When we woke there was no muffled light, and the branches I saw sadly bare. But they were the ones by the stream and always wetly green – the rest of the valley was white and snow was swirling thick and wonderful.

snowBy the tap, the blackthorn twigs and old bracken fringe is an intricate theatre. A flash of colours floods backstage, I’m eyeballed by a blue tit and then my container is full.

In the woods long tailed tits dot and flit through music score branches, and epiphyte fronds are packaged in white.

We walk into town for chocolate and garlic and wine and the sky is a dusty wool blanket.  Bedraggle sheep I thought white are now brown in the fields. There is no-one about and the sky behind us grows filthy but at last at the bridge we see distant figures flying down a hill.

The river looks grey and worried and the trees are hung in strange and lovely icicles like wall-paper paste, or apple sauce.