In our little pocket of coastal Northumberland, the snow rarely lingers. It has a tough battle against the salt air and needs to come fully equipped with reinforcements if it is to win the right to settle. It did - briefly - overnight but the roads are again wet and grass is peeping through the temporary dusting on lawns and fields.
It's a different story inland. Drive along an uncovered Beadnell Straight towards Swinhoe and before you reach the top, there will be snow. A definite line marks the end of the salty dominance. Looking out from my garden, the Cheviots have been white for a few days. And it's supposed to be spring.
I have a love-hate relationship with snow. Currently, I'm happy to be smothered in the stuff: I am off work for a week and the Grey Mare has a stable to be tucked into. But when I have to drive through it, and in previous years when she lived outside all year round, I hated it. Then, I was glad of our special little ecosystem.
Sometimes, though, the snow beats the salty air. At school, I prayed for snow, because it meant we would be sent home. The thickest I have ever seen was in February of 1987. We were all but blocked in for about a week. I loved it. The Grey Mare's predecessor (another grey mare, natch) lived at a dairy farm in the next village. I would trudge through the snow to feed her and be brought home by the tractor that had been called into service to deliver the milk.
The grey mare # 1 is long gone, and so is the dairy: houses occupy the field where the ponies grazed adjacent to black and white cows. I still think of them every time I pass by.