Our hopes for an early, long, warm spring have been rekindled in this delightful weather. Judging from the signs below, maybe – just maybe – spring is actually on the way!
The birds have started shouting at the top of their tiny lungs. The dawn chorus sounds a bit like they are very, very, very angry that they have been woken up and are keen to make sure that they have fully expressed their disapproval at the earliness of the hour. Actually, who’m I kidding? I sleep through the dawn chorus. But the birds are definitely out and about and trilling in the daytime. The ducks have deigned to show themselves, the moorhens are plodding away over the reeds and the herons are acting decidedly skittish. Must be spring.
Tom’s seen a ray of sunshine and has got his shorts out. He has also decreed that the heating must go off and that there’s no point in lighting the fire anymore. So, one of Felucca’s signs of spring is me in my thickest jumper and gloves while Tom shows off his knees.
I can count the number of boats we’ve seen moving about on the canals since November on the fingers of one hand. There was one boat that bumped into us in November, a couple moving to get diesel etc near Braunston marina over Christmas and another that set all the Hatton locks against us in January. I honestly don’t remember any others. But in the last two days, boats have started moving around again. And we have made new friends, most notably the cheerful Ken, who has taken us under his wing a bit. It must be spring, surely, if we can stand around chatting outside the boat until well after half past six. Right?
Grass has forced its way through the mud on the towpath with alarming suddenness. I’m almost afraid to walk on it, in case by crushing the delicate blades I jeopardise all chances of a fine summer. The fragility of early spring can be a bit frightening, I think – what happens if a late frost comes, will everything die?
I think early spring flowers are the most beautiful. Snowdrops and daffodils and crocuses and primroses and daisies and some sort of small pretty purple thing are all on display at the moment, making an uplifting contrast to the bare tree branches and muddy, mouldy-smelling waters of the canal.
The urge to spring clean usually passes me by. But I wonder if that’s to do with modern housing and the conveniences of vacuum cleaners and washing machines that keep everything sparkling all year round? The dastardly sun seems to seek out Felucca’s hidden corners, showing just where the coal dust has settled over the last few weeks and making me itch to get on with washing the roof. So far I’ve managed to fight off that itch, but I fear I may break soon, as I find myself browsing the B&Q website with increasing regularity.
So, what are your signs of spring? I’m sure I’ve missed some obvious ones.