The Arctic chill has finally arrived. It's well below freezing as we head out of the gate. Another, more frigid, snap is forecast for two weeks time. The Manhattanites, who trade LNG futures and who monitor such things, tell me that the Arctic air core is at -84 degrees a full 15% colder than last year and 25% larger. 'A Mega winter awaits' says one of them with misplaced cheerfulness. Sophie is intrigued to find that the water in her bowl has frozen solid. Here on the coast we're snow free but the wind is piercingly strong. By the time we've made it down to the shore, skirting the fallen gate, the PONettes coat has fluffed up into a thing of wonder.
Recent gales have covered the beach in a thick layer of seaweed. The storms have also thrown up a couple of battered lobster creels. Sophie cannot believe her good luck - intriguing scents and invigorating temperatures. Her companion, although wearing no less than seven layers of clothing ( plus a bobble hat ) , is less enthused with the temperature. The ever skittish oystercatchers take wing as soon as we make it onto the beach. The gulls, cormorants and skuas all ignore us. Sophie finds a dead fish which she carries away in triumph before she can be told to 'drop it'.
Sophie loves the beach but is mindful that venturing too close to the water runs the risk of getting wet. She remains prudently on the landward side of the rocks. This is where she munches, contentedly, on her festering herring. From time to time she holds it high in her jaws so that I can observe her extreme good fortune . Life is wonderful !
At the local farm shop freshly baked custard creams make an appearance. They're £1 a pop which I guess makes them luxury custard creams.
A cheerful Christmas song #5 from Africa :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyV3nEkxkNU