It's chilly up here in the garret today but not half as chilly as some of my American friends are getting it just now. I notice a great deal of snow and ice appearing on posts from the other side of The Pond. It seems a good idea then to start yesterday's sightings with two Wintery paintings I saw in Edinburgh.
There are quite a lot of Dutch paintings that seem to have an awful lot going on in them. You can stand in front of them for ages and find something new. This one by Henrdrick Avercamp is no exception. He seemed to paint a lot of pictures of a cold nature. This one is called Winter Landscape and was painted between 1610 and 1620 according to the gallery though the BBC say it was 1630.
It's not a very big picture, a little under a foot tall and not much more than a foot wide so some of the details below are probably bigger than the original. When I first saw this I though these chaps were playing ice hockey but on second thoughts they are playing golf with the chaps in the next picture. Actually it's more likely that they were playing a game that was similar and sounded similar to golf, called Kolf.
The information says that the Dutch had a word for this kind of activity called Ijsvermaak, which literally means pleasure on ice. The lady in the next picture is probably not thinking it so pleasant at this moment as she seems to have come a cropper, nor does that fellow sitting on the edge of his boat - I think he would rather be out boating than skating.
For those who would rather be on the land, there's a good roaring fire to be had and, if I'm not mistaken, there appears to be a pub sign outside the next building. I can see it doing some good trade once the ijsvermaak is over.
Meanwhile, over here in Scotland, there is much ijsvermaak to be had in the roaring game. I say meanwhile but this picture was painted 200 years after the Dutch fun in 1835 by George Harvey and simply called The Curlers.
The scene depicts an interparish curling match and even a local dog is getting in on the game
Most of the players, including this fellow casting the stone are wearing metal grips strapped to their feet to stop them from falling over.
This painting did very well with the popularity of the game with many prints of an engraving of it being sold and individual features of the painting were often used for curling medals.
At this point in the blog, I was just about to leap forward nearly another 200 years for some ijvermaak in Princes Street gardens where every year of late an outside ice rink has been set up. Actually Edinburgh's Winter Wonderland seems to have grown enormously this year with all sorts of new amusement to terrify you being set up and temporary bars to calm your nerves afterwards. I was just about to take a picture of the ice rink when a No 16 bus came round the corner and the ice rink picture lost in the balance between that and a twenty minute wait for the next bus so I ran after it. Here are a few ice free pictures of the rest of the Edinburgh celebrations that I snapped over the last couple of days instead.