Mild, changeable and wonderfully unpredictable.
Well, where do I begin? This year has been festooned with so much unpredictability that it seems totally reasonable to be talking about it.
We had plenty of rain early in the year, then blizzards and now drought. As farmers our lives are dominated by the weather and the ground conditions it brings and we're always watching the weather forecasts. A wonderful piece of research found that 94% of British respondents admit to having conversed about the weather in the past six hours, while 38% say they have in the past 60 minutes. Meaning that at almost any moment in this country, at least a third of the population is either talking about the weather, has already done so or is about to do so!
We talk about weather as it has consequences. What will we wear, what will we take with us, will the grass grow, will our stock be happy and safe?
It also affects our mood. Whilst sunshine usually lifts the sprits and makes us happy and cheerful, too much heat, especially over a prolonged period can make us irritable! That's just what we've got right now - irritiable, grumpy cattle! They want long, lush, fresh green grass and cooler weather. Unfortunatley they're having to make do with winter rations, very hard ground conditions and so many flies - it drives them to drink - lots! I've even witnessed some of them totally dunking their heads in the water troughs to cool down and get rid of the flies.
We hope the weather is being kind to you and you're doing plenty of talking about it! Our guests are certainly enjoying their dips in the pool and hiding in the shade in the garden.
All these photos were taken down by Lutley Bridge at different stages of the year - all so different. What will it be like when you next visit?