I have to confess that I like winter. I am happiest when there is a good storm raging outside. Ideally I would be in a cottage, preferably near Clashnessie, Sutherland with Mrs Birdwatcher. It would be late December, the sun has already set and outside there would be rain pelting at the windows with the wind whistling and howling, rocking the trees and rattling the doors. If you listened carefully you could hear the sea crashing against the rocks, and imagine it foaming angrily as it battered the rocks and clawed at the cliff face. Of course inside Mrs Birdwatcher and I would be snug in front of a well-established log fire, books on our laps and glasses of Bunnahabhain by our sides.
The key is the ferocity of the storm. Drizzle and a mild breeze brings me out in a rash, but even after the most depressing day my spirits rise with the sound of the wind getting up and rain, lots and lots of it.
Best of all though is to wake to that special light that you get after an overnight snowfall. Even now well into my middle years I still leap out of bed pull on warm clothes, just to get outside and experience the fresh glistening pristine snow.
Now with Global warming there is talk of winters being mild and stormy with little snow. We shall see. I suspect that the British climate has a few tricks and surprises up its sleeve. I hope so. It would be a shame if scenes like the one below were to become a thing of the past.