This morning I took a slight detour on the way home from work and ended up driving towards Firle Beacon where, on a clear day, you can see across the Weald to the North Downs. On the way up I passed Viscount Gage, who was on horseback, nonchalantly gesturing with his riding crop as I slowed down. The Firle estate has belonged to the Gage family for over 500 years.
Virginia Woolf used to walk along the top of the Downs to visit her sister at Charleston. On days like this, I imagine her fragile, bird-like frame trudging through the snow.
I find this time of year difficult. The lack of light, the greyness and the penetrating cold is enervating. I am counting the days until March 21st.