The poet said the April is the cruelest month, but I would argue with that and say that I think February takes that title. At the end of January it is easy to think that Spring is almost here. The snowdrops are out, the aconites are out and a few primroses in sheltered spots. Then along comes February even more cruel than usual this year with that extra day.
Today there has been snow. Not a lot but accompanied by a North East wind which has made it feel bitterly cold. The sun has shone throughout the day and by late afternoon the snow had largely disappeared apart from in sheltered spots where the sun couldn't get.
Now, in early evening, the moon is shining and there is a hard frost. I have not ventured out. I live in fear of falling on the ice, but apart from that I had lots to do.
Monday is almost always my day for staying at home. As friend G remarked recently, I am a creature of habit. Monday is the day I do the week's washing and ironing and put it up on the airer over the Aga.
Late morning a friend called. He has written a commentary to accompany a book of his etchings (he is one of the foremost etchers in the country) and has kindly asked me to edit it for him. I look forward to doing this greatly - food for the mind.
I made a start this afternoon and am now going to look through it and check the metre and the rhyming scheme.
We are all shut up for the evening. The hens are in. The farm cats have been fed and hopefully are in the barn with the hay, where they should be snug and warm in spite of the outside temperature. Sometimes the farmer sees them still asleep early in the morning, and they sleep wrapped around one another. I can't bear to think what will happen when one of them goes (they are about eleven years old) - the other one will be bereft; they have been together since they came to us at six weeks old (from a farm down the road which had just too many semi-wild cats). They are both excellent at catching rats, mice and especially baby rabbits.
See you tomorrow.