An extra early start today as the farmer had to be at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough (forty odd miles away) for 9.30am. Getting up at 6.30am (the farmer's usual time, but not mine) it was dark, snowing and freezing; although the rooks were already going past the window on their way to the feeding grounds up the Dale (what they will find to eat I don't know under six inches of snow, although the farmer says they will tuck into the sheep feed if they get there first).
I thought the weather bad enough to cancel the farmer's appointment as it was only for a progress report on his balance problems, but he was philosophical about the whole thing and was ready to set off as planned at 7.30am. I was visualising hold ups, accidents, slippery roads and the like.
Our farm is at around 650feet above sea level. The weather was coming in from the West and we were going due East. By the time we had gone five miles East and 250feet lower there was absolutely no sign that there had ever been any snow. It was a bright sunny morning and a light breeze and we arrived at the hospital in plenty of time.
The farmer's check up was good. His exercises have improved his balance no end and he now has to go back in three months for stringent balance tests (which he hates).
Coffee and cake in the Costa Coffee Shop (lemon tarts are delicious) and we were ready for the return journey. Driving back we could see our snow covered hills in the distance and we arrived back just after a blizzard according to the lady in the fish and chip shop where I bought our speedy lunch.
I intended to take a photograph of our crocus-covered village green as we drove through the village. Well, here are two photographs of the village's Main Street and green - but you will have to imagine to crocus as there is two or three inches of snow covering them.
As I write this three hours later it is snowing again but warm weather is promised for the day after tomorrow lasting into the week--end. So Spring really is on its way.