Posted by Tania Kindersley.
It's a misty, murky old day, but I was never so happy to be home. I am back in my muddy old gumboots; red patent shoes are but a dreamy memory. I am making chicken soup and watching the dogs scoot about for rabbits in the woods. Sometimes, when one goes away for a very few days, one returns to find dramatic natural changes. This has not happened this time. The snowdrops are looking more determined than when I went away, but everything else is still blatantly brown and bare. There is not even the whiff of a daffodil. It is, resolutely, February. But there is one tiny change, and that is that the birds are starting to sing their heads off. They are chasing each other about over the beech hedge, rehearsing the courting rituals of spring. So there is one hopeful harbinger.
Luckily, after a week on the smoky streets of the big city, I don't care how drack everything looks. It's my dear old place, and it does not need to put on its pomp for me, because I love it just the way it is.
Tangled ornamental cherry:
The winter-flowering viburnum, cheering everything up:
The woods were out of focus, because the light was so gloomy that my poor camera could not deal with it, but I think they look rather lovely anyway:
The burn is bursting its banks:
The gloom, in all its melancholy glory:
And the clouds rolling over the trees like smoke:
But never mind, because I have my dear little garden gate:
And the delicate beech leaves:
AND OF COURSE THE LADYSHIPS:
(What were you doing, running around in the south during fashion week, when you have the highest example of elegance and chic right here? Is clearly what they are thinking. And they would be quite right.)
The hill today is quite lost in the clouds, but it will come back when it is ready:
The only sadness about the clouds is that they will obscure the promised Northern Lights. The sun is throwing off outrageous amounts of hurling light and energy at the moment, which, for special scientific reasons I cannot quite follow, leads to unusually splendid aurora borealis. Somewhere, above the cloud cover, a light show is taking place, which I shall not be able to see. But who knows? Maybe tomorrow the sky will clear.