Serenity Now!

Posts Tagged ‘British weather

Spring is here at last! I know this for two reasons. First, the daffodils have finally come out and introduced a splash of colour to my hitherto dull and grey two-mile walk to work. Second, the clocks “sprang” forward last weekend, adding a welcome half hour to the time our boys – and therefore I – spent in bed on Sunday morning.

Recent sleet and snow aside, Spring is my absolute favourite time of year. Winter’s fine until Christmas; bundling up the kids in hats and scarves to go out to play, defrosting them with hot chocolate and snuggling under a blanket in front of the TV is lovely… for a couple of weeks. But by February, when it feels like it’s been damp and freezing for months and there’s still no sign of Spring whatsoever, having to dress a reluctant baby in a snowsuit every time you open the back door (never mind having to take it off again – even though he’s asleep – the minute you get back inside so he doesn’t overheat) it loses its appeal somewhat.

Autumn has a bittersweet feel, a kind of cool melancholy, especially on those lovely crisp mornings with a clear blue sky and just a hint of a chill in the air. On one hand the turning leaves are beautiful (before they hit the ground and you find yourself ankle-deep in brown mush, obviously) and the smell is so evocative of the happy hours I spent playing in the garden as a child, playing football, climbing trees, mashing up over-ripe apples into the best (ie most revolting) mud pies ever (no, I was never a girly girl!). On the other hand, you know that summer’s over, and soon it’s going to be dark when you get up in the morning, and grim and grey and cold, and you’ll be shutting the curtains and battening down the hatches for the day by 4.30.

But Spring! Ah, the scent of hyacinths on a gloomy March morning is enough to lift my spirits and give me hope that one day – and soon! – we’ll see the sunshine again and it will be warm enough to venture outside without eight layers of clothing. You see, in theory, June is my favourite month. Or July, or August. I’m a summer girl; always have been. I adore the feeling of warm sunshine on my skin, the smell of flowers and fresh cut grass, the joyful sound of birds and the lazy drone of insects, the long, long days and balmy evenings and spending all day outdoors…

But only in theory, because with monotonous regularity June, July and August pass by in a haze of drizzle, hastily rearranged sports days and indoor “barbecues”. Inevitably, the long-awaited heatwave takes place on a Tuesday and Wednesday in June, when you’re at work and the kids are still in school, and next door’s cat is the only one who gets to lie in your garden and enjoy the sunshine. You seethe with resentment at having to wear your coat to work in August. In a fit of optimism you take a daytrip to the seaside, where slate skies meet inky seas, making amusement arcades and cafes far more appealing to the kids than that lovely coastal walk you’d planned. You stoically spend the day on the beach in coats and wellies, fashion a makeshift windbreak with the pushchair and try to convince whining kids that wet sand makes better sandcastles anyway, before you finally admit defeat and retreat to the hideous sprawling “fun” pub in the hope that Charlie Chalks and an overpriced plate of microwaved scampie and chips will save the day.

That’s why I love the Spring. In Spring you get little hints of what might be in store. Tiny leaves on the trees and hedges, blossom, flowers, that first day that’s warmer than expected, and you end up carrying your coat home. In the depths of winter you might dream about it, but in from here it’s so close I can almost taste it: that perfect summer, not yet started, but just around the corner.


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