We've had so many mild winters but this morning we've had a real old-fashioned frost. The sort that Shakespeare celebrated in Love's Labours Lost:
When 'Marionís nose looks red and raw,' and 'milk comes frozen home in pail'.
It's the leeks that I'm lifting this morning that are frozen solid. When Barbara starts preparing them for the soup, shards of ice drop out from between their leaves. Curved and imprinted with the ribbing of the foliage they look like fragments of the glass fruit bowls that everyone used in the 1950s and 60s.
It's a glorious afternoon, crisp and cold. I rummage in a drawer beneath the bed and find the turquoise ski trousers that I've had since the early 1980s. Not the height of fashion but they keep me warm as I draw for a couple of hours in Bretton Park.
There's a wonderful sunset and an almost full moon rises over a flock of sheep on the slope above the lake.