Porridge for breakfast. Out on the yard at six this morning: Met Office advised a temperature of -4°C, though the brisk north easterly made it feel several degrees colder. First time this winter the locks have frozen. Up town for milk and papers, returned to deteriorating conditions, falling thick and fast – mini beast is proving to be a bigger animal than its predecessor. Gudgeon is now chopping logs, Mrs G. checking on neighbours. If I owned a dog equipped with the traditional brandy barrel the mutt would be working overtime. I blame the Russians!