It really feels as though winter is here now. Yesterday morning I got up early and set off in the silent darkness for a 12 mile circuit up to the woods and back along the canal. The grass was thick with frost and all was silver and black. Then, as the sun rose, monochrome turned to colour and the canal shone like a golden ribbon beneath the vapour-shrouded boats. My toes and fingers were frozen but it was worth it. I felt as though I were walking through one Impressionist painting after another.