Never did see such a thing in March, in my recollection anyway. Started last Monday night,
driving straight into the back windows, and continued all through Tuesday,
so the back garden and terrace looked like this. Note paw prints.
Mol likes the idea of snow, and continually asks to go out in it,
though the reality of cold wet paws and snow between the pads is less appealing.
There was a powerful wind through the night it came down, so in places it drifted very deeply.
The birds were very hungry, and we still hadn't any birdseed, so they ate a lot of bread, porridge oats and hulled sunflower seeds. Their need was greater than ours.
The robin, two of them in fact, Mr and Mrs presumably, since they are aggressively territorial amongst themselves, was very much in evidence,
These aren't great bird photos, but it's always fun to watch them at these times (and I've noticed American readers are always curious about European robins and how different they are from American ones). The blue and great tits (that's a blue tit in the pic above, the great tits, which my Dutch friend E has been known to call in English 'big tits', have black heads and a black chest stripes) took advantage of the fat balls in the feeder,
the finches looked up enviously from the ground below.
and after a time one or two greenfinches, in spite of their bulk and lack of agility compared with the tits, had a go at eating from the feeder.
The snow stayed with us here in the hills for longer than anywhere. An afternoon's teaching was cancelled on the Wednesday - I didn't fancy the roads still and the student had barely been back at school anyway and had little to work on - and postponed a visit to H in St Brieuc until the Friday. I read a lot, mostly Victor Hugo's The Laughing Man (thanks Joe). I think I quite like Victor Hugo, as French classic novelists go, for, try as I might to get on with them, they mostly seem to me a bitter and twisted lot. I've heard it said their are writers who love and writers who hate, and an elderly student of mine, an enthusiast for Balzac himself, after we had been reading some Dickens, (in fact the passage in Great Expectations when Pip first meets Miss Haversham, and you don't really get much more bitter and twisted than that) said that 'Dickens was a writer who loved, Balzac was a writer who hated'. I think perhaps it's a very fine line, and the resulting love or hatred very often comes from the same impulse to compassion. Hugo was perhaps more a writer who loved; I just wish it didn't always end up so morbid and melancholy with him. I'm not sure all writers either love or hate, some are just quite dispassionately interested, and some just have an eye to what will sell.
I also decided this was the moment to teach myself to knit socks, which I have been meaning to do for a long time. It's very difficult and very slow for me, but deeply compulsive. I have not finished my first sock yet (it's very thin wool and 2mm needles) and I am trying not to think about the fact that I will necessarily have to repeat the whole procedure. As I am not someone who can knit and read, I have listened to quite a lot of radio, notably Roger McGough's fun and funny translation/version of Moliere's The Misanthrope performed at Powys Castle on Radio 3, (the link is to the ETT's site for the performance, since the Listen Again is about to expire and there doesn't seem to be a podcast, which is a shame), and a lovely programme about RS Thomas and birdwatching. I shall perhaps feature the socks if and when they are completed.
And now there is scarcely a sliver of snow left in the ditches; I saw stitchwort and even a few forget-me-knots coming into flower, and the robins have resumed singing like mad.
I've set myself a modest blogging challenge this year: the beginning of November will see Box Elder's seventh birthday, and I am some fifty-five posts short of a thousand posts. If I can average a steady couple of posts a week, I should be able to effect a simultaneous seven years and thousand posts by the required date, and at the same time perhaps encourage a bit limbering and strengthening of the blogging muscles for me, which can't be bad...