Just before daybreak I went outside in a sleepy stupor, and forgot to put my yard shoes on. The top step felt strange to my bare foot. First thought, frost. And then I realised I was stepping into the subliminal crunch of half an inch of snow. There was one star in the sky and flakes were drifting gently. By the time we stirred properly an hour later the shed roof outside the bedroom was an inch deep and our Liston world was white: snow settled on clothesline and power lines, on the lichened fence, on the brown backs of alpacas, on the fence posts and the paddocks, on the opening bud of the cyclamen and the sharp spikes of the aloe vera, and strangest of all to me on the eucalypts.

This does not happen here often, and by midday the white cloak had gone. The day was cold enough for me to wear my beret all day inside, and cower under my cape in front of the fire. My delusions about cold sharpening the brain disappeared when I tried to deal with an insurance claim in the unheated part of the house and couldn't remember how to find my bank account number. We took the dogs for two short sniff-walks down the hill to the creek and drank hot chocolate and port. J read Pride and prejudice, borrowed from the library, but gutted – whole slabs of Mr Darcy missing. And I of course blogged.