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After the warmest December on record and a mild New Year we have, at last, had a little cold winter weather.  Some of the flowers that were blooming in the mild weather have been frosted and turned brown. Others don’t seem to have been bothered by the frost and ice and have continued to flower.

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The first ice starting to form on the big pond

We have snowdrops in the garden that don’t look anywhere near being ready to flower but some in tubs have buds that may open in a couple of days.  Strangely, a golden crocus which usually flowers in March has appeared in the grass near the end of the drive.   The garden is unusually colourful for this time of year.


Slightly stunted pink Hyacinths.

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Grape Hyacinths.

IMG_2545Miniature iris

Miniature iris

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The ‘sticky-buds’ are swelling on the Horse Chestnut tree.

Those four photos were taken the morning after a severe gale when lots of rain, then sleet and wet snow fell.  The snow settled for a while but most of it disappeared the next day when the sun came out.  The wind had blown the snow almost horizontally and when I went out the following morning I saw walls and tree trunks with snow and ice stuck to them but hardly any snow on the ground.

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Small amount of ice on an apple tree.


Melting ice on a window sill

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It was a beautiful day

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The water-level in the pond has risen quite a lot recently but not as much as we’d expected. Probably ditch clearing and drainage works done locally have meant less water entering our garden. The reeds and brambles need to be cut back here!


Colourful fungi on a dead log.

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Even the pond at the front of the house had some ice on it

We continued to get hard frosts at night and then a light sprinkling of beautiful powdery snow on Saturday night.

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The big pond

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I like the patterns the snow made on the icy pond

IMG_2567Hoar frost and crabapple tree

We had a hoarfrost yesterday morning but the sun soon came out and the frost melted.  I wish I could have got outside earlier!


Pyracantha leaves


Cherry tree buds

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Winter-flowering Honeysuckle





IMG_2580Moss and lichen

The moss and lichen garden on top of the brick pillar at the end of the drive

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A close-up of the moss with its frosted capsules



I am pleased we have had a few frosts because the birds will only eat the crabapples once they have been frosted.

Richard went to a PCC (Parochial Church Council) meeting on Wednesday evening and came home with two pieces of good news.  The first is that we are a stage nearer to getting the screen put in between the Tower Room and the main body of the church at Rumburgh and the second is that when our Rector retires in 2017 we will (eventually) be getting a replacement for him.  For some time now, we have thought that we would have to do without a priest when Richard (the Rector) goes.  We have a large but sparsely populated benefice and even though we would have tried to keep things going on our own and with the help of retired clergy and the priest from our neighbouring benefice, it would have been very difficult and might have meant that some, at least, of the churches would have had to close.  We will have to put up with at least a year’s interregnum before the replacement priest arrives but if we know that we will get a Rector eventually we will cope better.

The piece of music today is a great favourite of mine and very romantic in style.  It is quite long (just over 16 minutes) but is in five short movements so you don’t have to listen to it all in one go!  This music makes me happy – I really don’t think anyone could help being cheered by it!  It goes from a fast ‘Waltz’ to a very romantic interlude – ‘Nocturne’; then to another fast movement – ‘Mazurka’ followed by a slower ‘Romance’.  The piece ends with a ‘Galop’.  It was originally written in 1941 by Aram Khachaturian as incidental music for a new production of a play called ‘Masquerade’ by the Russian poet and playwright Michail Lermontov.  The satirical-romantic play was written in 1835  and has a similar storyline to ‘Othello’.  The run in 1941 had to be cut short because of the invasion of the USSR by Germany.  Khachaturian later (in 1944) turned the incidental music into a Suite.


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