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A very wet, chill and windy day today, the first of 2014 – and I was out and about in it all – thermals, waterproofs and wellies (my trademark hat too) keeping me warm, toastie and mostly dry. More of the same tomorrow but with the hope of drier and brighter weather before we’re back to gales and more gales.

It is still good to be outdoors again and more active than I have been these past festive days – and there are wonderful things to see in the coming weeks. Don’t let the month go by without visiting some of the outstanding Winter Gardens – I’m thinking in particular of the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire and Dunham Massey in Cheshire. The National Trust will have details of all their gardens with special winter interest. Kew and Wisley, close to me, are no shirkers either!

The year started with a bang though –

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-25565361

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