It seems we might just be seeing the end of one of the most drawn-out winters, with the prospect of double-digit temperatures on Sunday. In actual fact we seem to have got away quite lightly here in Norfolk, particularly because we missed out on the heavy snow a couple of weeks ago. That said, it's clear that not only is new growth in the gardens, trees and hedges noticeably late, there look likely to be high numbers of plant casualties.
Before the cold it was the wet, with seemingly nowhere exempt from an excess of ground water. The last few weeks of persistent dry cold have changed that and nowhere is the rapidity of recovery more noticeable than on Norton Marsh, where the paths have dried out to be replaced by a hard and cracked crust. Despite reports of the impact all this has on life and business, visitors continue to head our way - although there have been moments when it's been hard to conceal surprise that there's anyone out there for pleasure. However, my daily perambulations at the Staithe and out to Gun Hill always serve to remind just why they continue to come.
Not many are lucky enough to have this on their doorstep - and that's on one of the coldest days. On a good day it's just extraordinary.
The downside to the apparent farewell to winter is, of course that it's less likely that you get it all to yourself!