A wild night here. The forecasters promised gales of up to one hundred miles an hour on Western coasts and some coastal flooding. But by the time the winds had traversed the Pennines they had eased somewhat and were only reaching about eighty miles an hour. According to our local forecaster they were due to 'peak' at around 9pm and sure enough, they duly arrived dead on cue. She also suggested there might be four inches of snow by morning.
Unable to sleep I get up at 1.30am and peep round a curtain to look at the scene outside. It is beautiful. An almost-full moon casts a ghostly light on the snowless fields. The wind, still high, rattles and shakes the Scots pines; planted in 1927 to protect the then newly-built farmhouse from the prevailing Westerly wind. At almost one hundred years old they are tall and rather spindly but hopefully planted near enough together to hold one another up should one fall foul of this awful wind.
The scene invites an Impressionist painting. I wish I could capture what George Moore, the Irish writer, called Impressionism - "the rapid noting of elusive appearance."
Once downstairs I indulge in another cup of Horlicks and share a Rich Tea biscuit with Tess who has come out of her sleeping crate and is now snuggled down in her basket by the Aga. She can't stay in that all night as she has cleverly discovered how to open the hall door and find her way up onto our bed.
At 3.10am I put down my pen and leave this on my laptop for morning. Climbing the stairs I look round the curtain again. How I envy Monet, able to catch a tantalising sight of Rouen cathedral from his hotel window he began a series of thirty paintings, catching the same scene in different lights. I'm sure most of us have a loved view we would like to commit to canvas at different times of the day.