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Winter - Baby It's Cold Outside.

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
I have prepared for Winter. They say this year is going to be very cold.  Although I love the colours in  Autumn and when working in Tenerife, truly missed the changing seasons, I am arthritic in my hands, neck and shoulders, so much prefer crisper colder days to wet and windy weather.
We rarely get heavy snowfall here on the Fylde Coast but when we do it cripples the road network. I don't think that the area actually owns a snow-plough, so when the bad weather does hit, we are marooned.  I live in a cul-de-sac that has been snowed up for weeks on two occasions, so I am not taking any chances.
My check-list begins;
  • remove all sub-tropical plants indoors
  • bubble-wrap other vulnerable plants
  • put terracotta planters in shed wrapped in blankets
  • stock pile all the windfall apples for blackbirds 
  • insulate the bird-box
  • fill bird feeders
  • refill the hedgehog house with dry leaves
  • check the external lights
  • fill car boot with shovel, wellies and blankets.
  • buy extra windscreen wash, de-icer and rock-salt
  • stock my shed with Heinz Tomato Soup, Fray Bentos pies and loo rolls.
  • buy hot chocolate, Ovaltine and Horlicks
  • check footwear soles in case of leaks. 
Once all the cold weather boxes are ticked, I can confidently cope with whatever Winter sends my way.  I usually act as the taxi and shopping service for an elderly neighbour, then there is Mum who  just can't go out if the pavements are slippery.  There is always plenty to do during the few daylight hours. At night, I snuggle down and if I am really cold, pour a small snifter of brandy. But when the moon is bright , I become the ... 
    Winter - Baby it's cold outside.     Stargazer   In the smallest hours as icy talons draw the frosted curtain
over saturated lawn,
thebrightness of still moonlight
pulls me into woollens, gloves and sock-filled boots  
to gaze with craning neck
upon my private piece of sky. 
Across vast, infinite blackness, awash with crystal constellations
ringing clearly as a chime, I begin my journey backwards
to the farthest point in time.
Spectral gems set in dark matter
guide me to creation’s mystery.
I see Orion’s belted three
and Bettleguise’s glow.
Russet red: Set to blow.  
bulging with impatience to explode in Supernova.
To give to us a second sun
that we may ponder over.
Jupiter, the juggler, deftly holds four moons aloft.
Ganymede, Calisto,
Europa and fair Io.
Differing shapes and sizes,
shimmering colours, diverse orbits,
Sometimes two are visible,
this evening I spy three.
Now seeking pale blue Venus, I am gripped by searing cold,
numb toes and fumbling fingers,
icy stalactites on my nose.
So back inside with warming cup, I climb the wooden hill,
as iridescent moon
glows gently on my windowsill.
I snuggle in to hibernate
with drapes left open wide.
To sleep,
to dream of heavenly bodies
adrift in endless time. 
Thank you for reading. Wrap up warm folks. Adele   
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