After a short Christmas break, I returned to a frozen Priory.
The valley softened by cloudy breath (if you’ll allow me a little purple prose)
and the ponds frozen hard.
As I crunched about the grounds, I pictured a favourite childhood book – the marvelous Ladybird ‘What to look for in Winter’. Only I had no herons, the ducks have fled and sadly Bewick swans don’t visit here. Oh, and there was no snow. But otherwise ….
My fingers burned grasping a cold metal tripod. Maybe some gloves, David?
The west pond leaks. Full with recent rain, it froze and then leaked a little. Hence this ice-tonsure. Friends from the village asked if they could throw ice about. It is satisfying (no, really) to send ice-shards skittering across the glass surface. Accompanied by an occasional and startling gun-shot as the water level falls a little more and the ice loudly cracks.
Ice skimming done and exhausted by chatting, I hunched over my needy bonfire and alone once more watched a tall, white column of smoke rise against the airless, blue sky.
It has been a fine, bright day. Happy New Year.