As it was an exquisitely sunny, albeit frosty day, there was no way we were going to spend it inside.
In fact, we made the very most of it and went for a long walk a little further from home.
As the temperature was still well below zero degrees Celsius, we dressed warmly, which in my case meant a colourfully patterned wool-blend dress, closing with a zip at the front.
It might look deceptively thin, but its wool content makes it really warm. In view of our walk, I wore it with both a slip and a thermal camisole underneath.
I chose opaques in almost exactly the shade of green featured in the dress.
This thick cream cable-knit cardigan, with delicate red and lilac detail, completed my outfit.
On top of this came my trusted fake fur coat. I also wore a lined vintage turban hat, a nice long purple scarf crocheted by my friend Ingrid and a pair of fingerless gloves to enable me to take photographs. Oh, and my new-to-me sheepskin boots, of course!
Whenever it got too cold, I tucked my hands in my handbag disguised as a muff. Or is it the other way around?
A thirty minute drive away, Het Broek in Blaasveld (broek meaning marshy area) is a favourite nature reserve, which we visit in all seasons. Much to our shame, our last visit was in May (I blogged about it here), and I guess 2016 was the first in many years that we did not visit it at least once in the autumn months.
Although there are several options for shorter and longer walks, we usually do the same loop, which offers quite a lot of variety.
Immediately after entering the domain through a gap between hedges, two large ponds come into view, now covered in a thick layer of ice.
The pond on the left is the kingdom of a gracious pair of white swans. A lady walking her dog was feeding bread crusts to the birds. Rather than regally gliding over as usual, the swans, clearly out of their depths, came waddling over, treading carefully on the slippery ice.
Followed by a comical moorhen, whose antics on the ice put me in mind of a funny cartoon bird.
Het Broek is a watery wonderland, with ponds and lakes in different sizes, and with the exception of one or two sand ridges, the whole area is only two to three metres above sea level.
In winter, the many brooks and creeks which run between the crooked trees are clearly visible. In spring and summer, these are mostly hidden by abundant foliage, allowing only the occasional glimpse.
Beyond the first two ponds, the path snakes through a wooded area, passing some secluded ponds, the quiet only punctuated by the sound of chainsaws accompanying the process of woodland management.
Eventually, a more open landscape on the edge of the domain was reached, where a small frozen stream quietly meandered through banks of iced greenery.
After a short stretch along a tarmacked path bordering a body of water which is used for water-sports, the nature reserve is re-entered. This part was opened to the public fairly recently, and still has a relatively untouched feel.
I loved this enchanted tree-bordered channel of now frozen water, with thick slabs of ice littering the path next to it. And doesn't this innocent piece of wood eerily resemble some poor animal's head?
On to the visitor centre and picnic area called Beaver Island for a short stop and some silly poses involving a couple of naughty bronze beavers.
A few minutes after leaving Beaver Island, we caught our first glimpse of our favourite stretch of the walk: the water meadows, or should that be ice meadows?
From here, there are paths in two directions. We opted for the one leading off to the left, which is the longer of the two. Surely, those few patches of ice are going to be a doddle?
Soon the path became harder to negotiate, with treacherous patches of ice alternated by squelchy stretches of mud where the sun had melted the ice. At one point, the only way to continue without sinking into the soft mud was by climbing a conveniently placed bench.
And yet we continued, even when at one point there was no way of avoiding having to walk on the ice. Let me tell you that this is quite something for me. As a four year old, I broke my arm after slipping on ice, leaving me with a life-long trauma.
The magical world at the end of the path was worth the effort, though, the low sun spotlighting the ice floes dotting the drowned forest floor.
The final stretch of our walk led us past some of the bigger ponds, in other seasons the haunts of gaggles of quacking ducks and honking geese.
Now they were deserted, apart from a couple of dare-devil ice skaters, watched over by dormant, dead-to-the-world winter trees.