Sounds of winter: day 20

Holly Mistletoe sung by The Dolmen. For the next few days (or nights) I want to emphasise the solstice rather than Christmas or for that matter winter. There are some incredibly beautiful solstice songs, some based on carols and some totally unconnected. The solstice is round about 21st of December but the actual timing of the longest night and shortest day changes slightly from year to year according to the earth’s journey around the sun which does not fall neatly into an exact 365 days.

The mistletoe in my photograph is in Virginia Water, part of Windsor Great Park, where, of course, we find Windsor Castle. It’s not far from my brother-in-law’s house so ideal for walking dogs, grandchildren, etc. Unlike holly and ivy (and fir boughs) which are used to decorate church interiors, mistletoe has mostly been banned from churches, possibly originally because of its strong connection to druids.

The Hallé Orchestra (Manchester based) has just announced a specially recorded Christmas Concert, which will be available for free on YouTube from midday (UTC) on Sunday i.e. today. You can tune in by heading to the orchestra’s channel here. And no, I have no idea of the programme. I just copied the information from our local paper.

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