A couple of days ago I sat on the bench in front of the house in a tee shirt and ate my lunch, I almost felt too hot. I cut the grass – and sweated. I flung open the windows and doors. Thousands of clusterflies emerged from the roof and the thatch tremmeled with their frenetic infuriating whine-buzz. The dogs looked for shade. The cows shouted expectantly – ‘had I forgotten turnout?’ The sheep could hardly be bothered to rouse themselves for their evening feed. And we cut our first asparagus.

Today there was no looking for midges flying over the sheep. No tea on the bench either. It was April Whiteout!