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The days are finally getting longer and with that, we have had snow. Last weekend and this, there has been a serious sprinkling of the white stuff that causes the country to grind to a halt, schools to shut and transport to stop running. How is it that other countries manage to keep things moving? I don’t remember schools closing because of snow when I was a child. Have we become such a wrapped-in-cotton-wool nation that we can’t walk to school in case we happen to slip? The “Safety Elf” has a great deal to answer for. If anyone had the notion to invade, now would be the time to do it. We would be completely helpless. We really do not seem able to cope with the simplest things – a leaf on the line, too much rain or not enough, nothing seems to be right and nothing, absolutely nothing can be done without deferring to ‘Elf and Safety!

With days getting longer, hopefully warmer weather will not be far behind. We can shed the layers which make us look like the Michelin Man and opt for lighter fabrics, windows can be opened without the risk of hypothermia, and walking dogs becomes less of a chore and more of a joy, although of course the dogs don’t really care what the weather is like, and the muddier the better.

Summer holiday plans are being made, although not for me. My busiest pet sitting period is during the summer. If I do go anywhere it tends to be off-season. What I look forward to in the summer, is dining al-fresco. Lots of lovely salads and fruits filled with the essence of the season. I became particularly keen on the salads I ate in Jordan a couple of years ago. They grow the most gorgeous tomatoes in the Wadi Rum region, along with other salad stuff all of which is fabulous and fresh. A typical lunch: Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Mutabel, Fattoush, Tabouleh and often a deep fried cheese pastry and plenty of fresh fruit and that is just for starters. Why does a simple salad taste so much better in the sunshine?