hills and is burning the sky a startling orange. The hills take on a deep purple cast but darken quickly to indigo. The orange gives way in the upper sky to a gentler cadmium violet, Monet's favourite colour. Where the orange and violet meet, there's a paler band of greenish blue, fading even as I watch.

Further north, the sky over the city has turned already to a deep ultramarine and then darker still, to Payne's grey.

The lights are on in the Valley. Mostly sodium yellow, but scattered with motes of brilliant white. Here and there are patches of cobalt or cerulean blue, winking from the shop signs at the Retail Park.

Nearer at hand, although they've been on all day, the Christmas lights which cover the trees and bushes at the house where the Cat Who Rings the Doorbell lives, now excite the darkness with their manic flash and jiggle.

The soundtrack of this early evening show is, as always at this time, provided by the hum and shush of tires on the damp road. Not to be outdone, a blackbird shrieks his defiance.

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