We’re now into February and are glad to see the back of another winter month (January). One small step towards Spring.

We’ve had three consecutive sunny, but cold, days which brings thoughts of travelling to the fore and so we think about zooming around the country once again this year. But this means that, first, we go back to last year for the places that we planned to visit and didn’t because of the unsettled weather.

‘Stay Away’ trips:

Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Peterborough, Northamptonshire
Glastonbury, Somerset (We did visit but the weather was too bad for photographs)
Oxford, Oxfordshire
Swanage, Dorset
The Isle of Wight

The first two in the list have been carried over from 2007.

To those we have now added:

Inkpen Hill, Berkshire
Frome, Somerset
The Roaches and Lud’s Church, Staffordshire
Hathersage and Burbage Edge, Derbyshire
Hadrian’s Wall, Cumbria
York, Yorkshire

Day trips:

Dunwich Heath and Coast, Suffolk
Diss, Norfolk
Grantchester, Cambridgeshire

We don’t expect to visit all these places this year and for the long distance trips, such as Dorset and Cumria, we would want a forecast of stable good weather for at least five days. If this summer is anything like 2009 and 2008 then those long distance trips are unlikely to happen.

We plan to make numerous day trips to London by train this year as we’ve purchased a Network Rail Card which covers the whole of the south-east and cost £25.00. This card gives us 33% off all rail fares in that region which includes London. We’ve already used it once when we went up to London to meet Marie last November and when we use it again next time it will have paid for itself and we start to make a profit.

It seems amazing that we can now say “We start travelling next month”. We are hoping to meet our Italian friend Antonello who is staying in Constable Country at the end of March. That’s about the time that the Blackthorn blossom appears in the hedgerows in this part of the country.

We had a lovely Blackthorn tree on our front border and this is part of it:

However when we had a lot of snow recently the weight of it on the Blackthorn caused it to lean over to the point that it was blocking one of our gateways so it had to be drastically trimmed. It’s now no more than a tall stump but, hopefully, it will eventually re-grow.

I shall look forward to the time that our local Blackthorn hedges blossom once again. Then it will be Spring.