A stop to think time.

I guess the best of all this snow and ice is that it does tend to confine you to barracks other than for essential forays on foot to the local shop and the local post office. And being so confined you are encouraged to get on with all those unexciting functions you've been putting off and off. In our case these include tax returns, stocktaking and taking stock of just where we're at, a year after our move, and where we want to be at in a year's time. (Difficult, that one. Governments pay millions and millions to brilliant minds in an effort to forecast the future. They should save our money, print a matrix of numbers and ask a child to stick a pin in it blindfolded.)

But seriously it does no harm for us all to slow down now and then, does it? Frantic activity is good and idleness (or call it contemplation) is terrible. Work is a very admirable ethos whether one gets paid for it or whether one does not. Witness all the good folk shovelling tonne after tonne of snow even when logic tells them that nature will do it for you, in due course, at this time of the year. I received a lovely little e-mail from a good friend in Denmark today. He has actually done his snow clearing and now has settled down to a protracted period of feet up, glass(es) of red wine and a good book. Lovely jubbly.

We've just wasted a half an hour watching a couple of red deer hinds scrubbing around for food in our twilit garden. Beautiful. Wasted? No.

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