Walking into Farnham this morning, the park was covered in white. The path was best avoided in the parts untouched by the sun as they were akin to an ice skating rink. It was also as cold as yesterday but, beneath the blue sky, looked beautiful.
I always find that this sort of cold is delightfully fresh and crisp. And, while I’d be happy living above the Arctic circle in the permanent cold, it’s nice having the variety we have in Britain. I’m not really the type of person who can abide constancy.
That’s one of the reasons why I love living where we do. While Dr Chasuble’s dictum that the weather is “…so changeable.” may be a bit tongue in cheek, it’s a truth in which I delight.
The hardy souls wandering obediently behind their dogs on frost dressed hills, the sky bright and inviting stretching above them, is the perfect prelude to expected snow and the cure for a hot, humid summer. Climate may be changing but it’s days like today that show the clear changes between seasons.
It also means we can light a fire. There’s few things more pleasant than working together in the living room, netbooks on laps, poodles draped on sofas and a fire spitting and crackling in the grate.
It’s days like today when we realise the benefit of a tiny house. We can have a fire in one room and ignore the central heating. Perfect. It also means that Christmas is just around the corner but I can ignore that for a few weeks, yet.
After lunch we went for a lovely walk across Hankley. Nearly all the puddles had ice on them, some cracked and splintered like so much shattered glass, others still completely frozen. Oddly, there was one with no ice at all.
Also oddly was the woman on the galloping horse. We often see horse riders at Hankley but they are generally walking, usually in pairs. Today, however, I watched a rider at full gallop, riding up one of the paths that lead to the ridge.
It was a wonderful sight, making me think of highwaymen and the glorious days before motor vehicles. When she reached the ridge, she started to rein the horse in, apologising for scaring the poodles (which Mirinda crouched by and held) as she went by.
We didn’t bother telling her that the poodles had already dispatched a Great Dane which had previously had the temerity to cross their path. I’m pretty sure they’d have taken out the horse as well. They fear nothing.
From the top of the ridge, long lines of mist sat mysteriously along the valleys, looking more like fences than air. They gave the landscape a mystic edge.