The big chill

We’d started to convince ourselves we were in for another mild winter. Maybe it’s wishful thinking: life in a 16th-century house is easier when it’s not bone-chillingly cold.

The last couple of days of 2016 disabused of that notion. Two days of exceptionally hard frosts turned the landscape into something resembling one of my recurring dreams. I’ll spare you the gory details of that…

You don’t normally see a landscape this white without a fall of snow. Bizarrely – and again like something out of a dream – our driveway was covered in a solid white layer, but only where it ran under the trees. The frost had gathered so thickly on the branches and twigs that it had fallen like snow within the woodland.

I’m guessing that the build up of frost was made possible in part by the total absence of wind. And the silence only added to the dream-like sensation of moving through the landscape.

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