Midwinter has been and gone, but the festivities continue! The damp weather seems to be settled in and there has been very little frost, never mind snow in Brambly Hedge, so the ice ball is yet to happen. When the snow does come, there will be no excuses needed to prolong the winter fun and dig out the fancy frocks!
The preserved nuts and berries from the autumn harvest are being enjoyed now by all the mice in Brambly Hedge. They were made in to jams, pickles, jellies and syrups but to name a few, and those that needed time to mature have reached the stage where they can be indulgently spread on thick wedges of warm home made bread.
It doesn’t seem to matter what time of year it is, the Brambly Hedge kitchens are a permanent hive of activity, and there’s something very heartwarming about envisaging chestnut soup warming on the fire, or a freshly baked apple pie just out of the oven. After a long day, a mug of steaming acorn coffee by the bed to warm the paws is often in order, even for the younger mice.
As the new year is in sight, and the days are slowly getting longer, there are already signs of spring in the hedgerows. Tiny green shoots are poking their heads above the soil, and before long, the ‘promise of spring’ will be very evident.
From all of us here on the Brambly Hedge team, we wish you a healthy and happy 2019, and we look forward to sharing more tales from the hedge as the year unfolds. We will leave you with a midwinter poem from The Secret Staircase:
When the days are the shortest, the nights are the coldest,
The frost is the sharpest, the year is the oldest,
The sun is the weakest, the wind is the hardest,
The snow is the deepest, the skies are the darkest,
Then polish your whiskers and tidy your nest,
And dress in your richest and finest and best…
For winter has brought the worst it can bring,
And now it will give you the promise of SPRING!