Freezing fog here for the last 36 hours, so my scampers round the garden have been largely abandoned in favour of curling up by the fire. But it’s left coatings of ice on seedheads and cobwebs, which is at least pretty.

frost on cobweb


I’ve known that there were foxes in the small patch of scrubland behind the house almost since I moved in seven and a half years ago, but this morning is the first time I’ve seen them.

When I opened my bedroom curtains this morning, my attention was drawn by the yipping of an exceedingly amorous couple in next-door’s garden. Lousy photos, at a distance through a steamed-up window (there’s a heavy frost this morning), but very nice to see.

amorous foxes 1


amorous foxes 2


It’s that time of year again.

Last year I made three batches (16 jars) of marmalade, of which I have one jar left. It’s the first time ever I’ve managed to supply myself for a whole year! Hoping for similar success in 2022 …

large bowl of Seville oranges, some lemons, jamjars etc on table

early spring shrubs

Enthused by posting a pic of very early cherry blossom (my Mum’s neighbour’s tree) on Christmas Day, I remembered the twisted cherry “Kojo-no-mai” that I’d had and loved in London. Full of seasonal self-indulgence, I ordered one on Christmas afternoon. It arrived two days ago, and is now potted up (into a swing-bin base). They’re slow-growing, so that will do for several years, but if I can persuade to keep a fairly columnar habit I think it could eventually go in the front garden.

Despite the very cold and dismally damp weather, the camellia buds are now showing the first flush of pink.

camellia bud, pink petals just starting to show.

spica splint

Wrestling heavy suitcase, heavy roasting-dishes into/out of Mum’s Aga, and this morning clearing the ashes from the stove and bringing through more heatlogs … I’ve conceded that I’m not really up to anything more and dug out the spica splint!

Hopefully, a few days wrapped up and I’ll be able to use my thumb for typing and suchlike …

spica splint on left thumb and wrist


Merry Christmas all. It’s a dull murky day here at my Mum’s on the edge of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, but next-door’s ornamental cherry tree is doing its best to provide a glimmer of cheer.

My own little garden is as much as I can manage nowadays,, but this is just one of the many, many, dozen plants that I wish I could somehow find room for!

Later … I remembered the fairly-columnar twisted cherry (Kojo-no-mai) thatI had in London, so in a quiet moment on Christmas afternoon I ordered one! I might manage to get it in the front garden, perhaps in a pot, eventually.

ornamental cherry pink flowers

now is the turning of the year …

Today is what I stubbornly regard as Midwinter Day (despite attempts by astronomers and others to redefine “winter”). The first signs of the earth reawakening as shoots of the earliest daffodils in the pot by the French window start to push through the debris of last summer’s creeping jenny.

Later, I’ll bring in the Christmas Tree (sadly, it suffered a bit from under-watering last summer) and decorate it with strings of lights and golden baubles to celebrate the returning Sun.

daffodil shoots among debris