Even the snowman has stayed in bed

Still snowing. The Queen’s birthday, 21st April, and the weather is insisting that it’s only January. The wind has changed direction, about 180 degrees, and has strengthened a lot. So my gates are blocked and would need digging out, plus a path from the gates to the house. Where the wind has blown the snow off the trees, I can see colour of leaves, and some whiteness of blossom. I can’t believe the blossom will survive to become fruit, but I hope hope hope. Also hope the poor young bees and other pollinators have found somewhere warm to shelter.

Time to light the fire again. It’s 3 degrees outside, so there must be a thaw in progress, but it’s going to take a while…

Monochrome is SO last season

This morning. Thursday 20th April (my birthday, as it happens). Several trees weighed down by blossom, the daffodils, tulips, wild violets all blooming with life and colour. Now? We’ll see what survives this wintery onslaught. Oh Spring, where art thou?

Spring…winter…spring…winter…

This was yesterday – Easter Sunday. Stunning late afternoon sunshine after a grey day. Here the sun lit the new leaves of the silver birch tree to perfection.

birch in sun

But when I went to bed just before midnight, the rain was hammering on the roof. After a while, it all went quiet. But it hadn’t stopped, merely frozen. In the morning, I woke up to this:

20170417_092144

So Spring is postponed yet again. I bought a car full of plants last week, but I fear this freezing week ahead may kill them off before they can get going, poor things.

What’s the weather like where you are?

Dragons in the catalogue

Dragons - Booklet catalogue

If you’re keen to get your copy ASAP, you can pre-order straight from the publisher, Booklet Fiction. Either:  call the order line: 021 430 30 95 Or email:  comenzi@booklet.ro

You’ll be able to order online, straight from the website, in the next few weeks.

The book is in Romanian and English, as a bilingual edition (one page Romanian, one page English). Most readers will be Romanians learning English, but if you’re an English speaker learning Romanian, this would work too! This is what the blurb says:

Dragons over London  We begin in the 11th century. After travelling around the world, the imperial Chinese dragon Xiaolong settles in the Tower of London, not long after it was built by William the Conqueror. But London’s own dragons do not want a foreigner on their patch and, for many centuries, do their best to kill the Chinese invader. With so many enemies around, Xiaolong badly needs a bodyguard. And a friend. These roles are taken on with pride by George, only a common-as-muck mouse who lives in the Tower, but the most brave and loyal companion of all. Nearly 400 generations of Georges devote their lives to Xiaolong, from George I in 1086, until today when we meet George CCCLXXXVIII. An action adventure written with humour, Dragons over London is a wonderful opportunity to read an alternative history of London (almost entirely based on known facts), with a dramatic climax in the skies over Britain’s capital city.

Here’s George, beautifully illustrated by Andreea Chele:

George 1

New book news!

I’m delighted to be able to tell you that my next book – something rather different to the last – will be published in the next few weeks.

COVER dragoni

 

It will have its own book blog which will launch after Easter, so keep an eye out for the link.

 

Nice surprise this morning

Blue Air spread

Thanks to Dean Edgar, flying on Blue Air this morning. The in-flight magazine has this spread – Dean snapped it and sent it to me. The joys of smartphones…!

Snowy Carpathian Spring

7am, 7th April: We can never take Spring for granted, 1,000 metres up in the mountains! Feel the North Wind blowing…

gales & snowThe end of March brought delightfully warm, sunny Spring weather, and the daffodils sprang from the ground to nod in the balmy air.

This morning, I was blasted from sleep at 5am by gales trying to blow my house to Oz. That was it for sleep, so I got up. When the light revealed the landscape, we were back to white. Snow is now coating the daffodils and time will tell if they can survive it, poor things. It’s nowhere near freezing, so they might come through.

At least the fruit trees are still in tight bud, so this time the blossom won’t be blown off the trees. Fingers crossed…

The yoyo weather will bounce again, and the sun will be back before long.

Just to remind you – a few days ago, we had a wonderful sunrise…

colourful sunrise

A village panorama

Coming back from the city on Sunday, I stopped for a quick panorama. Spring is a little later here than in the warmer parts of the country (even down in Zarnesti).

When I turned around, I found some of my neighbours clearly in need of something, but my language skills are limited, and I failed to provide whatever it was they wanted…