When people around Australia tonight watch the weather they will no doubt shiver and thank their lucky stars that they don't live in Canberra when they see that last night the temperature dipped below -6 degrees.
What they won't realise is that those seriously cold morning are actually lovely. I can imagine skepticism in your mind as you read that, but let me explain.
You can't get to a really cold, below -3 degree night unless it is crystal clear. Any clouds hold in the heat. So that means on a seriously cold morning you awake to clear blue skies and sun - lots of surprisingly warm sun. However the air takes some time to warm up, so for the first few hours you have the glorious situation of bright sunshine on a frost coated landscape. Dry grass at the side of the road becomes a fairy's crystal wand as the light highlights every fine strand of its feathery seed head coated in a layer of ice. Wattle glows under a veil of frost. The landscape glimmers and glistens.
Rugged up in appropriate winter wear (and what better excuse for a ladylike ensemble including gorgeous stockings, gloves, a coat and bright scarf) a frozen morning is a true delight.