Oh, how we long for spring!
We had some blissfully fine weather last week, and got very excited. All sorts of spring activity is starting to take place. The washing is being hung out again (for the first time for goodness know how long).Small plants are beginning to appear in the flower beds – Irises … (I just love the way they are so tightly and neatly scrolled as they poke out of the ground).Snowdrops …Little Daffodils …Crocuses …Little pots on the terrace are more confident in the sun. These marigolds (seeds from my cousin Polly) have splendidly flowered all winter.And there are outdoor chores calling for attention. The raspberry canes are sprouting and will need cutting back soon.After a miserably wet and windy winter, we are enjoying walks out and about again.How good to see the gorse flowering again.A couple of days ago we had a truly wonderful walk further down the coast from Beadnell to Low Newton (you can see the route we took in the Searching for Sanderlings blogpost, almost exactly a year ago). Shadows still long, warning that it is early spring and the sun is very low in the sky. Just in the distance you can see Dunstanburgh Castle.Inside, thoughts are turning to spring too. Poe is starting to moult, and needs regular grooming again. I think she’s a bit unwise to start casting her coat so soon, but perhaps she knows something I don’t.Seed catalogues come out, and we begin to get excited about summer flowers. Stephen has plans to build a pond this year ….Strangely, inside our flowers are mostly flaming scarlet-red, which is kind of weird, – but gorgeous too.And despite the cold outside, we are still getting salad crops in the greenhouse.Last weekend, I was in London, and things are rather further on there than here in the north. Just look at these positively Wordsworthian daffodils at Alexandra Palace!There was spring blossom too.Then – just as we are starting to take this beautiful spring weather for granted, the weather turns and we get snow – or is it sleet, or perhaps hail?Every year, it is the same, and every year we get over-excited with the first signs of spring warmth and growth. Back to normal for Northumberland.In Moominland Midwinter, Tove Jansson tells the story of how Moomintroll wakes up early one winter (rather than hibernating right through as Moomins usually do) and thus experiences cold, snow and wintry wetness for the first time. Moonmintroll gets rather fed up with it, and comes up with this wonderful grumpy little poem.
Listen, winter creatures, who have sneaked the sun away,
Who are hiding in the dark and making all the valley grey:
I am utterly alone, and I’m tired to the bone,
And I’m sick enough of snowdrifts just to lay me down and groan.
I want my blue verandah and the glitter of the sea
And I tell you one and all that your winter’s not for me!