The sun shone and cheered the countryside yesterday, saturated though it is, when these photos were taken.
This week, I've been avoiding the footpaths across the fields from the village. Too muddy, even when frosty. Instead I've walked to the nearby hamlet of Weald and down along the lane through the old signals station into the valley. The paths round the fields there are less trodden.
The sky, reflected in the pools of water, and the sunlight brought them to life in ways that were so different to the gloom of the previous day. When I set off from home then, I'd expected the frost would lift the spirits but instead the landscape was mostly muted, apart from the deeply rutted Hayway Lane, which was an alarming writhe of brutally flailed hedgerow trees, fishbone tyre tracks and slices of bright light cutting through where it could.
Last night snow fell and the land was transformed again. All muffled calm, and crunchy underfoot.
I'll post some pics that show what a difference a day makes.
We had our Burns lunch yesterday because we'll be working on Monday. The Highland Park was almost gone so I bought a bottle of The Glenlivet Founder' Reserve. Matured in American oak casks, it was certainly drinkable but more like a cross between Southern Comfort and rum than a single malt. Bourbony, is perhaps more generous.
The lunch was accompanied by the Forsyte Saga on DVD (which is not at all Burns but it is a drama that we are totally gripped by). Now on disc 6 and not wanting it to end.