Well, it's official. Somerset IS the new Belgium. FACT.
Trevor, Martyn, James, Dave and I went for a ride today, planned to be longer than we could stand, but finished longer than I thought I could bear. It was windy. Very. It was wet. It hailed. But in the interlude of a respite in the lean-to in from of Sweet's café (apostrophe correctly-positioned, so no need for the grammar fascists to start tutting) we warmed our souls, and more importantly, our clothes, in front of the wood-burner, and dreamt of warmer days and climes to come. And climbs.
But be warned. Stupidity lurks in the heart of us all, even when warned I still forgot to remove my hat from the source of warmth in time to prevent melting. I then compounded my idiocy, and doubled the mirth, by testing the heat of the melted garment with my finger. Still, the hat proved to be very adept at cleaning my chain. That's not a metaphor.
The way back was every bit as brutal as the way there, and poor James, with a ride to North Petherton to look forward to, into the teeth of the beast of the gale, opted for the age-old option of all of us when faced with difficulty. HE called at his parents' house for a lift back. At least, I hope he did. Young, fit, talented and immune to the cold he may be, but 15 miles in today's headwind I would wish on nobody. Even a Chelski supporter.
But worry not about this weather. From the top of Mudgley Hill even parts of the levels around Blackford are now submerged, although nothing like those in the Sandstone-ringed and Blackdown & Quantock-fed basin near Langport. Inimitable signs of Spring are already here, if you know where to look. In this case, my garden. The snowdrops are bursting through the carapace of Winter in full strength. I feel the warmth of March in the mists of my imagination.
Meanwhile, if you are struggling to see through the end of your Winter, real or metaphorical, this is for you.
Now, here's the blog in pictures: