Everything outside today, high in these North Pennine fellsides, is still. The frost, the real first we’ve seen this season, is a harbinger of harsher weather ahead, but just now it’s rather exquisite.
Even the commonplace looks different in its white morning gauze. I lowered my eyes from the hills and cast them over the wooden slats scattered throughout our garden: the long picnic table and the round; the lid of the hot tub.
Yesterday I topped up the water in the hot tub, determined to provide a delightful experience for anticipated family arrivals throughout December. Although it’s a bit Canadian to wish for snow, I do hope that we might experience one immersion in the inviting 40ºC water while the snowflakes gently fall from the sky.
Some folks look forward to their New Year’s dip in the freezing North Sea, but having once subjected my body to the shocking needle-like experience of rolling in the snow after a hot soak, I’m not eager to try that again! No, I’ll be happy for a bit of intense warmth. We’ve been having just that of an evening, with the cat curled up in one or other of our laps. Quiet comfort with the wood fire blazing away.
I guess my joy this morning has to do with feelings and contrasting senses. The feeling of the frosty morning as I venture forth in my dressing gown to capture the images that delight. The crunch of the frozen picnic bench under my slippers. The anticipation of the warmth of the hot tub, or the cosy ambience of the fire in the living room.