Ray is steaming ahead. Literally. In this cold air breath comes in cloudy puffs as wind whips flurries of snow off the verges and plucks a mourneful chord on the telegraph wires. G Minor I reckon but I really wouldn’t know. Whatever, it’s cold, bleak and very unseasonal.



Welcome to Spring, said the sign at the RSPB’s Loch Leven reserve with no hint of  irony. We had stopped off on our way here to buy food for the birds, but it looks as if the sack will have to stay in the back of the car.




Welcome to Pond Cottage? We’ve seen snow in March before but this is heavier than we remember. The snow plough has cleared the road creating  high and icy walls on either side. Just to make sure we can’t get the car into the gateway, the wind has piled a drift of snow at least three feet deep.


DR Zhivago


Arriving at Dr Zhivago’s hide-out. Pond Cottage in Varykino mode.  We had a magical New Year three years ago when Ray had to bring the tractor to unload the car, carrying two bewildered cats along with the booze and food for a week’s holiday warmed by the woodburning stove inside and a sense of a big adventure outside.  But this is Easter.  Two weeks ago we were pruning hedges, burning great bonfires, planning to dig the ground.




The swans are very pleased to see us.  They have been here for a couple of months now and started building a nest a few weeks back.  Ducks have been coming and going for a few weeks too. Testosterone was definitely rising among the drakes. I hope their attempts at mating have been unproductive. Ducklings wouldn’t stand a chance in this weather.




All right for some. The witch hazel has had a very good winter and the cold snap seems to be giving it a new lease of life. Heartbreaking though for farmers and food growers battling for lives and livelihoods against killer temperatures.  This is the harsh reality of climate change for all of us.




But spring can’t be long now?  I posted that Welcome to Spring picture from Loch Leven on Twitter. Two days later there was a nice tweet back from the RSPB: “Haha we put that up a couple of weeks ago when it was warm & sunny! Seems like admitting defeat to take it down. spring WILL come!” Happy Easter one and all.