After several days during which we've been more or less marooned in the house by the snow a thaw has finally set in.
The main sufferers have been the birds. A thick carpet of snow has prevented them from feeding and as a result our bird table under the tree has been mobbed. Blue tits, finches, blackbirds, robins, wrens and even a pheasant have been regular visitors. A greater spotted woodpecker hammering away at the hanging cage of nuts has been the star of the show.
The bird table features in my book A Half Life of One. Nick, the hero, watches the birds and, contrasting them with his own predicament, envies them their freedom.
But of course they're not free. They are trapped in their environment too. And in winter that's a pretty precarious place to be.