Part of me wants the frost to hold off. Part of me would welcome some frigid temperatures in the parsnip bed so we can start eating them. But mostly I hope the winter cold will save itself for January. This photo was taken a couple of years ago, maybe three. It was early December and we were spending a few days in Hay on Wye, the world capital of second hand books. It was only an hour and half drive from Wenlock and we set off in mild, don’t-need-a-coat weather. By the time we arrived, a heavy Arctic chill had descended on the land. You could have sworn that the Snow Queen had just whisked through the Welsh Marches, or that we’d somehow stepped through one of the wardrobes in Hay’s many vintage shops and pitched up in Narnia. Any too-long exposed flesh tingled painfully, as if one had nicked one’s finger ends and drawn blood. Serial stops for hot chocolate were called for, and it was hard to leave the town’s many welcoming, if steamy cafes, for a trawl around the catacomb-like book stores. Anyway, we survived, and this photo of crisply frozen ferns, captured as we headed home, is a good reminder of that trip. It has its own magic.