It's warm today, on new year's day, but we had a short spell of severe frost earlier in the week - ice on the inside of the windscreen, one slippy shady side in every street. After the second day the temperature rose a bit and the frost retreated, and I called out to the plot. Usually, the allotment is Costa del Donabate. It is always hotter than the rest of Dublin, and dryer. But on Tuesday the plot was still in the grip of frost, where the suburbs had cleared. The pond was frozen, with goldfish swimming perplexedly beneath the rippled sheet. The paths were crunchy and the shadier beds were frozen. A wren erupted out the door of the poly as I opened the door, interrupted from basking in the ten degrees of heat inside. The gap under the door is big enough for it to hop in and out without my help.
I did get some work done; the three smallest beds weeded and cleared, old rhubarb leaves and asparagus fronds chucked on the compost mountain and the blueberry bushes pruned of crossing and leggy branches.
More to do but there is no real rush - a good few weeks of winter lie ahead before the manic spring rush begins again.