21st January ~ Rain!!!!!

animated image found on tumblr, creator unknown

It began raining last evening and has not let up since. Not a hard rain, but just constant enough to be annoying and keep us indoors. Birds are not deterred though - Wrens are particularly active and we have our Finches back!

Bobbles of Blossom

I was asked to provide pictures of the almond blossom that is scattered across the hillsides, and so here is a selection.

The little patches of pale pink dotted around the place are the almond trees

Bee already at work

A ribbon of almond trees draped across the hillside

Some trees are still budding...

...whilst others already have green shoots and the blossom is dying off. 
Maroma is seen in the background.


20th January

I woke up two hours ago (the first time) with a splitting sinus headache from what I assume is yet another approaching storm/weather front. It is presently sunny and bright - a crisp 5c/35f but something is brewing or I'd not feel like my head was about to explode.

The birds seem unaware of any impending rain as they are all very chirpy this morning, which reminds me that they no doubt need their feeder refilled.

The below freezing temps over the past few nights have finally done in all of my potted plants except for the hardy Pansies.

The chilliness and overcast outlook of the last few days went into hiding during the night. Clear blue skies, just the faintest puffs of cloud sitting over the coast, and a warming sun made the dog walk longer than planned. That isn't a problem, means quieter dogs until the hour of 5 when dinner and a second walk is demanded, and the chance to enjoy the foothills decorated with pale pink bobbles of almond trees bearing blossom.
Now, with glasses perched on the end of my nose, a full inkpen and notebook in hand, I am off to sit in the sun and write about Rome. It was boiling hot on the August day of 2006 that I am writing about - I remember it well as it is the day I discovered Bernini and that I was mistaken for a gyspy as I sat in the shade of a street corner to recover with a scarf on my head to protect my hair. Not my finest sartorial hour but it will bring some humour into the writing. And so, onwards!

20th January

A bit dull & grey outside, but it is so mild! The hazel tree is laden with catkins; snowdrops & daffs are starting to push their way up through the ground, buds are swelling on trees and shrubs; the garden is alive with birds - as I type I can hear a pigeon cooing, a blackbird singing, sparrows cheeping, and some tits. Dawn produced the wren singing a morning serenade outside my bedroom window.
The fish are feeding in my pond (they did go down the bottom for a couple of days earlier in the week when it turned cold)
I've no doubt it will go suddenly cold & we'll get the dreaded snow - but at the moment Spring is waking up.

On another note: came across this blog
Is Weather Important in Fiction?

Very good article


19th January

sad day for me - 20 years ago today my dad passed away. Miss him lots.
Weather wise - I remember that day very well, the few days before it had been a bit icy with a layer of snow up at the stable yard (not in town)
That day though, was cold but bright.
We had arranged to take my daughter & her friend to see some Lipizzaner horses in Somerset - even though I had been at the hospital all night with Mum we still decided to go so as to not disappoint the kids.

 Looking back I think I must have been in shock. A 3 hour drive there.... but I remember driving past Stonehenge and it was a beautiful bright sparkly day with the sun gleaming on odd patches of pure white snow.
I also vividly remember my Dad waving goodbye as he was wheeled from the ambulance into the hospital.
Better stop or I'll start crying.
Miss you Dad x


My eyes are like pinpricks this morning, the wind did it's best to keep me awake all night as it howled round the house. I am always amazed at how little moves considering it sounds like Armageddon! What the wind has moved are the clouds. Except for a band of pure white across the top of Maroma the sky is clear. Maroma has a sprinkling of snow across it's ridge and the hillsides overnight have recovered some of their greenness.

Yesterday the clouds were far from photogenic, but the appearance of a rainbow as we neared the end of a dog walk was good enough reason to get the camera out.


16th January

Feel a bit better today - took one look out the window at the frost and went back to my nice warm and cosy bed - decided I'd stay ill for another day!


The much forecast rain has just arrived. It is not particularly heavy but my former self-assuredness (cockiness?) is dissolving as the wind blows the rain into my woodpile, slowly soaking it. Knew I should have invested in some tarpaulin...

Cloud and rain descend