Two weeks ago, it was wall to wall blue sky and the garden was looking like it might be thinking about spring. Indeed, the fennel was well into new growth. As ever this has proved to be somewhat of an illusion and a dusting of snow overnight on the Sunday was followed by some more significant snow on Monday evening.
As ever, the roads in north west Norfolk seem to be admirably cared for by the gritting teams - for which they seem to get little praise - and there was no problem in leaving for London on the Tuesday morning. The difference between dealing with snow on lightly trafficked rural roads and busy urban ones was highlighted later the same day, when Norwich quickly became gridlocked during a heavy snowfall in the early afternoon. Predictably there was a very British outcry but if the roads are already full of traffic there is little any gritter or snowplough can do.
Further snowfall, heavy and light, forecast and unforeseen coupled with some low temperatures has punctuated life both in London and Norfolk over the last two weeks with dire consequences for the optimists in the garden as well as the number of visitors to both galleries.
Hardly surprising in the case of the latter for even though Norfolk's roads have been pretty good, the pavements have been a somewhat less attractive proposition.
Yesterday, the predicted sting in the tail failed to materialise - in Norfolk if not on the M6 - the garden heaved a gentle sigh as the snow began to melt and the visitors returned - en masse. An overnight thaw produced a miraculous transformation today - back to blue skies and very hard to find even a trace of the white stuff. A brief excursion to the recycling centre was a delight. Fantastic light, no traffic to speak of and the north Norfolk coast looking fabulous as ever.
One point of note, the River Burn which I had confidently reassured visitors about only 3 weeks ago is looking pretty full. Which is probably good news... but, as the last couple of weeks has shown and as we found last February, that is probably not the end of it. My guess is a couple of weeks of wind and rain, and then maybe just a little more cold before the Fennel can be back about its business.