Torrential rain and gale force wind threatened to blow us apart on Sunday and Sunday night.

There was standing water on many of the roads and electricity went on and off as wires clashed together.

On Sunday night, as the wind howled and the rain lashed down, it was easy to think we would wake up to that destruction in West Cumbria.

We have heard of some damage — a chimney being blown over in Carlisle and trains cancelled for fear of what has been blown onto railway lines.

There was the usual sound of rolling wheelie bins, but we have definitely escaped the worst once again.

And we are not the only survivors.

On Monday morning many of us awoke to bright sun. It was still cold but there was no sign of Storm Franklin which did hit other areas hard.

What there was, however, were sturdy little daffodils. Garden furniture and wheelie bins may have been blown around but these heralds of spring remained unbowed and blooming as brightly as ever.

It was a reminder to us all that, while true spring is still a little way away, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel of dark days and long nights.

We will lose an hour's sleep when the clocks spring forward an hour next month but we will also gain longer days and shorter nights.

The sun will creep into old bones, warming them and releasing them from some of the pain and stiffness that the winter cold brings to many.

We will spend more time outside which means even Covid will feel like less of a threat.

The daffodils will eventually die off, leaving room for other colourful summer flowers to be planted in their wake.

But they will be back again next year, reminding us that for every winter, spring will follow.

Daffodils are important in this county, the birthplace of William Wordsworth. But it is also an important symbol of hope and steadfastness which is why it is used by charities around the world