Stuffed me knapsack with Kendal Mint Cake and Jack London novels this morning and waded through the deep snow into work - the only folk who seemed to be really enjoying it were all less than four feet high, and had smiles wider than the Ribble.
All the children I saw couldn't have looked happier if you gave them a gold-plated Scalextric, a lifetime supply of BIG cake and the security access code to Santa's warehouse.
Our winter grazing sheep at the southern end of the Ainsdale dunes needed checking, so I headed off, with the mad snow still falling, albeit lightly - it was biting cold, and some of the drifts were waist deep - the fifth time you end up in one of those, the novelty wears off, believe me.
Anyway, I dispelled all thoughts of Scott of the Antarctic and a lonely death in the white hell, until I realised I'd left the mint cake back in the depot.
Worst things happen at sea (do they have mint cake at sea?) so I pushed on towards our sheep enclosure.
On the upside, there were two Short Eared Owls in the dunes, 3 Common Buzzards, two Stonechats and a Woodcock - so the "Farmer Palmer" mission was more than worthwhile.
And the sheep?
Once I found the sneaky weasels, they were all counted in and counted out - and the flock looked a whole lot happier and warmer than me in their big showy-off sheepskin jackets.
Way too smug for their own good.
Few Skylarks and Redwings moving overhead.
And now the serious bit - in conditions like these (minus 11 outside Dempsey Towers as I type), there really is NO excuse for disturbing birdies and wildlife - I had to go into the dunes to check the sheep for work today, and what I saw birdwise was entirely incidental to the job at hand - think we all need to go easy while out birding until the chill sods off...give 'em plenty of space, and leave the skulkers well alone.
If you're going birding, try to go to a hide.
Oh, and anyone who hasn't got feeders brimming over with seed etc at present should have their bins confiscated.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...