"He's got peas on his knees," said my sister-in-law when I ring to speak to my brother. Confronted by my incomprehension, she says that he is lying down nursing his knees with bags of frozen garden peas. "An old football injury," she explains, "is troubling him. The peas are helping." I hope so.
In The Grove this morning, a woman stands guard over a wigwam shaped igloo. "My sons made it this morning," she says. "They made a big snow ball and hollowed out the middle. They were up at 5 o'clock this morning." This morning I wake early too and, mesmerised by the big, beautiful silence and the white light leaking through the shutters, want to be up and about taking photographs, sampling the depth of the snow. Making an igloo doesn't occur to me, but I can understand their enthusiasm. "It's perfect snow for skiing," says Caroline, who is staying with us. "She lives in Munich and skis regularly, cross country as well as on the slopes. She knows her snow. The snow, so rare for us nowadays, is overwhelming. It has brought everything to a halt. Peace and silence reigns.