Blackthorn winter Posted on April 20, 2010

The blackthorns have never put up a braver show. They line the edges of the field and woods with frothing white blossom in heaps haystack high. What happened to its own winter? It missed the cold weather, delayed its flowering and connected with the same premature summer weather as the Iceland Volcano. It is an easy period of calm: the silent skies are blue from horizon to horizon. The garden is rushing as though it had missed its alarm clock and has a train to catch. Spring always unfolds too quickly to enjoy all the details, but this month is inducing panic.

Characteristically the weather forecast, morning after morning, proclaims anothernice day, temperatures struggling a bit perhaps, a touch of frost at dawn, but fine and dry. There is no one at Barometer House capable of making the connection between fine weather and cancelled flights. Like passengers in the 18th century, waiting at Dover for a westerly to fill the sails of the Channel Packet, we urgently need the Atlantic to reassert itself over the Continent, give us a gale and blow away the stubborn high pressure north east of us – and the ash with it.

Most springs we have the same; a couple of weeks, sometimes three, of a cutting east wind, no rain, and a general feeling that we’re ready to move on. We can’t this week; certainly not by air, until Zephyrus stirs his stumps.

But the Met Office thinks we’re only interested in the banality of sunshine.

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