Now, however cold it is or however reluctant my duvet is to release me in the morning, I usually have to summon the courage to throw back the covers and step out into the chill of the early day.
You see, when you have a dog who loves her post-breakfast walks and a son who has to get the school bus at 7.20am on six mornings every week, there's really not much chance to linger in bed. This used to really bother me but, this winter, the excuse to get out and about early is one I've gratefully seized...
These winter mornings have been unbelievably beautiful. And, when you're the only one around, you can stand, stare and soak it all in for as long as you like without having to share any of it with anyone.
On super cold mornings, when I pull my hat further down over my ears and wonder why I didn't put on that extra layer, you feel pretty chuffed with yourself that you made it out. On misty mornings, when tendrils of creeping fog ooze across the paths in front of you and slip over the lake, the world seems muffled and if anyone is out, they're usually hidden from view.
So, my dog and I crunch through the frosty grass, splash our way through mud and puddles and drift soundlessly through the mists and fog on these winter mornings and, by the time we return home, we think we've earned the right to slip back upstairs for a few minutes and wrap ourselves in blankets until we're warmed through again.