There’s always that one day. That taste-of-spring day that comes along and takes us all by surprise.
It may be February, but no one has told the weather.
The sun shines, the wind is light. Snowdrops start to appear and birds sing at the top of their voices like winter is a distant memory. For those stolen hours the world is full of promise and hope.
“Winter is gone” we cry, “turn off the heating!”.
Luckily, the spring-like day coincided with a winter weekend opening of Brownsea Island so we jumped in the car, leapt on a boat and explored the island.
If you get off the boat and turn right just above the church instead of following the rest of the visitors you end up on a quiet stroll through the woodland out to the back of the island. Here old steps wind down a steep cliff onto the beaches overlooking Poole Quay.
Wandering along a beach in the South of England where there are no other footprints in the sand is quite a novelty and so we stay, sand-bound for a while, collecting shells and generally mooching along to Pottery Pier, and then on around towards South Shore Lodge.
But here, a week later I’m sat at the desk. The rain is lashing the windows, sounding like pebbles on corrugated iron, and the fire is lit. We may have had a pause, been lulled into a false sense of security for one day, but despite the daffodils on the estate just starting to come out and the blackthorn I saw in bloom yesterday it’s not time to turn off the heating yet.
Winter ain’t done with us yet.