The frosts have been spectacular over the last week of so. It's been so cold that they don't seem to melt away, but just form layer upon layer of tiny ice crystals on the leaves, trees and plants. The woods we visit daily were transformed earlier in the week and I really, really wished I'd taken my big camera with me. A really heavy frost - like snow - has the ability to transform the most everyday route into something really magical.
It was brutally cold. There was not a breath of wind but freezing mist hung in the air and the weak sun slanted through the trees.
It's been very cold at work - especially on Mondays after the heating has been off over the weekend - and I've taken to wearing a thick woollen cardigan over my usual dress, tights and boots. Due to lots of staff birthdays, there has been an almost daily supply of cakes, biscuits and doughnuts in the staff room over the last few weeks. I've done my bit to keep myself padded. Shivering must burn calories, surely?
Angus was delighted to find that the standing water inside the wheelbarrow, watering cans and bucket in the back garden had frozen solid. He took great delight in smashing it all.
But I'll take cold and sunny over wet and mild any winter's day and it's so good to see the sun shining into the house. Lately I've really noticed how much lighter it is each day compared to a month ago. Now, when I get home around 4.30pm, it's still light when I play with Molly in the back garden.
I have been surrounding myself with my usual January comforts and rituals; baking, a new crochet project, making marmalade, buying hyacinths, cooking hearty meals like sausage stew and Shepherd's Pie.
I have just begun a lightweight spring cardigan in the softest of pinks. The cotton is so soft and has such a soft, matt colour, it's gorgeous.
Something for when the days are a little warmer.
Thank you so much for your comments on the quilt - I'm so glad I shared it with you. Thank you also for the dog-related comments and advice, we do appreciate that a lot. Formal training sessions start this week although I am trying my own recall training in the back garden, for as long as I can stand the cold. I also bumped into a very nice lady yesterday with two retired greyhounds. We chatted for a long time and swapped numbers, and she told me all about the things happening locally for greyhounds - there's loads! It's a whole other world. I had no idea.
I'll leave you with a photo of today's dense fog. Spooky!