After a shaky start and some cold dismal days spring is finally here. Our log burner was lit every day during the Easter holidays. Customers were happy to be able to get some warmth and feeling back into their limbs while enjoying a coffee with us.
It's lovely to see the spring flowers emerging after a long cold winter. On warmer days our customers venture outside to catch the warmth of the sun. Hot chocolate is still popular though and young customers seem to like the milk chocolate we have started using for their drinks. We still use the 70% dark chocolate drops for adults with their more sophisticated palates.
We opened for half term at the beginning of February and enjoyed seeing some of our regular customers and getting in the swing of things after our winter break.
We saw the most snow at the end of the month that there's been since we moved here seven years ago. Fortunately for us it arrived after half term was over.
The Beast from the East brought a heavy fall of dry, powdery snow and very low temperatures that meant it stayed around for a while.
We enjoyed walking through the woods safe in the knowledge we could thaw out in front of the log burner on our return.
We noticed these icicles when the thaw began. We were preparing for a busy time at the beginning of March when `The Tornado' steam locomotive was due to visit the NYMR and haul trains.
The Tornado had managed to get here before the snow but, because of the snow, the start of its scheduled running on the line was delayed by three days. The weather had improved by the last day of its running and we were very busy with lots of customers taking advantage of the better weather to get out, see a special steam engine and enjoy a good coffee with us.
We saw this junior sized traction engine out for a run in the village on the sunny morning we had a much needed log delivery. Unfortunately we weren't able to use it to haul our logs up to the school.
We have had some sunny days, including these ones when the Santa specials were running just before Christmas. The plumes of smoke and steam look very dramatic against the cold blue winter skies.
We have had some more snow too. These sheep seemed quite content with very unappetising looking lumps of fodder in the late afternoon sunshine. We saw the tips of some snowdrops peeping through the snow on one of our walks; spring is coming.
Of course, it doesn't snow every day in Grosmont in the winter. When it does we feel justified in settling back and enjoying toasting our toes in front of the log burner, grateful for our break from making coffee for visitors; and recharging our batteries for the next season.
When it's not snowing we venture out and let other people make us a coffee for a change. We enjoyed this view of the Minster amid the roofs of York. We saw it while sipping a flat white in the bistro attached to York Art Gallery. Before the coffee, we took in the Paul Nash exhibition there. More recharging of batteries.
We had a busy 'railway in wartime' weekend which this year coincided with a wedding in St Matthew's, next door. The bride had been in the coffee shop last month for her hen party. When they booked the ceremony they hadn't realised she would be a war bride. The photo shows a couple of our regular war weekend customers - the pipe is a prop, the moustache is real. The flag in the photo is that of Bill's father's unit in WW2: Royal Marines 40 Commando.
Lots of young visitors came to the coffee shop during half term. This group enjoyed reading and being read to, sitting comfortably next to the log burner.
We haven't had a real frost yet, but most of the leaves have gone from our grape vine. These last three look amazing in the late autumn sunshine.