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  1. Just in from a late dog walk. Orange sky, dusky light and hares running in the snow across the winter wheat fields. Feel like a michelin woman with my upteen layers on. Did I mention it is mega cold here?  Holbeach, not far from here was the coldest place in the UK last night at -15°C. If this was a ski resort people would be raving about the powder snow. Totally inappropriate for East Anglia where we've got no hills and rely on the West of the country to take the sting out of all bad weather and leave us to bumble on in our state of clemency and semi-drought.

    workshop in snow  But it is very pretty. Even though the water's frozen up in the workshop and the chilblanes are back on my toes.

    Am still in a throwing phase in the workshop. Have been throwing lidded jars and teapots. Have not put my mind to teapots in years but am taking part in an exhibition at the end of March  in  Larks gallery, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, that requires one. At the moment my teapot might end up as an adapted lidded jar, i.e., adapted with a spout and handle. Is it awful to say that though I am a potter and own many lovely ceramic teapots I actually use a metal one myself?

    Went to a brilliant National Theatre link up at Stamford Arts Centre this week. The play was 'Travelling Light' starring Anthony Sher. Had read no reviews and hardly knew what I was going to see but it was great fun. Good acting from all the cast, intriguing stage set and gripping story. We're so lucky that NT Live is shown at the Arts Centre. The next transmission is the Comedy of Errors with Lenny Henry. Should be good.

  2. Well, the site's been up for a week now and I've had an all round positive response to it. Many thanks to all the people who've sent me messages and said such encouraging things. I will try and write this about once a week but worry it could end up as a failed new year's resolution. Time will tell.

    Am back in the workshop with a newly composed scarey list of 'things to make'. So many pots to make, so little time and real life can be so intrusive when you're trying to get on with the pots. Have finally put my hands to the wheel and made a start and must just plod on. I know I should be potting like mad and making loads of stock but the dates just aren't frightning enough yet.

    Newly hatched birds. Coming into the world on the coldest day of the year so far.  Not yet ready to fledge as no wings or tails


    Listened to Open Country on the radio today. Not one of my usual programs but it was about Whittlesey just east of here and where I used to skate as a child if it was cold enough for Whittlesey Wash to freeze.  It was all about the archeological work going on the the clay pits there and how the Fens have preserved everything perfectly. Wooden boats from 1300 - 800 BC and eel traps made of fen osiers. The best bit was to hear Peter Carter, fenland man and eel fisher recognise the same techniques of basket making in the traps that he uses and work out the time of year the iron/bronze-age traps were set by the direction they were pointing and his own knowledge of the tides and eels. The power of the craftsman.

    Test match special is back on the radio tomorrow. I cannot bear to think of the last test match, the least said there the better.