Once the Christmas festivities are over and winter is well into its stride, it is a consolation to know that the days are getting longer.
Each day there is an evergrowing glimmer of daylight, a hint to the changing of the seasons. The postie arrives at 5pm every day to pick up our parcels - and this too has gone from dark to light.
The next portent of Spring are the snowdrops, only a few at first, seemingly huddling together for warmth, their delicate heads nodding in the wind. Surely too cold for them to survive? But survive they do, and soon the verges and the forest floor are wearing a mantle of white.