The weather has turned mild and wet — Atlantic weather, which we’re pleased to see after bucketloads of Arctic. And just today, the first of the snowdrops has come out! There’s a spot on the bank which must be particularly warm and sheltered, because they’re always the harbingers, and there they are, nodding their little white heads. This early in the year, a wonderful reminder that yes, there will be spring eventually, and that the other bulbs are starting to push their snouts up. I bought myself a little present today — I’d gone into a householdy sort of shop to buy a large mixing bowl, and was beguiled by a display of batteryless torches on the counter. I acquired one of these ingenious items — you generate the power yourself by squeezing it periodically as you walk along, wheels whir and whiz round inside it, and the light goes on. If you stop squeezing, the light gradually dies, but it can be revived again in a moment. It really seems like a very good idea, and the light is quite bright.