Bright, sunny, getting colder - this about sums up today here in North Yorkshire. Over the tops of the houses of the estate where I now live I can see the Fells and the Grouse Moors and I see that today they are beginning to burn the heather. Plumes of white smoke rise here and there - this burning is very much controlled and only done when the weather is right. Grouse feed on heather and it is done to rejuvenate the plants so that they grow strong and healthy.
Just when we all felt that it was March next week and we were coming to the end of what has been a cold winter here, the weather forecast tells of Polar weather next week (they are not sure which parts of the country will be worst affected) and advises 'the elderly' to stay indoors and keep warm. The weather map showed the deep blue of very cold weather all across Russia and Siberia and then sweeping down through the whole of Europe.
So, I ask myself, 'am I classed as elderly'? Well, I am in my eighties; the girls on the checkouts in the supermarket regularly ask me if I want them to pack my bag; people hold doors open for me. I presume this means I must look elderly (and I do walk with a stick) but the trouble is that I do not feel elderly. Alright, I have an arthritic ankle which makes me a little unsteady in my walking (although friends tell me I walk much better now) and I am certainly not short of wrinkles but I try to keep abreast of things -the news, the newspaper, the computer. On the whole I do not see myself as a Luddite. But, nevertheless, if the weather really does become Polar I may well take to my
bed with a flask of Horlicks!
I just paused to watch the headlines of the six o'clock news - the news and the pictures from Syria are terrible - I could hardly bear to look. The United Nations Security Council are meeting later tonight in an effort to get a ceasefire so that aid can get in to help those trapped and injured and get some of them out. On the one hand there was slightly heartening news last week when North Korea decided to join in the Winter Olympics and so one felt there might be a chink of light in World affairs. Now that chink has gone and indeed darkness is worse than it was before.