Monday, 15 February 2016


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.


Barbara said...

I must agree with you about February!
At least it's halfway done.
Stay warm.

Heather said...

February is indeed a cruel month but I think the poet might be right about April. By then we are expecting sunshine, a few gentle showers and warmer days, but can so easily get quite the opposite.
Your mention of the two farm cats who sleep wrapped round each other reminds me of the day we chose our cat from a litter of kittens. He was sleeping on a chair with one of his brothers and I felt like a criminal for only taking one of them.

Joanne Noragon said...

My mother, who even had a February birthday, said it is the longest month of the year. I've always agreed with that.

Mac n' Janet said...

February is always the coldest month here. I don't like walking in the rain for fear of falling, so like you I stay in.

Cro Magnon said...

We were promised -3C for this morning. It's now 6am and still dark, so I don't know if they were correct or not. It doesn't feel that cold.

Derek Faulkner said...

We are in synch regarding February Pat and indeed, being creatures of habit. I always get up at around 05.15 and always go to bed at around 10.15 and so on and on.

Librarian said...

It's colder here now than what it was all through December and January, I think. No snow (which I am grateful for) but lots of flowers (aconites, snowdrops, crocus and primroses) in people's gardens, and the birds are very active and sing beautifully already.
I don't think I find any month "longer" than the others. In fact, I like the idea that this February, we are given an extra day - time is precious, and it feels like a gift to me: One more day I can live my life!
Your editing job sounds great. I love doing that.

Maria said...

Venetian proverb: "a February's Spring does not fill the granary". Greetings Maria x

thelma said...

I suspect the only thing to like about this cold weather, that it is normal for the time of the year, never forget all that rain we have had over the two months before February and the terrible flooding. And of course Spring is just that bit nearer!

The Cranky said...

February? Despise it with every fibre of my being.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I agree that February can be a brutal month! That's remarkable that you have had those barn cats for that amount of time! You must look after them well, even if they are catching most of their own dinners. -Jenn

Frances said...

Weaver, you've painted a very good picture of February's not so charming aspects. Back in the last century, the United States used to have two national holidays during February, Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday. Many employers honored those days off, although they also became occasions for shops to have sales. Well, now the two have been combined to create one Monday, called Presidents Day which rarely falls on either former President's birthday. It does yield a three-day weekend for some folks.

In the continuing parade of winter weather, our weekend deep freeze has been followed by some warming, then some afternoon snow, and now we are due many hours of steady rain. I hope that you all won't receive any of this rain. You've had enough!

When I returned home from an errand yesterday, I did hear lots of very loud bird chattering, so there might be some NYC birds still celebrating Valentine's Day.

I really appreciate hearing about how you and the farmer manage the challenges and opportunities of each season. xo

Anonymous said...

I like the new header. Weather not too bad here. You made it all sound very cosy up there!