Blazing fire and Christmas treat.
(English nursery rhyme)
It's the first day of December, and as if to mark the day, the weather has obliged with a thick frost and bright sunshine. I can't believe that only a few weeks ago, I viewed the cottage in the heat of a late summer day.
Despite all the chores that moving house dictates - the unpacking, the fixing of shelves and changing of lights, the frequent trips to B&Q, the daily discoveries (oh, is that where that screwdriver/knife/breadbin/chair/bookcase went!) - I've managed to do a bit of sorting out in the garden. In weather like this, it seems a crime not to be outside.
I put up bird feeders yesterday, and this morning, there was a bustle of small birds who were obviously delighted by the December bonus. The tits, I find, are always the first to discover the feeders, and a robin has been taking a proprietorial interest in the proceedings, but it will be interesting to see what else turns up.
This moss-covered apple tree is the perfect place to hang a squirrel-proof feeder.
On a winter morning, the light changes minute by minute, which means interrupting your breakfast every five seconds to rush outside and take pictures.
As the sun got higher, it highlighted the frost on the trees in the meadow next door.
The next moment, you could almost believe that spring was on its way.
After a while, though, the cold drives you back indoors, as Luigi (above) will tell you. Those of you who have asked how the cats are settling in may like to know that they have already put their paw of approval (not to mention cat hair and pawprints) on the woodburning stove, the range in the kitchen, and my new bed.
They went to a cattery while I was packing up and moving, and it was interesting to see how it changed their behaviour. They shared a pen while they were there, and they seem much closer now. Perhaps they've realised that cuddling up together means they stay warmer.
They have been out in the garden for the first time, and I think they're going to enjoy life here immensely. It's hilarious watching them explore. Intrepid Luigi, despite his cuddly, cute demeanour, is always the leader in any expedition. Mario, who looks more athletic, is actually much more cautious and follows a couple of paces behind.