So I had a little trip to Penshurst Place. It’s ages since I’ve been. I went on a whim, following the sunshine rather than heading to Knole as planned, which was under cloud. Still it was a bit of a strange walk, as the house and gardens are closed for the winter, so all I could do was skirt the perimeter.  I felt, as must have been the case for most people for centuries, shut out of this wealthy house, held a bay by walls and gates, the interior a mystery….

I also walked down to the upper reaches of the Medway. You can’t canoe here, but lower down you can. Still it was nice to see this bit, even though it looked murky with extra rain and mud washed in from the fields.

A breath of January air. What a relief!


No snow here (a bit of shame in my book), but the hellebores are on the brink of flowering – just so you know that winter will not last forever. The blackbirds have had most of the crab apples, and the last ones all have little beak marks in them!

It’s bitterly cold here today. Spring still seems far away. But at least the light is starting to return, and the buds let us know now not to despair too much…