It’s December, a few days before Christmas (just in case you had forgotten). I am sitting outside the Cafe @The Green Pavillion (winner of the regional food hero competition), in the warm winter sunshine sipping a Latte chatting about life in general with my twelve year old, and generally watching the world go by. Nothing odd about that you may think! Except I am in the Peak District, in Buxton, a town more renown for mist, fog, damp, and cold, and that’s in the summer. To sit outside a café up here in the middle of winter in warm sunshine is unheard of. On Monday Mrs Birdwatcher and I went to Macclesfield. We left in bright sunshine only to find Macc under a blanket of thick, damp, moist fog. It’s usually the other way round. Yesterday I went to the Goyt. The sky was a clear blue and if it had not been for the chill wind and the lack of curlews crying and calling, it could have been spring, and the news was full of the chaos that the freezing fog was causing in the South East.
I am also feeling smug. Smug, because I have done all my Christmas shopping, including all the food. I am clearly in a minority. Sitting in the sun sipping Latte I had to smile as the crowds rushed by. People have that desperate, harassed look at this time of the year. They rush about aimlessly, snapping at small children, searching in vain for some inspiration. I think before we stroll back up the hill we’ll have another Latte.