I will be honest, if I’d known the hard surfaces were that slippery, I would have stayed at home, instead of which I bundled up in three layers of clothing and thermal running leggings and just had to negotiate the frosty bits by running at walking pace.
Down the London Road the sun was like strobe again, low in the sky and striking between the trees in oblique flashes. When I reached the salt way, the fierce light was on my left, illumining icy patches that shone and danced like sparklers.
This is an undulating route where you have to dodge rocks, mud, frozen ruts, tree roots and uphill stretches of grass bright with frost. The woodland paths are pocked with iron hard hoof prints. There are many gates to negotiate, and a rustic plank bridge over a shallow brook.
But, oh, the sense of freedom, getting away from traffic and people and having this shining, beautiful world to myself; the only other living beings I saw were birds and sheep.
Running through a wood of graceful birch and young beech trees, I experienced moments of pure, unalloyed joy, broken only by my sister phoning just as I stopped to take a photo.
Then past a deserted farmhouse and back towards Chipping Norton, civilisation and a hot bath.