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As I write, I’m listening to the sound of a gale howling around my house and the rain splattering the windows with a viciousness which makes you realise why they talk about nasty weather. I’ve just had to cancel my third garden this week – and that’s after last week when I only made it to one of my clients and was washed out for the rest.

There’s nothing more depressing than being forced to stay indoors when you don’t want to. There’s not even anything very nice to look at outside: the path around the greenhouse I’ve been digging in my garden (of which, hopefully, more later) is now a stream, and when I walked down the garden to let the chickens out I was splashing through the film of water that now covers the lawn. The water table is as high as it’s ever been in my normally dry and sandy conditions, and even if it were sunny you’d have to bail out a hole before you could dig it.

I’m sorry – I do try to be optimistic on the whole – but January is, by far, the worst month of the year.