I WRITE this as the country is being battered by Storm Freya, wishing my house were double-glazed.

When you read this, we may be under three feet of snow – you never know.

But last week was last week, sunny and gorgeous and the warmest February on record. People were wandering around Salisbury in their T-shirts and flipflops, the outside tables in the cafes were full, the world was bright and beautiful; it felt like May, not February.

Feeling like May threw me into something of a panic: I had a nagging feeling that I’d forgotten to do something, and it only occurred to me what it was when I bounded into the studio with the exuberance that only a lovely day can give.

I’d forgotten the Wylye Valley Art Trail.

As it turned out, I hadn’t – the trail doesn’t kick off until May 18 (ink that date into your diary) – but my body clock was all over the place, and I felt as if I should have my studio spick and span and full of sculptures in readiness for the trail, whereas it was in fact knee deep in dust and rubble, the sculptures barely conceived, let alone made.

We were all conned by that wonderful warm weather, and so was nature itself: think of all those daffodils that popped up, now being walloped by Storm Freya.

I don’t suppose it’s particularly good for nature to be teased so mercilessly by the climate, but it’s actually not too bad an idea for us humans.

It can keep us on our toes and it can remind us in the drabness of winter that spring is not too far away, and that a Wiltshire spring is most definitely worth waiting for.

Ideas start to pop, too, when the weather improves and we’re not having to think about survival.

Those gorgeous warm February days brought on some serious artistic thought, and if I don’t fritter away the next few weeks I’ll be ahead of the game with my trail preparations, which don’t usually take place until I’m in a flat spin in late April.

Artists up and down the length of the Wylye Valley will be doing the same as me, squirrelling away all those false spring inspirations for use over the next few dull weeks of winter.

This year’s Wylye Valley Art Trail should be a good one.