We've been to Chester today; Alan to his icon painting class and me to a rather mediochre Bead Fair held at the Racecourse, followed by a mooch round the shops.
I'm sure Alan was snug and warm as he sat in Stanley Palace applying gold leaf and egg tempra but outside it was a different matter. Chester City centre, twinkling with Christmas lights, was cold and crowded - a miserable place to be - and I for one was quite glad to get back in the car and head for home.
The temperature dropped as we drove south down the A483, the road that straddles English/Welsh border. From a distance we could see the bulk of Long Mountain blurred by grey cloud. As we rose up the lane that leads to home the drizzly rain, which had fallen all the way from Chester, turned to sleet and then to snow - which continues to a fall. A couple of hours later the landscape is white-over, punctuated by black skeletal shapes that are trees and hedges. It's a monochrome world out there.
We've shut the night out and lit the wood burner - the dogs have already found the warmth and are sprawled on the rug, toasting their bellies. How cosy is that?