A deer spent the night sleeping on our lawn despite the cold. Ray saw him just before we went to bed and again in the early morning. By the time I was up he was gone but all the rest of the lawn was covered in frost except for where he was lying.
I’m finding the cold quite difficult as, because of the transplant, I feel the cold more acutely anyway. The difficulty is that most of my winter clothes are wool and I have some lovely cashmere jumpers but I can’t wear them next to my skin. Even if I wear a shirt underneath, after a while I feel the prickle of wool.
I went out to do some shopping this morning; the shops are becoming very busy as everyone prepares for Christmas. When I came back wisps of smoke were curling from the chimney as Ray had lit a welcoming fire. It’s not the first we have had this season, but it is the first during the day. However, because it was warm my trousers became unbearable to wear as my skin was itching so much. Instead I found a really long skirt in a cotton knit fabric like jersey and this is both warm and less itchy.
It is unusual in recent years to have such a cold spell in November and the shops, after last winter (which was snowy even in the south), are full of fur-fabric hats, aviator helmets and the sort of fur-lined boots which a few years ago were the preserve of pensioners.
While I was having an after-lunch cup of coffee, Anna telephoned us to tell us about her appraisal in her new post. I think she acquitted herself well not only about the work she is currently doing but about what else she could bring to the department and possible departmental outreach to schools and other universities. She has already sown the seeds that she would like to stay beyond the end of her contract.
We are glad she is happy and although she is working long hours, that is inevitable when you first start teaching or lecturing. I think she is making her mark and certainly gets on well with the students; I do feel her previous work with sixth form students and adults was good preparation.