This blog post was very nearly titled, ARGH I HATE WINTER!! But I decided to take a much more Zen approach to the weather. Instead of just giving up and going back to bed when it starts to snow for the millionth time, I am going to ignore it. Winter? What winter?? Ha! Take that winter. My friend Matthew once told me that when he was a child, after having enough of being cold, he hatched a plan to kill Jack Frost. I can’t remember the exact details, but apparently the plan involved hot water bottles. I am with Matthew on this one; Jack Frost needs to sod off. But anyway back to my plan to ignore winter and just focus on spring. We got back from a totally glorious few days in London, to what I can only imagine C.S.Lewis had in mind when he was writing The Lion And The Witch And The Wardrobe. Driving up the country was almost like travelling back in time. Not in a social or cultural sense of course, but very much a seasonal one. We went from Hawthorn in-leaf, blackthorn in-flower (and even some Clematis in-flower!) to daffodils still not quite out and snow?! Though in Northumberland’s defence there are hundreds of totally gorgeous lambs skipping around, which is surely the most spring-like thing ever. This last fact has made walking Frank quite a time-consuming process as every time I see a tiny lamb, I have to stop and have a good look. Which he doesn’t mind, as it gives him more time to smell all the new exciting spring smells. Jonny describes this as being very important process as it’s like him checking his tweets – which always makes me smile.
Now that we have all grown accustomed to always seeing the little cloud symbol or the sun/cloud symbol on the BBC weather app, or even worse the dark grey cloud symbol, I think it is time that we accept this god awful weather and look instead for the little indications that spring is almost upon us… the bright yellow caterpillar-like shape of catkins hanging from trees, and bright green buds on trees about to burst into leaf. The opportunity to sit outside in a patch of sun and drink a cup of tea – even if it is downed swiftly before you retreat into the warmth of your house. All of the little things that will be forgotten in a few months time when the weather is (hopefully) much better, everything is a deep emerald green and our focus is shifted from the doom that is winter, to the enormous joy that is late spring/early summer. One thing I am enjoying at the minute is the little bits of new growth on plants, contrasted against the dead old growth from last year. This can look so beautiful in the fleeting moments of sunshine. The daffodils are almost all out, and the previously unidentified plant growing under the trees by the sheds has been identified as Vinca, by the bright white delicate flowers that have sprung up. More clusters of primroses have appeared, and even a crocus or two. Signs of spring are absolutely everywhere when you start to look for them.