Tuesday, 23 March 2010

If this is Spring then I want a refund !

Sunday was the first day of Spring and as we drove back home the Breton countryside shone and the radio trilled with every French primtemps song ever written and some of them that very probably never should have been. Click the links and you will get a small taster. The lane where we live was flecked with the first dancing heads of the wild daffodils , decked out in their egg yolk splendour, and small birds, daft with the intoxicating joy of spring sunshine, chased each other about the trees, even the ducks, those lovers of mud and ooze, joined in, building themselves a rather make shift nest in the vegetable patch and preening in the unexpected warmth. Having left on Friday in the rain and dark it was like returning home to another world.

We spent the weekend at the coast, he and I, in a village which clings to the coast of Finistere by its toes and stares across white sand to the crashing waves which cover the jagged rocks with spume as they come roaring in all the way from America. Where we live in central Brittany , Spring is far too cautious to have fully throw off her winter cloak just yet but there by the sea the Mimosa was almost past its best, blousy crimson Camilias grown tarnished in their last splendour showed offtheir fading beauty in the gardens and the banks were full of wild garlic daffodils and primroses . Sunshine bracing sea air to blow away the winter cobwebs and lots of clear light to soothe our jaded souls in.

Yesterday, enlivened by sunlight, I made heaps of oatmeal biscuits and piles of fairy cakes saving the shells for an Easter wreaths I plan to make from moss, twisted vines and speckled feathers from the chickens and ducks spring moult. I hung the weekend washing on the line watching it dance in the strong breeze and flap like tethered kites in its own dance to spring.

Today the weather has sobered up and put its sensible clothes back on. The daffodils look more like shipwrecked mariners in their so'westers and winter has slipped down the fields under cover of the night and stolen the sunshine away so that the roads slosh and slide with mud and everything once more looks unappetisingly damp and drear. The tumble dryer rumbles and the dogs are skulking under the table in case I notice them and send them out through the drizzle to sulk in their kennels. I have made bread and put on a pot of potato soup to warm chilled bones and cheer hearts dulled by the leaden sky. Next thing you know I will be forced to go and get more firewood, it is all most unseasonal and provocative and I am not amused in the slightest at this latest turn around.

I would be most grateful if someone would please kindly find out what happenned to this long expected spring and bring it back ?


Pondside said...

So sorry - I think every last bit of spring has migrated to this coast and settled in for the duration. I can see that we're in for another blue-sky-bright-sunshine day over here. Of course I could get all Sister Ste Amelia-ish and remind you that the pleasure of spring will be all the more acute for the difficult time now and that you should offer it up....but you might give me a shove down the stairs.

So a little sympathy from here - and a note that I can see that you are making the best of it!

Preseli Mags said...

The weather here is sober and sensible too, if not positively grumpy. Here I sit lights blazing because there's no sign of sun. The poor crocuses are being mashed into the soil by the pummelling rain. What happened to spring like we had last year when we went to the beach in T-shirts and barbecued - in March!?

Chris Stovell said...

I second Mag's comment! 'Her' hills are shrouded in rain. It sounds as if you had a good weekend away though.

eleanor's byre said...

Spring? What's that?

bayou said...

Steady, steady! It will come, no doubt. And your forecast for tomorrow is gorgeous 18° C!

Fennie said...

Spring begins in the winter and ends in the summer. It lasts three months, ergo each day is a day closer to the hot happy humid days of summer. Better look out the hammock and the asparagus sauce recipes, inspect the stawberries and check the stock of Pimms - though maybe Brittany doesn't do Pimms and as it is a horrible sickly Calpol type drink really then perhaps that's just as well. Spring will come. It's just everywhere late. Will my lawn daffodils be out for 1 April, I wonder having spectacularly missed 1 March.

mountainear said...

I agree with Fennie - each day is a little closer (today I noticed teeny buds on shrubs and trees). But it's nowhere near yet. Is it me or are we weeks later this year?

Our sunny days have disappreared too - drizzle from dawn 'til dusk today. Hot supper and the log burner blazing.

Frances said...

And here's a New York spring report.

The end of last week and the weekend were warm, sunny, and truly offered us all a hope that we could put our wool coats away.

And then. Monday. Today. Raining off and on, dark enought at 2 pm to make you want to switch on the lamps, and make some soup.

However, this morning I did my errand trips, and took a bus across Central Park, and can report huge bursts of forsythia, and lots of daffs doing their thing in sheltered areas. All the trees have that fuzzy-focus new green buzz cut on their branches.

On my street, there are two tulip magnolia trees that just need one more day of warmth to start their show.

Actually, I prefer drawn out spring arrivals, because anticipation of all the flowers is part of the joy.


Friko said...

we certainly haven't got it this side of the ditch.
it's chilly, (grey (dirty underpants weather, my daughter calls it), I haven't the slightest inclination to go out and work in the garden.

Cousin Mark said...

Sorry cousin, we ordered spring for this weekend but they sent too much. I will divert half of ours to you immediately. But since it has over 5000 miles to come it may take a little while but i promise it is on the way.

Tattie Weasle said...

As I stood in the freezing rain waiting for the chappie to unload the wicker hurdles for the veg patch; he cheerfully told me that snow was expected this weekend...luckily I was too cold to move so instead of a swift clip round the ear all he got was a smouldering glare. BRING BACK THE SPRING!!!!!

Twiglet said...

Snow on our hills and horrible snowy/sleety rain yet the primroses and tulips stand firm against the bitterly cold wind. No swallows yet tho.