Some friends of mine who live in Japan posted photos on Facebook of a glorious, sun splashed New Year’s Day.
Not so for England! The skies remained stubbornly sullen and the rains came sweeping through in squally, crabby vales.
However, I felt the need to work off a New Year’s Eve Chinese blow-out, and so I went for a walk in the country.
As I trudged though the mud, I looked out across barren, brown fields, and saw tangly black tree branches clawing at the clouds. There were clusters of crows hunched among them, or wheeling through the sky.
I noticed slender, dagger-sharp thorns weaving through the hedgerows, festooned with rain droplets that looked like diamonds.
Suddenly, I was struck by the unabashed beauty of it all - dark, delicate, and fierce.
I felt a thrill.
And I saw a Wintry Queen standing out there by the trees…