When the temperature plummeted the moon was fat and bright and we watched it rise cold over the greenhouse. My footsteps rang clear on the track the sky was hard black and the clouds barely moved, shot through with silver.

FrostBy morning our world was ice. The soil just hoed was fissured and risen to pinnacles and cities, berries I hadn’t noticed were crimson daubs. I thought all the leaves had fallen but now I could see them, each one separate and fringed in frost swaying a little ghostly. A jay crashed in the ash tree and stayed a while. I’ve seen jays before but it was so pink.

The rainwater was an ingot of ice, metallic like the bucket so I went to the stream for more – it was a different scene down there, a wet brown green world with colour for eyes to drink.

Our footsteps were loud, shattering tiny crystals and creaking thick and cloud sworled puddles. It’s hard to control the heat when the ice comes, the stove gets so hot so we sat on the floor in the coolth and had a better view of the moon. Listen to the stream I said. That’s not the stream said Rob, it’s the frost growing.

But today there’s a thaw. The twigs are wet and brown and shining, the leaves limp and soggy. I see a pip of yellow in the hazel coppice – it is a goldcrest flurrying.