Strange times and strange weather……


The morning walk was unusually quiet, the occasional dog walker… all of us keeping our distance. As for the day itself it was rather grand.  Lone skeletons of winters trees seemed even more stark.  Elsewhere signs of springs arrival are becoming more obvious. The first early buds of Blossom are starting to burst. Along with the Crocus, Lilly of the Valley are sending up lush green leaves, even the Aspen has some swelling buds atop its tracery of branches.  It is a rather nice seasonal mix that can only get better..

Just to prove that Spring is nearly here  I came across this Camelia bloom, I hope the first of many more to come….


Spring may well be on the way but those colourful signs of autumn are still to be found.


Buster was just content to sit in the sun and count the squares. As for that sun well it was rather warm.  In the shelter the thermometer read a pleasant 14c.


14th March

(C) David Oakes 2020


Moody Monday…… Cabin Fever


For the very first time in my life I am starting to get to know what the early signs of  Cabin Fever could be like.

From Autumn last year, this Winter has been consistently wet and windy, dark grey monochrome days.  Then  just the occasional sunny day to give you hope that one day Spring will arrive.  OK, I am not cabin bound. I am still able to venture out each day (Buster ensures we go for walkies daily) but it’s that routine of fleece, heavy duty waterproofs and boots that seems to make the daily ventures out a task to be endured. I also know that there are many who have to endure much worse…. but I now do appreciate that SAD can be a real problem for many.

Floods have not directly effect us,  for many nearby it has been a disaster, the worst floods recorded… for us it was just an inconvenience in any journey we had to make by seeking alternative route.  It just adds to that  feeling of restrictions.

Nor can we suggest that Winter was what we once considered normal.  No snow and only the occasional morning light frost.  Just wet, windy and grey.

The bad weather has also prevented any brief relief such as venturing into the garden just to potter about and tackle those tidying up jobs prior to the new Spring growing season, so no respite there.

Then just as we think Spring and brighter weather will be on the way we have the possibilities of movement restrictions.  Coronavirus pops up.  So far that is not an issue of direct imminent concern here but situations can change very quickly.

But to finish on a brighter note this morning is sunny so we are heading out to stretch our legs….. and here is a bright bit of early morning sunshine hiding in a corner of our garden…


Best be quick as the Met Office say another storm is due tonight.

9th March

(C) David Oakes 2020


Cold but Sunny ……



Stanton Moor, Derbyshire

After what has seemed endless grey days of rain it is so nice to see a clear blue sky and sunshine. Still cold…. but the wind has dropped so that sun has a chance to warm the bones.

Whilst we are a little way off the Spring Equinox, I guess we can take some encouragement that the Meteorological Office insist that March 1st was the official  start of Spring.

2nd March

(C) David Oakes 2020

Mummy Can I go and Play on the Swings ?


Of course dear just so long as you put on your swimming costume….


Well that was a weekend to remember. Gales and very heavy rains. Flooding in most parts of the country, some very much worse than here.

The sun did pop out for brief look around, just long enough for Buster and I to have a walkies…. obviously muddy underfoot but at least w didn’t get wet. Not that we were going for a picnic, that would have been a problem….


Just up stream from here the River Derwent has overflowed its banks but here most of this flood water is from the sky. Taking a look at the weir here at Darley Abbey Mills there is still some headroom for the river but it is clear that the head waters will soon reach here and no doubt add to the floods…


It is also a good job that it isn’t the Cricket Season as there is no chance of play today….or for some time..



The forecast for the week does not sound good…. whilst Storm Dennis will leave us sometime Monday the remainder of the week looks decidedly wet.

17th February

(C) David Oakes 2020