Jonathan: Last week was glorious with sunshiine and all the promise of spring – we even decided to take down the protective weather boards from the greenhouses early (we usually do so when the clocks go forward – another three weeks). But this week has been a return to winter. Just yesterday we endured a westerly wind (constantly bullying us for hours then suddenly drop away to flat calm), hail, rain, snow and even brief spells of wan sunshine. Last night as we sat in front of a a calm and soothing fire – we’d just been saying to eachother that the weather had calmed down, when the house was struck suddenly by a gust of wind that shook the house and whipped the fire up to a roaring frenzy. I say ‘gust’, but it continued right through the night, backing slowly round until – as I write now in the morning – banks of cloud are scudding out of the north-west, and it is edging on severe gale force. There was no post yesterday due to bad weather affecting flights, and I doubt again today: this is frustrating as there are several tasks we have in hand which are held up for want of key materials. Lookiing at the Met Office forecast just now, the storm is probably now at its worst, but there’s more of the same to come over the next few days: I may even decide to put the greenhouse protection back up again: what with taking it off again in a fortnight or so (we usually leave it on until the clocks go forward) that will mean a whole day lost.
Jonathan: Exceptional high tides right now – a combination of spring tides, low atmospheric pressue and an unrelenting wind from the south east. Our own beach this morning was reduced to a narrow sliver of sand at the foot of the dunes, the high-point marked by a line of bladder-wrack. Over in Eriskay, a small prominotory was within an inch or so of becoming an island – a narrow neck of land with sea-water between the blades of grass.
Jonathan: Yes February – not April (as TS Eliot would have it) – is the cruelist month. February teases us with a few settled days of warming sunshine, daffodils fit to burst into flower, and that perennial hope of spring surging in our veins … and then here we are again, buffeted and bruised by wind, the world all a weary grey and if it isn’t raining right now it’s sure to make up for that oversight very soon!