We're now exactly halfway into our 10-year Grand Plan, which would be cause for celebration if it wasn't so bloody depressing that five years seem to have come and gone in the blink of an eye ... Anyway, here's the usual two graphs.
The mercury hasn't dropped below -6 C, i.e. only our typical winter low, but I think it's the sheer number of very cold frosts we've had, many of them on consecutive nights. Usually, we'd get around a dozen or so sharp frosts all winter, but this time around it seems as if there's been a dozen every month for three months (not that we've been at home for most of the winter, but we kept an eye on the house and weather via our webcams and also talked to friends on Skype). Having only recently returned to Blighty and surveyed the destruction of the plants, I immediately started thinking about heating a small area of the greenhouse during future winters. We also brought back more seeds of sub-tropical plants from our travels, which should do well enough outdoors in our summers but won't tolerate even a sniff of a frost and will need protection throughout the winters.
After the success of our long winter break early last year, we
decided to do it again in 2018.
By 'success' I mean avoiding the cold, miserable, grey days that
characterise much of January and February in northern England.
So we're back in the Canary Islands
for the best part of two months, although staying on a different island to last
Of all the many places I've ever been in the world, I think
the Canaries have one of the very best winter climates. We're around 5 degrees north of the Tropic of
Cancer, and it's very mild - warm even - but without the high humidity of the
tropics. The sun's bright, the sea's
crystal clear and at night we can see many more stars than at home, due to the
clearer air and lower light pollution.
The local flora is stunning, even at this time of year. It's just a very nice place to wander around.
flowering vine growing wild on scrubland - naturally, I took a cutting ....
Here's the annual look back at where all the money went during the year. A flurry of snow this morning put paid to plans for a final round of golf in 2017, and so I'm now unlikely to spend anything more until 2018 ...
click on the graphic for a larger image ... As usual, the columns are ranked highest-to-lowest from left-to-right, based on the 2017 spending, and include the equivalent 2016 and 2015 spends alongside, for comparison.