Clare and I drove to Ross-on-Wye this morning, under ominous grey clouds to meet Mike and Gail at the Royal Hotel for lunch. It was good to be together again. None of us felt inclined to walk around the town, as it was windy and not so warm, so we sat the table we'd booked in the bar, talked, drank coffee, then ate lunch, then finally went for a stroll up to The Prospect, pleased the rain had held off. Indeed, rain didn't arrive until we got back to Cardiff at four. Amazing that at this time of year, the sun had already set, somewhere beyond the low heavy grey clouds that dominated the day's landscape. With reports of heavy rain and flooding in parts of northern Britain, it's as if the weather is determined to drain the vitality from pre-Christmas cheer. Spain is much in my thoughts.