Looking for signs of Spring (487)

by Max Akroyd

Wintery sky


Even my commitment to seeing signs of spring all around wavered a bit today. Not least because it was a bit filthy in the weather department.

But, if you get under the surface, there are positive indications. In terms of sunlight, it’s like someone has turned the dimmer switch up a bit. This morning’s sunrise broke free of December’s subjugation and flared up the whole sky, albeit briefly. Best of all, about 30 centimetres down, the worms are busy again; I don’t know where they go in the depths of December, but they’re back…

However, I must concede it’s impossible to declare that regrowth has begun until its sweet smell is as strong as that of decay was in November.

One downside of being fairly up-to-date in the garden is the increasing dereliction on the  domestic front: I was compelled to spend the morning cleaning the place, fearing a repeat of the shame I encountered when the nice EDF person came to read our electricity meter yesterday. I was wearing pig-fresh trousers and one sock (the other was smouldering gently on the woodburner), the place hadn’t seen a hoover for days and our three year old was snoring on the settee! Oh well, it’s not quite as medieval in here now, and hopefully I’ll get outside this afternoon…


Well, I’m feeling pretty bad for carping about the weather. It turned into a sufficiently beautiful afternoon to coax all the family out into the field. In an improbably bucolic scene for January, the boys played contentedly in the sun as Emma and I worked our way around the fruit trees and bushes with secateurs, loppers and a saw. Previously I’ve been a bit intimidated by pruning but, under Emma’s artistic supervision, I became a pruning doyen (in my own mind). I got so involved in it I had to be restrained from pruning the dogs…

Whether this enthusiasm will come to fruition only time will tell. Fortunately, my camera is now defunct so you won’t be able to judge my efforts!