The 1st day was heralded by a storm although it passed quickly it gave us the idea that there was more to come. In fact the drought remained with only a hail shower around day 10, although it was more serious by the lake, and odd days of drizzle and a few nights where the thermometer dropped to -2c or so, nothing like winter at all, but we still burnt the same amount of wood.

Mike was thrilled to win an online competition run by other virtual flyers where he had to take a picture of 'smoke on the water' while flying over Lake Geneva. He used scenery he had made from satellite images from Google earth and planes provided by his software. It looks very convincing. The main computer recovered files and backed up all over he place has developed a quirk where it doesn't like the keyboard plugged in when starting up, otherwise its working well.

The trees budded up and some blossomed and the daffodils and tulips began flowering 2 weeks early. Mike mowed and strimmed on the nice days so we're not overwhelmed when spring arrives properly and the cutting season begins properly.

The man who fixed the road 12 years ago arrived to look at the state it was in so he could give us a quote. He said he thought the chance of us getting any money out of Sofia was very remote and the church, well Romans don't like to pay full stop. Now is the time it should be done but we're thinking we'll get the quote and remind the other 2 they said they'd pay towards repairs when Sofia was going to do it and will they keep their word, also its no good suggesting the Romanians do a part job using broken up tarmac like they suggested 2 years ago as its illegal and the forestrali police would fine everyone involved apparently. Then wait. we think the church lot are renting out their place so as the road deteriorates they'll get complaints and it might force their hand a bit, Sofia wants to sell and the road will have a bearing on that too, so perhaps this time next year they'll be on board to share costs.

We had an inquiry through the PR company in London from the USA but it turned out to be another scam. It does seem there are a lot of idiots who think the old ' I'm an ex-military chap from x war zone and need to move millions, just sign over your bank and house details and we'll give you 20% when we arrive'. Still we hope there are people who are genuine who'll get in touch but it does prove the property is being found.

The weather turned wintery, drizzle for 2 days and snow on the high ground from mid month till the 25th when the 'Beast' from the East hit the whole of Europe and blizzards and extreme cold arrived. We got about 6” of snow and -13c at night -2c in the day for 3 days. Mach1's little lady arrived so we fed her but she wouldn't stay and he wouldn't let her in, rotter, we assume she slept in the woods where its warmer. We were worried we'd run out of wood before the cold ended as we'd burnt all but one row and keeping 3 fires going consumed a lot more than anticipated but had a back up plan to take down 2 dead trees if required.