Yesterday morning, New Year's eve, I needed to go into our little market town to replenish supplies before my dinner party. It was a cold, grey, misty morning - a kind of nondescript morning when there was nothing particular of interest, so I hurried round the few shops and set off back the mile to home.
I had been away all of half an hour, but what had happened in that thirty minutes? As I turned down our lane it had been transformed. Every bush, every tree, every blade of grass, every tall stalk of dead cow parsley - all were coated with thick white rime. The lane had become a wonderland.
Freezing fog hung in the air and I am sure that driving conditions on a day when lots of people are busy making their way back to Scotland for Hogmonay, were awful. But here, on a simple, quiet, country lane nature had turned it into a Spectacular.
I turned into our farm drive. The Scots pines hung heavy with frost and the remnants of a clematis round a hawthorn tree trunk stuck out their spiky seed heads,white and glittering. Pure magic - it lifted the soul.
The frost lingered all day and is still there today. The temperature is minus 6 but it is worth being chilly outside, even if you are well wrapped up, for the sheer privilege of seeing Nature's handiwork.
I have put two photographs on this blog - I could have put a dozen. One is of our farm plantain in all its glory. The other is of Tip, our farm collie, making his way home up the track after his morning walk.
Keep warm everyone - and enjoy the New Year. Weren't the fireworks from the London Eye lovely?