Monday, 11 January 2010


I left in a thunderstorm, one of those the Highveld is known for. Sunrise was at Doha, where everything seemed to be the colour of sand. Even the sky, although I imagined I could smell the Persian Gulf in the mist that hovered over everything. Most of Europe was hidden under cloud, it lifted just east of London, revealing a country covered in snow. Everywhere. White, with dark trees poking through, here and there a steely lake. More white. It might still be a response growing up with dusty, grey winter, or a reflection of the eurocentric children's books we read, but snow remains amazing. Or maybe I like the landscape simplified.

I had missed the actual precipitation, so the snow is older, staler, and more crunchy than soft. It's not warm enough to melt properly, so our road has turned into an icy slide. (Hip, shoulder, arm and wrist are all quite bruised). I've never had a white garden though.

Bits of grass are poking up through the snow, the garlic seems quite happy too. I can still dig out some frozen rocket, while the sage is still sagey. The chickens are scratching around on frozen ground, frustrated by their eternally frozen water bowl. The quails seem to huddle and wait.

We're planning this year's crop. This weather calls for root vegetables.

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