So, we’re back on ‘summer time’ here. For me, that means two weeks of waking up at the same time I always do, only the time is different. After two weeks, everything settles down again except the clock in the car which will be an hour behind until October, when ‘winter time’ starts!

The two large projects I’m currently working on are both, coincidentally, set in the seventeenth century which sees me constantly looking up long-forgotten words and systems. It’s particularly tricky because they’re twice removed: once by language and again by time. But one thing that often stays the same, or similar, is the language of those who work the land.

Every language has its sayings about the months of the year and the weather. Dutch describes the often stormy end of March as ‘maart roert zijn staart’. In Scottish folklore, the last three days of March are called the borrowed days, days borrowed from April by March to extend its power. In Spain, they say that a shepherd promised March a lamb if it would temper the winds to suit the flocks. His request was granted but the shepherd didn’t keep his end of the bargain. As a punishment, March borrowed three days from April with even fiercer winds.