Here in the northern hemisphere we do get quite short days, although not as short as those farther north. Even Scotland, just 400 miles away, has days that are shorter than here. It isn't pleasant driving home from work in the dark, especially as most street lighting is abysmal but after a few journeys it seems to become the order of the day and everyone just gets on with it. However, just one month after the shortest day it is apparent that the days are lengthening. Daylight stays for a little longer each day and the mornings start with more than a glimpse of light. January passes quickly and everyone's thoughts turn to spring, to bulbs pushing through the cold ground and giving us glimpses of colour to come. The snowdrops, often the first to appear, remind us, though, that maybe the cold is not yet gone.
And so we move into February. Are we safe? Is winter over?
My family will vouch for the fact that I have always said that February is the most dangerous and cruel month. March comes so soon after a short month, that we can be forgiven for thinking it has almost arrived! However in my experience the weather of February has so often taken us by surprise,
When I think of February I always think of snow......
We live in the south of England. The north downs end just a short distance from where I am now sitting. It is a very sheltered area thanks to the proximity of the downs. We can often drive across into Farnham to find that the weather is completely different, it is often raining there when quite dry here, and it doesn't often happen in reverse. Consequently, when snow was forecast for today we didn't really expect much at all. In all fairness we haven't had much, but we have had enough to ensure that I won't go out. It's too cold and, frankly, I hate snow.......
This photograph was taken this morning. It is our front gate, and I used the zoom to get this close! You see we haven't had much snow, but the way it is sticking to the wrought ironwork is rather pretty, isn't it. So how can this amount fill me with such dread and a determination not to leave the house? Northerners will presume it is because I am a namby pamby southerner, but that is not so!
I have been stuck in snow. I know what it is like to be caught for longer than I wish to remember in snow. I have been snowed into a house with no way of escape unless by way of shovel (a spade would have been useless). I have driven through snow drifts that reached half way up the car sides. I have even been driven, in a bus, through snow that reached above its height, and, frankly, I hated every moment. I have even been snowed into a town with no way of escape for 10 days.
So when I say 'I hate snow' I'm probably not making myself quite clear. Maybe now you will have a better indication of what's behind the statement.
Oh, yes, and I forgot to mention - all these 'escapades' happened in February................