Well, Jack Frost punched all the late blooms in the petals last week then. I know it’s coming but am never really ready for it. It may all be part of nature’s cycle but I hate seeing the life knocked out of the enthusiastic ‘late bloomers’ which – without a calendar–were blissfully unaware of their impending doom.

The south east of England saw it’s earliest snowfall in 15 years. A sign of a hard winter, some are saying especially with the holly boughs laden with festive red berries.

I always keep an eye on David King’s ‘Weather without Technology’ website. He goes back through his extensive records to spot weather patterns, using them–and nature’s clues–to make his weather forecasts. They are not daily forecasts by any means but a general prediction for the outlook. Along with his unique no-nonsense style, he is accurate enough for me to keep checking his blogs.

Dave is saying there will be no white Christmas – as well as expressing how ridiculous the Met Office notion of a single snowflake falling on Christmas Day constitutes a ‘white Christmas’. He also reminds us that the 3rd to the 14th December is often a ‘warmer’ period than the days either side of it. This is called the Buchan Period as discovered by Alexander Buchan the Victorian meteorologist.

The good news is that he predicts more ‘normal’ weather for next year and forecasts that the last week of June and first three weeks of July will be wonderfully warm and summery.

Reading through his latest blogs, I see that Dave is handing over the reins of his weather forecasting and website to Lesley Coyle who will be carrying on the technology-free forecasting at www.indigenousUKweather.com A quick visit to that site is met with the introduction – ‘Following on from David King’s Weather Without Technology … Welcome to Indigenous UK Weather, where I will attempt to predict the weather 90–180 days ahead using established saws and sayings, proven data, and the most vital ingredient of all, nature.’

I for one will be following with interest and enthusiasm for this method of weather forecasting.

The media is already reporting a possible shortage of certain foods for Christmas – this year it is potatoes, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, with the last two probably not upsetting anyone under the age of 15. Apparently potatoes are just rotting in the ground due to the wet weather we have had, and where Brussels are available, they will be smaller than usual.

I recall most, if not all, of our Christmas vegetables coming out of the ground thanks to granddad and dad. So much nicer to rely on digging than Deliveroo.

Don’t forget to use local farmers’ markets for your veg. The superior flavour will be well worth any effort taken to source the fabulous fresh veg. Check out Katherine and David’s organic, healthy and hearty veg boxes from just £10.00 at www.langtons-farm.ooooby.org which can be delivered to your door or collected from a local collection point.

After all, we should all be eating good quality vegetables as though our lives depend on it–because they do.