And just like that, autumn gave way to winter. A hurricane-like storm last week swept away the last of the leaves from the trees, and in its wake a spell of glorious blue sky weather has treated us to the most beautiful frosty mornings and breathtaking sunsets.
Last week we had a bit of a reshuffle of the study, moving the desk to beneath the window. This means that rather than looking at a wall while I work, I now get to look out over the rooftops, trees and hills of our sleepy rural neighbourhood. It’s worked wonders on my productivity, but the best bit has been watching the birds: flocks of goldfinches sitting in the tree just metres away from me; great tits, blue tits and long-tailed tits greedily devouring the contents of the bird feeder we’ve hung in the tree; the occasional passing cormorant or heron from the nearby lake. Across the way, an unidentified tree has shed its leaves to reveal hundreds of red berries, and a mistle thrush can be seen most days zealously guarding them from other birds.
The other wonderful thing about having moved the desk is that I now get to watch the sunset while I work. We’ve had some really stunning ones the last few days; this was Saturday’s.
Night-time temperatures have been into the minus numbers here, so naturally we’ve been lighting the log burner every evening. It’s so cosy here in the cottage when the fire is going, and it’s about to get cosier because – dare I say it – it’s December on Thursday, and that can only mean one thing! Christmas tree! We’re going to get a real one this year, and to take full advantage of its beautiful smell we’re going to get one at the earliest acceptable opportunity. The minute it turns December, I feel it’s acceptable to start getting into the Christmas spirit. I can’t wait. I’ve actually finished most of my Christmas shopping already (don’t hate me), but it has yet to be wrapped, so I’m looking forward to putting on my ‘Christmas with Frank and Bing’ CD and getting stuck into it.