This time last year we were positively counting the days and googling ‘definition of spring’ I have always considered winter to be December, January and February, spring to be March, April, May, summer is June, July and August and autumn is September, October and December. I know it’s simplistic but spring always seemed to arrive on March 1st or St David’s day when my maternal (florist) grandmother would bring my (Welsh) Dad a bunch of daffodils every year when I was a child.
Last year was possibly our most special spring ever. It marked the survival of our first winter. Certainly there was the whole turn, turn, turn of the seasons, excitement of chickens, ducks and geese laying eggs again, pregnant pigs, sowing seeds and nesting wild birds, daffodils blooming, days lengthening and weather improving. But most of all there was the rather less poetic and noble ‘up yours’ to everyone who said ‘well you’ve not done a winter yet.’ because actually, we had.
This year we will mark March 1st again as our second winter accomplished. In many ways more challenging, more testing and more of a milestone. I was trying to think of an example to offer up for surviving a second winter and I think it is like a second baby. In some ways you dread it more; you know what’s coming, you recall how much it hurt the first time, you already are aware of the tough bits and frankly are still sleep deprived, barely out of your maternity trousers and not even thinking about your pelvic floor just yet before the next one is imminent! In other ways you are more prepared and ready to face it head on this time, you have ideas of how you might do it better this time, be more confident and assertive about your birthplan this time around. If you have more than one child this will resonate (hopefully, I am aiming to reach at least some of my target audience with this!), if you don’t then maybe you will have had to take your driving test twice, or something….
Anyway, we are edging ever closer to the end of winter 2013/14. It has been universally dreadful across the whole of the UK. It is not loosening it’s grip just yet – we had snow not two weeks ago, the last 24 hours have seen sufficient gale force winds to have the wind turbine tethered and visiting friends both last night and this afternoon commenting on it being pretty extreme in the static – all four of us assured them this was ‘nothing compared to some of the storms this winter’.
This evening I have been putting together the rota for our volunteer community run Sunday teashop on the island, this afternoon I thumbed through my foraging book to see what is coming into season first, this week we sold our first goose eggs of the season and we are now eying up our wood store and appraising whether it will last the x remaining weeks rather than months of log burning. The curlew is calling, the cormorant that hangs out around the river at this time of year is back and word on the street is that Cadburys Creme Eggs are coming soon to Rum Shop.
Spring…. reckon it’s on the verge of springing.