131 – First Day of Spring: It’s Official

Why? Well, firstly, the sun was shining, so that’s a start. Secondly, the pond was crowded to bursting point with herons, great diving beetles, water boatmen, palmate newts and pondskaters, all enjoying the warm golden sun. Clouds of frog spawn floating up from the depths like giant nebulae in the cosmos. Drifting silently to the edges and anchoring themselves firmly on the bulrushes. Daffodils poking through the sodden earth. The grass as green as spinach. The sky as blue as toilet flush. The tiles on the ancient barn, glowing red once again after a winter of gloom.

If you’re a regular to this blog, you’ll note the contrast to Blogley 128:

Walking through the lanes yesterday afternoon, I realised how utterly bleak it is around here.

And I wasn’t exaggerating either. That was a grim week. A ghastly depiction of hell if ever there was one: rain upon rain upon dark clouds upon sheeting hail upon gales. Centring all its fury on our house-on-the-hill. Draughts funneling their way in through the many holes, making me wonder at times whether it might be warmer to simply go and sleep in the garden in the  pissing rain.

Many a time we’ve had to check that the front door wasn’t wide open, or a bomb hadn’t knocked half the house down. Sometimes after a ‘night in’ watching movies or playing chess, we’ve hardly been able to move. Backs as stiff as cricket bats.  Knees fused together by arthritis. Fingers bent and blue.

This was why I was so happy to see the sun this morning. Feel the house gradually defrost like an ice cube in a summer’s evening gin and tonic. European winters are long, I know, I lived in Warsaw for a year. But I’ve noticed it more this year. It’s been more perceptible because I’ve lived through it rather than bury my head in the distractions of the city: bars, pubs, cinemas, cosy coffee shops. Urban heat. The wind softened by tall buildings. Drainage and tarmac. No mud.

It’s been worth the wait. For even in its infancy, the spring has generated a lovely satisfying glow inside of me, and I’m happy to have made it through the bleakness of Blogley 128.

By Blogley 136, I hope, I’ll be running around wearing only my ragged old shorts, flexing my angular back against the sun. Boating on the pond with a book and a hamper full of smoked trout and sweet Sancerre. Munching on peppered prawns and mustard salad accompanied by freshly baked rye bread.

But there’s no rush. I don’t want to wish my life away. Not now. Not when I’m forty in less than ten weeks. Somewhere between Blogley 140 and 142, I’m guessing. But don’t worry, I’ll let you know.

pond spring


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