It is cold, probably an understatement as cold is probably the most-uttered word all over the UK at the moment, Our river was totally frozen this morning and it was Minus 15 last night - Wales never gets the mentions that Scotland does but we too are suffering. It was Minus 17 in the daytime not too far from here yesterday and even when I drove to a morning meeting it was Minus 13. It is treacherous underfoot where there is no grit or salt down. The birds are perishing and I can barely keep up with feeding them seed, nuts, suet, crumbs, cheese, etc. I live in dread of receiving my next electricity bill but I am not alone there. Ah well, such is life.
And the good news? There is plenty. Should I write a list of blessings?
The beauty is breathtaking, this morning there is sunlight, blue skies and brilliant white snow. Bare winter trees which I love so and in many places there is hoar frost on the trees which is magical, there is no other way to describe it.
I took photos last year and they can be found on my Photo Blog
You can see them here for the Hoar Frost and here for the Frozen River .
I cannot see the point of taking more this year but perhaps I should not be lazy.
I am reading In Siberia by Colin Thubron for my book group, well to be honest, as they love to say in Wales, I shall be beginning it today - this book might make Wales seem warm by comparison?
What else is warming me? Mark Knopfler is singing to me with his deep brown voice along with the pure sweet voice of Emmylou Harris and together they are truly warming my heart. I shall post you one of the songs below and you can listen along too.
I have also bought two thermal vests on the advice of someone who is Very Wise - they are called Frenchneck Vests, are quite pretty, flattering and soft to the touch; they had rave reviews on Amazon which were accurate as they are so cosy I can’t stop raving about them. I think back to my childhood when I wore a vest and a liberty bodice (remember those?) - folk knew a thing or two about keeping chests warm in those days eh?
Grit and salt are blessings. De-icer too. As is my ancient trusty Rayburn and the woodburner. Logs and coal and the men who deliver them (and thank you the log angel too). And the man who lights the fires.
Books to curl up and escape into, where would we be without those? And blogs to read - they are a peek into others’ worlds.
Hot foods, soups, stews, curries. And if you can drink it, brandy is a great warmer and nice mixed with American ginger ale.
Warm throws which double as blankets to snuggle into.
Christmas to look forward to. (Did I really write that?) I am trying to be positive and at least I am having some time off work, more than last year when I had about a day. If it is a white Christmas I will be pleased. I have done most of my present shopping online (haven’t been anywhere except work for ages) and I just hope that things will arrive on time, if not ..tough luck.
TV, radio, DVD’s…….all help with the three ’E’s….. entertainment, education and escapism.
Strictly Come Dancing (my guilty pleasure).
A lot of folk round here are stranded in their homes so I am lucky in that respect.
My dear car starts first time every time I go out. (I shouldn’t have written that should I?)
And now I am off to have my hair cut, always a cheering thing as I visit a friend who lives locally for this but having my hair shortened is probably a daft idea as I will surely feel the cold even more!
Before I go, here is a little (cold) poem and then I shall leave you with a (warming) song as promised.
There is no flourish, all is saintly quiet.
Lazy flakes, unhurried, fall silently and slow.
Their unique patterns, secret, microscopic,
melding into one as they lay down gently on the land.
Settling into silence, their music sacred
amongst the aguish cold.
Pheasants, persistent, seek out food;
Magpies, two for joy, fly branch to branch
colour-matched to winter tree and snow.
The heron swoops but quickly rises up again,
hard ice is now a river rink.
All is raw and keen and beautiful,
only rime, hoar frost and icicles
are nipping at our skins.
Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,