A couple centimetres of snow this morning. Funny how that completely changes the dynamic of the bird interactions at our feeders. As a rule each species tends to keep a respectful distance from each other. The sparrows are a boisterous lot and are generally a bit much for the blue tits. But then the robins usually see off the sparrows, and pretty much anyone else. Today, particularly on the table where we put old apples and bird seed, they were all piling in, the need for food taking precedence over any kind of hierarchy.

Unusually, a small flock of goldfinches came and fed on the seed heads of the winter savoury in our herb bed. We often see them in the top of our walnut tree but I’ve never see them so close to the house before. Such an attractive bird.

Temperatures climbed marginally above zero promptly so the snow started to melt quite early. Off we went for a walk while it still looked good. We found roe deer tracks in the snow. Eventually spotted one in a belt of oak trees. In a nearby cider orchard flocks of starlings, fieldfares and blackbirds were noisily feeding on the few remaining apples on the ground.

By the time we were walking back much of the snow on the lanes had melted. Glad we grabbed the moment.

The sun is out and I’ve got Test Match Special on the radio, listening to Eng v Sri Lanka. If I ignore the just-above-zero temperature and the possibility of snow later on, I could almost imagine it’s summer.

The hosting for my blog is up for renewal in a month or so. It occurred to me to look into the viability of using the raspberry pi as the web server, making it a truly self-hosted blog.

From what I’ve read it should be ok for a site that doesn’t have much traffic – that’s definitely mine! I will try setting up a dummy site before making it live, probably using a ‘flat file’ type cms.

Am a bit shocked to discover I have put on weight over the past year. Not that I am overweight buy any means, but given I am pretty active and have a healthy diet in terms of types of food, I have been quite clearly just eating too much. Having acquired a Garmin fitness watch a year ago and made an effort to maintain and improve my fitness it’s not so nice to see I have taken a retrograde step. I know full well that in the last couple of months or so I haven’t done so much exercise, plus I have very consciously eaten more. It’s winter. That’s my excuse.

So I have reinstated a diet tracking app that I have used previously, and am being careful to control my food consumption.

I guess I have to accept that as 50 creeps ever closer I can no longer eat what I want, when I want, in the way I have been used to being able to. Ho hum.

Got our son’s gear for school sorted out today, all with half an ear on the news waiting for the almost inevitable closure. Got a ‘welcome back’ email from his headteacher this morning. Just received the ‘school closure’ one a short while ago. I bet she wrote both at the same time….