On Saturday morning, there was sunshine, blue skies and birdsong. It was still very cold - minus 1 according to my thermometer - but I didn't find it at all difficult to get up and out of the house in time for a 9 am swimming lesson. Later, I took a quick walk round the garden and spotted tiny green tips poking up through the earth - some of the 50 spring bulbs I planted last autumn.
In honour of the very first signs of Spring, I made this lemon cake:
This is another Nigella recipe - damp lemon and almond cake from How to be a domestic goddess. Nigella says to pack the cooled, finished cake in foil and leave it a couple of days to "mature"; some hope in our house, because everyone likes lemon-flavoured cake, and no-one will wait five minutes.
I woke up today to a really thick frost, so perhaps I was a little hasty with the lemons. Still hopeful, though, and at least the daylight lasts a little longer in February.