Let the sunshine in

Mothering Sunday was like Easters of old.

Warm sunshine, a slightly cold breeze and Dorset’s beaches packed to the gunnels. They say that on the seafront at Lyme Regis it hit 17 degrees.

In the hinterland, our beautiful hinterland, it wasn’t quite so busy. You could escape the masses by shooting off up a footpath and being alone with your thoughts and with your dog. Or I could, anyway.

Twice a day I walk past The Sleepy Hollow tree, with roots which have wound their way into real life via an Arthur Rackham painting and a film by Tim Burton. It’s bursting to come alive.



In the gardens, the daffodils are making way for tulips, peeping out of tubs, pots and borders. Wallflowers begin their glorious ascent into the most wonderful flower in the whole wide world, with a perfume like no other.

The grass in the fields is looking glossy, spring lambs are looking wary and the kiosks down at West Bay are looking to spruce themselves up in time for the season. It won’t be long now until the boats go into the harbour and men mess about in them.

Hope. It’s what comes this time each year. And it’s what we need right now.


Spring is here

After a muddy start, with moody, grey skies in a Devon seaside resort for a weekend break, spring is here.

My neighbour’s just fired up the lawnmower. Spring is here.

There’s a jackdaw nesting in the ash tree on the other side of the wall. Ravens are croaking, cawing a love call. Spring is here.

In the gardens and in Lidls, there are daffodils a-plenty, polyanthus in yellow, red, cerise and bright pink. Very gaudy. But it’s okay. Spring is here.

My wallflowers are out and the hellebore looks a picture. A picture of spring. Spring is here.

I can’t believe it. Blue sky in Somerset. A vivid colour in stark contrast to a yellow wall. Spring is here. Horses are racing, although the going is heavy. Isn’t it always? Not when spring is here.

There are bees and even butterflies. A few gnats buzzing above a farm gate.

Open-topped sports cars, small children without coats (their teenage siblings and cousins discarded them long ago. That’s kids for you) and fresh badger’s droppings for the dog to roll in. Spring is here.

It’s definitely here.

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