Here I am introducing the birds to my new wellies, a very timely Christmas gift. I think we're all a little surprised at just how bright they are in the cruel light of day. Nothing that a few outings in some good Welsh mud won't cure...
And, no, I've not been standing here for 12 months entertaining poultry with a variety of wellingtons. Really I've not. Though goodness knows, it sometimes feels like it .
Yep, those birds and I are still up here on the hill and they're laying remarkably well considering they're entering their second year of producing nearly an egg a day - each.
So I still trudge up here two or three times a day; it's not really a chore although when hunkered down in front of the log burner, not a prospect to relish. But boots, scarf, hat, coat and gloves on - or 'rugged up' as they say round here - and one's ready for all weathers.
This was my view of the small mountain kingdom this morning - long shadows, a sky of cerulean blue and snow tinged, from goodness knows where, with rosy light. We kept the snow for most of the day too - it melted quickly in the valleys - but eventually the temperature rose slowly. Now we have rain and wind and mud underfoot again.
So this morning up on the field, I stand and stare, feed bucket in hand, as I do come rain or shine, at dawn,
at dusk or under the stars. It's is no bad thing; a moment to breathe and take
stock before going back to the world and the wicked ways of its people.
The wind is now roaring outside. There's a newsletter to write then I too shall go to roost. In a few short hours the day will start over. Same old, same old.