This was the view from the window at 7.30am this morning. It hasn't changed since and although it looks beautiful, it has caused a few problems. The front drive was impassable, so we opened the back gate, but this created another difficulty as the signs we use to direct visitors were beyond reach.
Being snowed in means doing without the daily paper, and in particular doing without the Saturday edition's general knowledge crossword. Instead I have been making soup and writing this blog, as well as sweeping the steps and chatting to friends on the telephone. Fortunately the fridge is well stocked and there is plenty of fuel for the woodburner, and a warm room to retreat to after trudging through wet and heavy snow.
In a week's time the house will be full for Easter and I worry that my poor guests will shiver unless the weather improves. It is difficult to keep Stokesay warm at the best of times, and arctic weather is not something normally expected at the end of March.
The daffodils are buried under inches of snow. The poor birds would normally be starting to build their nests by now. Instead they cluster round the bird feeders search for food which should not be scarce any longer. Every so often they scatter and vanish as a hungry hawk flies hopefully overhead.
Narnia comes to mind: the land where the White Witch ruled and it was "always winter and never Christmas". Perhaps the White Witch has arrived to try her luck in an unsuspecting UK? Here at Stokesay Court, we even have the odd frozen lamp post to give substance to this theory. If there is no change in the weather before next weekend, I think I shall suggest to my guests that they go on a hunt through the 89 rooms in the house in hope of finding a Wardrobe with fur coats or a secret opening in the back. It might just lead to Spring - you never know!
Our first tour takes place on April 7th, the Sunday after Easter and it would be lovely to see the daffodils fully out and to feel Spring sunshine in the air.
Emeli Sandé comes to Stokesay Court