The garden is usually full of little pockets of water, from which the cat drinks. She won’t drink inside, preferring to sip from the tin bath by the outside tap, an upturned saucer buried in the flower bed, or the metal trough with curvy ceramic handles – the one I planted flowers in in the Summer. But more than anything, she loves the water in the bird bath.
This morning, waiting for the kettle to boil, I saw that the bird bath was frozen over. I shivered outside with no coat, to investigate. Amazing – a square of ice – solid right to the bottom. Red leaves from the maple tree and cedar needles and holly berries were suspended in its frozen ballet.
I made the tea, and then took the hot kettle outside. I poured hot water gently onto the surface of the ice. A little more. My breath in the freezing air. Crack.
I dipped my fingers in, and widened the icy pool – only just warm, despite the hot water.
It hasn’t nudged much above freezing all day. My favourite weather, by far. The cat is curled on a bed, not thirsty, and it seems the birds don’t much fancy a bath. But I like to think they said thank you into their fluffed up feathers as I went back in, steam still curling from the spout of the kettle.
(Is it snowing where you are? We had a little bit, which is pretty good for London. More, please, more and deeper).