Hoar Frost

Hamletl by the Volunteer
Our Church and the churchyard

Sorry to go on and on about the weather. It’s just so variable here in England, but just now, invariably cold. I’ve never lived anyplace with 0C temperatures or less for more than a weekend skiing. We have our two wood fires going, as well as the central heating, which I like, but Bernard likes less as he is the guy who fetches the logs. If it lasted too long, though, we would probably be carried off by emphysema as the smoke does leave the chimney sometimes and pours into the room. The other day I went to the hair dresser, and after my hair was washed by the assistant, the hair dresser said, “I smell wood smoke.”

But the most wonderful thing has happened. It has been misty and foggy the last couple of days, as well as freezing or below, and the moisture froze onto every twig and branch and leaf and blade of grass. It is a fairyland. Unlike snow, which piles onto branches and leaves the dark wood showing through, the frost clings to everything and turns it white – like an old man’s (or woman’s) beard.

Today we decided to combine food shopping with taking photos and lunch. On our way up to our favorite local pub, The Parrot, where you can buy local meat and cheese, Bernard took a few pictures with his new camera. I wish he had taken a picture of the huge pig’s head hanging in the butcher’s portion of the pub. We bought beef, sausages, and a mutton shank to cook with white beans, but no pig’s cheeks. I am a fairly adventurous cook. I have gathered snails, cleaned and cooked them; I have cooked sweet breads, heart, liver, tongue, and kidney, and even had a go at tripe, once, but I draw the line at a whole pig’s head.