When it rains properly, instead of the usual desultory dripping, it forms a shining crescent in front of the house around the circular lawn. I enjoy it from the bathroom window, sometimes by moonlight, before going down to see what the raingauge says. Very occasionally (but this takes half a day’s downpour) we get a shining circle. To see the beauty of puddles you must live where they are rare, and it feels as though the past year has been as arid as any since we moved in to Saling.
But it hasn’t. When I tot up all the drips and dribbles in the rain gauge 2011 gave us a total of 21 inches; five inches more than our driest year, 1976. The most striking figure to come out of the statistics is the steadily mild temperature. It is ten months since we had anything more than a ground frost. March 15, 2011 to January 20, 2012 is an extraordinary run.
I was surprised enough to make our summer-bedding marguerites, still going strong, a Flower of the Week back in November. Here they still are in January, not actually flowering, but apparently so hardened off that they’ll do for next summer.
Remind me who it was who said that England doesn’t have a climate; it has weather. The past twelve months have proved them wrong – there’s hardly been any weather at all.