I started this post in February, but as you know, from my previous post, life took over and I was not able to post it, so here is my new beginning…..
It is March the 1st and officially spring; but nature has seemed to be waking up early this year, Persephone must be on her way back from the Underworld.
Spring has been coming for some time, the last few weeks when we were working in the garden I went out with my two obligatory sweatshirts on, only to find I had to take one off and would have taken them both off if I had not carrying logs and dragging branches.
We have been busy in our garden and all of the log piles that I posted about in the autumn have now been put away in the goats shed. So all little insects will now need to find another home.
Some it appears we can use this month as they only need a year to season (yep another fallacy logs do not take years it depends on the wood), which comes in handy because the wood we bought has now run out and we have had to buy some more, but the silver birch, sadly blown down in the tornado, is already starting to rot, to time to burn it, a brilliant wood especially to get the fire going.
Rich has also cut back the large Cob Nut trees that we have all the way down the chemin and is busy cutting them into logs. According to Alan Titchmarsh they make good logs for burning, after leaving two years to season. There are still many more to chop and we have to get what we can done in the next few weeks before it is too late.
Sadly I thought that I would be good last year and put all of my geraniums away in the goat shed, they all died! So this year I am going back to my tried and tested method and putting them under the hedge this autumn. ! I did manage to save a pot of Pinks and a Verbena and have now brought them out of shelter to brave the elements.
In the same vein it is touch and go with some of my plants that have been planted out and I think that I only need to look at the hoare frost (thank to my dear fellow blogger Roz for informing me of the name of this phenomenon that we experienced at the end of December, and the beginning of the year.) to know what may have happened to them.
For those of you who have not read my blog from January about living in Narnia here are a selection of pictures, it was truly beautiful, please see my previous blog from January for more.
But then again it may not have just been the frost as I think that my peonie has gone, in fact completely disappeared due to this little rascal, who has cocked his leg up it once too often!
Butter wouldn’t melt, and I could not imagine my life without him, or his sister.
The compost has been tidied because certain naughty Welshies decided it would be good to get in it, they have had to be washed because they, quite simply, stank! So in the last month we have had a dog grooming day, with all the knots of fur being cut out and poor Rich on his hands and knees scrubbing them in the shower. (I get the nice job of being on arse patrol – don’t ask!) However now that my compost has been turned by the Welshies is is s beautifully rich, it must be all the tea bags, and I cannot wait to try again with my potager. Tom and Barbara will return again this year!!
But for me over the past month it is the narcissi, daffodils and crocus, who bring a smile to my face, because they always give hope for the year ahead.
They are on their way again.
Every day I go out more and more crocus appear. In an earlier blog I told you how the first autumn we moved in I planted about 100 crocus bulbs, well this spring we have over 300 and counting. Every day I come out there is another tiny little crocus that has popped up, sometimes all alone, sometimes with friends. You will need to look carefully but they are there!
Sometimes standing alone as this one is front of the pot….
And sometimes in their hundreds…
Their perseverance is inspiring. No matter what the weather, harsh winds and torrential rain like the rain that we had on Monday, they still come up, never give up. In the picture below you can see the daffodils and crocus in my seventeenth century stone pot, the milk urn was on top of them but when I took it off the crocus were still growing, just sideways! Look at them now, to the left of the pot as you look at it….
The pussy willows have sprouted their furry little mittens, ready to release their little tails in April; and you can see one of my clematis is on it’s way.
But “March wind doth blow”, and as I am typing this there is a hooley that has come from nowhere blowing outside. with sleeting rain and what biting cold temperatures.
So I suppose that the point of this post, especially with regard to our adventure, is to say that when you choose to live in the middle of the country it can be hard, very hard, which you are reminded of every winter. No-one said it was all going to be easy, but if you don’t know the hard how will you know the easy?
But it is also stunningly beautiful and Spring is nature’s reminder to never give up, to embrace all that life has to offer every day, because you never know what will happen the next to remind you of how lucky you were the day before. Treasure the morning skies.
The beautiful cloud watching days like these yesterday, because you may have a hooley like we have now the following day!
I Suppose that Spring for me is a reminder that as well as bad times to see that there is also good sometimes all in the same day! Spring comes in with the beautiful flowers, the clouds, the warm sunshine, and then bang she blows you a hooley, throws torrential rain at you, and piercing cold winds, with some snow flurries for good measure, and the very next day comes back with a warm day and beautiful sunsets again. Today my poor little crocus are lying flattened, especially the ones that have been brave enough to go it alone, but I know that when the sun comes out they will bounce back up to enjoy her warmth.
Life has it’s ups and downs but if you go with the flow the downs will be fewer because you can remind yourself that beautiful things are around the corner.
As my dear fellow blogger Roz highlighted when she wrote only this week, that she and her husband have holes in their roof, and cannot afford to fix it, but they are happy. They do not regret their adventure. What is the point of worrying about something, in what may be the last moments of your life, when you cannot change it? So this week she has cooked pancakes, to hell with the roof!!
Let’s follow the crocus lead, enjoy the ride, good and bad, let the bad show you just how excellent the good is, no matter how simple; and most importantly don’t let anything keep you down for long, always get back up!
Someone close to my heart died twenty years ago this year, my darling mum. My dad had a stroke in the September and at Christmas my mum toasted in the new year and said “here’s to the new year, it cannot get any worse than the last one.” She died in the April. Sometimes I admit I forget the harsh lesson that I was taught all those years ago; but more often than not I remind myself of it because it highlights that you never know what is around the corner.
So here is to all my friends in France who have taken the plunge and gone for an adventure, who have struggled through the winter, and been cold at times, but who have still never given up. Here is to Spring lets love every minute of it, including tonight’s hooley! And tomorrow we will wake up to the sun.
Please share my blog and please read my dear friend Roz’s blog it can be found on blogspot under ourlifeinfrance. Enjoy