We've just marked the vernal equinox, the first day of Spring!
Ah, Spring - that season of increasing daylight and warming temperatures and the rebirth of flora and fauna......
Only nobody seems to have told Mother Nature this.
It's snowing heavily as I type. It has snowed on and off for days. Now, I'm normally a big fan of snow - it's far prettier than rain, you can have fun in it and watching snow falling is one of life's dreamy pleasures as far as I'm concerned. But now, the lustre is wearing off for me.
Even the children are getting bored of the white stuff.
This has been the coldest March for 10 years, possibly longer. The daffs are still tightly budded, the crocuses haven't bothered unfurling, snowdrops are still in bloom and there seems no end in sight.
And my expectations for the coming growing season are somewhat low! Nothing in the unheated greenhouse is germinating, and the outside ground is sodden and will be for some time yet. It's rather frustrating.
So I am trying to make myself feel a little warmer by focussing on what's happening on my window sills at home.
Chillies. Easy to grow and so many uses! We're great fans of the lovely little fruits!
The plants with their tiny white blossoms are attractive in their own right, and then when you have your own little chillies forming....!
All I can think of is wonderful things to cook - chilli chocolate brownies, salsas, chilli infused oil, curries, stir fries, nachos, pizza toppings, chilli jam, arrabiata sauce, all studded with flecks of flavoursome red. Chillies are so useful and we are addicts.
I know there are loads of different colours, varieties and strengths, but this year I am concentrating on jalapeños as they are the most versatile for my needs.
I'm also starting off sweetcorn, tomato, broad beans, sweet peas and broccoli on my son's 'magic' windowsill. His room is the warmest in the house and although not south facing, seems to gather the most light.
How are you other allomenteers staving off the long winter blues?