The Met Office has issued a “be aware” notice, warning of the prospect of widespread gales across Scotland on Christmas Eve but we’re in a calm at the moment.
The temperature is -3ºC, there’s a thick layer of ice over much of the croft and we’re being dusted by intermittent snow flurries.
Despite this, I’ve spent the last hour or so outside in my shirt sleeves. In fact, I was feeling decidedly toasty.
Yes, I was working on the wood pile the old-fashioned way, with crosscut saw, bow saw, axe and hatchet. An hour spent sawing eight-inch (20cm) diameter logs into 10-inch (25cm) lengths before splitting them into quarters is much quicker at warming me up than lighting a fire and waiting for the house to warm up.
It’s also the perfect justification for a late morning chocolate biscuit and a coffee. And not just any chocolate biscuit—it’s a Tim Tam from a hamper of Australian goodies that my mother sends every Christmas. (Thanks Mum, although I’m having to fight the Big Lad for possession of the Vegemite!)
It’s my sort of day: cold and crisp, only doing the jobs I really enjoy, coffee and chocolate biscuits and… whoops, I forgot I have to entertain the feral boys with games and distractions. What was I saying about my sort of day? Ah yes, the gales have arrived early and the calm has ended.