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I am not given to outbursts of religious fervour – in fact I don’t think I’ve ever had one – but praise the Lord, because March 1st brought sunshine. Our entire family – human and animal – has been weighed down by seasonal affective disorder as we sloshed through the gloom, filth, torrents, snow, ice and general shit for months. And then sunshine.

The pigs basked against a hedge like vast hairy elephant seals; the sheep ventured out of the yard to look at what might actually be grass; the cats took up a sunny perch on top of a pile of pallets; even the chickens did a bit of pecking. Only the rabbits were unaware, locked as they are in the greenhouse. Although I suppose it got a bit hot in there.

Naturally this has brought on a different anxiety, which is that the hedgerow plants will now take vigorous root before I can dig them up and plant them. The wind has torn up their weed matting of course, and I can’t find the copper pegs anywhere. Provided the weather holds we might actually start planting this weekend. Although of course it will probably rain.

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