A mini roundabout has appeared in the road to our house. It’s not the sort you see in Basingstoke, but a pothole of such epic proportions that the locals approach it in second gear and give way to each other as they try to negotiate it. I pity the drivers without local knowledge. The anticipation of watching a speeding car approach the gaping chasm makes me wince.

The crunch of tyre and axle is dreadful, but I expect we’ll have to live with the plethora of potholes up and down the country for quite some time as councils try to balance their finances. It wouldn’t do any harm if everyone drove a little slower on country lanes anyway.

The potholes are a result of the freezing temperatures in December. However, despite the snow and ice before Christmas, it doesn’t appear that we will have as late a spring as last year, when winter came later in January, just when the bulbs and birds were starting to stir. The snowdrops and aconites have been out for some time this year and the daffodils are primed to flower. There is everything to look forward to as we start to escape February’s clutches.