Well, the winter started with a bang today ……… still no snow but we are in the middle of an ice storm (verglace). They don’t have these in Europe, or at least we never experienced them in 50 years of bad weather, but basically they involve supercooled rain falling as a liquid and then instantly turning to solid ice the moment they touch down. This results in the world acquiring a thick and very slippery coating of ice which, in the sunlight we often get after these storms, does look extraordinarily pretty and glittery but which in reality is damnably dangerous – especially if you are driving. It is also very cold and very hard to chip off your car when you leave work to drive home – ice is rather hard stuff.

Fifteen minutes ago a neighbour asked to park her car in our driveway as the next door’s tree had fallen across the road and brought down power and telephone wires … for some reason though the electricity is till flowing for now. The weight of all this ice is the trouble – trees just snap under it.

Such fun ….. and nobody has seen a bird all day. Bring on the snow.