In the gloom of a winter's afternoon, I checked out a thatcher's work in a nearby village. The roof had been replaced completely about 15 years ago, and it is time for a few repairs including the replacement of the ridge. This roof is of straw, of a variety that is especially grown for thatching, as it needs longer stalks than the commercial corn straw. Bundles are pegged in with staves.
It can't have been pleasant working on the roof, with frost and winds to contend with.
The week's strong winds provided some activity on the sea, with divers and grebes showing on and above the waves.
Numbers of garden birds have increased, and it's worth checking for continental races of Blackbirds (with dull bills, above) and Coal Tits (with slate-grey backs, below) among the British birds.