When the weather bites like this, I wonder why I always feel that my home is in England.

The hunger to travel is growing stronger in me again, yet I must stay here for a while.

Tiny white snow flakes drifted sporadically across the kitchen window this morning. Not my kitchen window – I’m house-sitting for friends who have escaped this chill for a jaunt abroad. But a kitchen window that looks out over a small garden and the resident chickens. Over the wall the land drops down into an old quarry, now with mature beech trees, which has become a wildlife haven.

At least for blackbirds, that are up well before dawn and making sure that I am too.

I’ve always been interested in foraging, so today I dropped down into the valley and gathered handful after handful of wild garlic leaves – ramsons – from the woodland just 10 minutes walk from my friends’ house. I washed the leaves in cold water and used a blender to mix them with pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and a good organic olive oil. I now have jars full of fresh wild garlic pesto in the fridge, and small 2-portion tubs in the freezer to be used later in the year. Or, most likely, given away to friends!

I’ve wanted to make this for a while, but just never got round to it. So glad I have. It was just a couple of hours work and a small investment in good ingredients. But what a result! Tiny portions of the taste of Spring.

A small gift to my friends, in return for their chickens’ wonderful fresh eggs.