I went for a walk this afternoon. On my own. I was thrilled when everyone else said they'd prefer to lie on the sofa under a blanket and watch TV. So I headed out into the winter wonderland that is England at the moment.
I walked in a cloud of fog that muffled all sound. Every branch, leaf, blade of grass had been encrusted with layers of jewel-like ice. Their shapes were amplified with white borders - holly leaves fiercely pointy, a weeping willow's bendy branches elongated with icicles making it look even more folorn, fir trees with branches turned to feather dusters. Puddles were mini ice rinks. Spiderwebs frozen masterpieces.
Huddled under a stark white oak tree, cold grey gravestones that long ago forgot who they were for, leant teeteringly in the churchyard, looking as though they'd quite like a lie down but silently, stoicly held their positions. I walked on.
Crunching over a rock hard field, I crested a hill and would have had a magnificent few, had I not been engulfed in a cloud of freezing fog. But a view of complete white is still magnificent. The wind tore at my face, turning my sinus passages into frozen canals - an ice cream headache followed. My ears ached. My chin burned. My eyes watered. A balaclava would have been good. But embracing the elements was even better.
There wasn't another soul about. No animals. The odd nervous bird would pop out of frosty undergrowth protected from the brunt of the wind - and would pop back in again. It was just me. The frost. The wind. And the fog.
It. Was. Marvellous.