Last Friday was a forgettable weather day. We were greeted at the Ratlinghope campsite in the middle of the Shropshire hills by misty, murky weather, a fine drizzle falling. It was the first time that we had taken out the boot awning for the van. Without any prior practice and with heavy rain due any moment it was an experience akin to putting a square peg in a round hole. We eventually wrestled it into place and spent the rest of the afternoon huddled inside whilst the promised heavy rain fell for a few hours.
I had persuaded Mrs Bongo to join Reuben and I for a weekend camping to celebrate my birthday. The lure was a warm pub with good food to while away the evenings. The Bridges Pub which is a fifteen minute walk down narrow country lanes did not disappoint, the food and beer was excellent. Friends later joined us after driving all the way from Nottingham after work. A convivial evening was spent and I have to say that I was uncomfortably full of food and beer by the time I got to bed.
The forecast was for snow during the early hours of the morning, something I was fairly sceptical of due to how mild it felt that night. I poked my head out of the van a couple of times during the night but just got a face full of drizzle. I was therefore like a kid at Christmas when at 7am I was greeted with this.
A good couple of inches of soft powdery snow had fallen, the air still and quiet, the dawn chorus hushed. I ran round unsuitably dressed for a few minutes before diving back into the van and the comfort of a warm duvet.
We were all up and about by 9am, the snow still deep and crisp, the sky blue and the sun warm. It was weird sitting around eating breakfast in just a baselayer, with spring in the air whilst winter nipped at our feet.
Later that day we spent a few hours exploring Adison Hill and the Long Mynd. The snow soon melted but the northerly airflow left incredibly clear skies. To the west much of Wales was laid out at our feet, we could clearly make out Cadair Idris, the Arrans and the Berwyns.
All in all a splendid birthday weekend with my wife and good friends.