Arctic winds are sweeping across the UK and bringing with them the most unbelievable temperatures and snow, minus 25 degrees in Scotland tonight and feet of snow for the last week over most of the country. This is the most severe weather I can remember, although where we live we have escaped most of the heavy snow and had temperatures down to minus 10 'only'! Despite the fact that we are not under deep layers of snow here, the landscape has gone monochrome, as if suddenly, when no-one was looking, colour swirled off in a rainbow cascade down some elemental plughole and left us with a completely different palette, all whites, greys, blacks and browns washed of bright colour, but ethereal and northerly and rather beautiful.
The heavy grey skies and sharp outlines of leafless branches and skeletal remains of plants and grasses have their own haunting glamour,
and even the cows I passed today were monochrome!
The ground is frozen solid
and just when I thought colour had disappeared entirely, a frozen puddle had caught some fallen leaves and suddenly mud was gilded with gold leaf - how glorious, ridiculous, lovely!