Our Hebe made this very handy toasting fork. Perfect.
Brrr! The wind has changed direction!
In the autumn the trees and hedges loaded themselves with nuts and berries in readiness for a cold winter, and we waited to see if the wind would swing round east from its prevailing south-westerly direction to bring frost and snow – but that never happened; until today (well, maybe “yesterday” or even longer ago when you read this), January 21st.
That’s not without significance because in every case the 21st is the prediction day for the month ahead, the wind direction on the 21st being the likely prevailing wind for the next few weeks.
So it seems our awaited winter has finally settled in, and bitter cold it’s been too. Such a shame because, in the prematurely mild weather, the spring flowers have begun to develop – we have daffodils in bud in our garden, and ours is often late because we live at the top of the hill where the wind blows cold every year.
How glad I am of our great guardian ash trees just over the wall in the adjoining ground. They are old, with much dead wood, and chuck down sizeable limbs that break up easily and make great kindling.
The woodstove keeps Komorebi warm and snug, but I can hear the great trawling sigh of the air breathing over the land in that particular way it always does in the deep cold, restless and foreboding. A vast, wild, hungry, prowling sound.
But I have a tin mug of hot chocolate, a ginger biscuit, a new detective story (Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder), and a soft fluffy luxurious extra blanket on my bed, that Buzzfloyd brought me at the weekend. Perfect.
It ought to be nice to listen to the radio too, but I find it disappointing that almost every single programme – whether drama or documentary/news – bears a tedious resemblance to eavesdropping on a row. The favourite phrase of all the interviewers seems to be: “Ah, but . . .”
Goodnight, cold world. May God be good to the creatures starving and shivering as frost creeps over the land. May kindly hands leave bread and seeds for the sparrows, scraps of meat for the fox, the gull, the crow. And a little plate of something for the badger.
P.S. I wrote this on Tuesday night; then yesterday – Wednesday – was wet but not so cold. I was glad to light my stove at the end of the day, but no hard frost. This morning (Thursday), I boiled the water in my tsetsubin for my early tea, and said my prayers peacefully with a hot cup of Early Grey in my hands, feeling no need to light the stove until later when the morning chores are done. It was cold, but in a glad, bracing, welcome kind of way. I wonder if we shall have a stretch of hard weather at all this year?