They say the Eskimos have 50 different words for snow but this is apparently a myth. The Swedes certainly have 25 but the top prize must go to the Scots who have had 421. From “Mell-moorin”, a fall of fine, drifting snow to “skelvie“, large flakes of softly falling snow. Now I don’t know what type of snow fell overnight but this morning the scene was magically transformed.
Completely tangential fact for today. Yule was the pagan midwinter festival, traditionally 12 days long beginning at sunset on the winter solstice. (Hence the modern “12 days of Christmas”). Yule traditions that were celebrated in Orkney and Shetland probably originated from the Norwegians who settled there in the 8th-century. Today then will be the Sunday before Yule which in the Shetland Isles was known as “Byanna’s Sunday“ and was marked by a special meal of a thick broth made from the fat skimmed from the water from a boiled cow’s head. Afterwards, the skull was carefully cleaned of all flesh and gristle and displayed on Yule morning with a candle in one of the eye sockets. One pagan custom which hasn’t made into the modern Christmas.