The evening before the big storm hit us, the canal was placid, and we heard the first evening blackbird song of the year. Like finally breathing out, after the long-held breath of winter. Reminds me of coming home after a voyage this time.
The waypoints of the journey to summer are passing in increasing numbers; the woods are full of snowdrops now, and there was a single solitary celandine by the path as I cycled down to the river.
Last week I spent a few days moored at the top lock of the Widcombe Flight in Bath, a fine spot with a view across the city when it isn't misty. I watched one of the peregrines on the spire of St John the Evangelist, a spire so tall that it earned the disapproval of Nikolaus Pevsner - 'a demonstrative proof of how intensely the Gothicists hated the Georgian of Bath'. But the peregrines like it, and they've got a nesting box way up there.
This was the westernmost point of the last year's travelling; I'm now heading very slowly towards the summer lands up beyond the Vale of Pewsey. Before I set off again, though, I filled my water tank. Had to thaw out the water point with a kettle of boiling water first, though.
My new back garden looks up to Bathampton Down, across a field of sheep.