In the first weeks of the year, our hilltop has seen extremes of weather.
Overnight hailstorms a few weeks ago left the ground white with up to an inch of hailstones, as though the earth had been dusted with snow; in the crisp sunshine it was mid-afternoon before the drifts of ice melted away.
There have been gale-force winds, torrential rain and hail, and terrible thunderstorms. Falling trees have left us without power for a few hours of darkness, and the lightning in the small hours one night struck our hilltop such that the very house seemed to shake to its foundations. In the morning we learnt that that particular strike had landed a stone’s throw from us, tearing a hole in a nearby roof (nobody was harmed, bar a little smoke inhalation). A close shave indeed for us!
While the daffodils continue to dance merrily along the front boundary, glorious in the cool sunshine of the clear days, it is a couple of months still before spring truly frees us of winter’s grasp. I wonder what weather these months will bring yet!