It’s hard to think what has happened since the last blog, except weather: no snow, or anything exciting, but bizarre fluctuations in temperature. The other night it was 15 below (so the Refugee Gardener told us in the morning) and the lake was frozen hard, but by midday it was well above freezing and today it has been positively mild. It was cold again last night, though, and Miss Kit had a misadventure — seeking to slip quietly under the duvet when the temperature plummeted, she went slightly astray and inadvertently got into the duvet cover (which was one of the sort which doesn’t have buttons). She then went bumping about in a state of rising panic trying to work out what on earth had happened to her, and woke us both up. We had the quietest of New Years, apart from that, since the Professor and Dr Biswell are going off to the south in a couple of days and so everyone is conserving their energy. However, I have just indulged myself with a new year’s present of a pile of grey felt tips in tones from near-white to charcoal. I had some about 15 years ago, and very useful they were too. Felt tips in grey, grey, grey and grey aren’t most people’s idea of fun and therefore aren’t found in your average small town art shop, but once I’d thought of it, I reckoned that if I spent long enough on Google, I was bound to find a specialist supplier somewhere or other, which of course, I did. I look forward to their arrival — almost everything I do these days is illustration not drawing for its own sake, and for something which needs to be reproduced, monochrome is best. But I’m a bit tired of cross hatching.