The bees are buzzing in the rosemary.
At the end of my street I saw two people sitting in their driveway in camping chairs, having a quiet cuppa. Were they facing the road, where they could look at the view, enjoy everyone’s gardens and say hello to anyone passing? No. They were facing their open garage, seemingly in deep contemplation of the ladders and tools and bikes and other paraphernalia inside.
That image still makes me smile. I’m feeling a bit the same way myself. Now that spring’s here, strong sunlight is flooding corners of the house and garden. Suddenly all the places that need a bit of a clean or a sort out are being illuminated. How long have those cobwebs been up there? A person really ought to clean the windows. (That would be me. There’s no House Elf in the small, quiet, pretty house.)
Someone’s taken a fine-tipped pen and drawn an outline of the mountains against the pale sky.
Out in the garden, it’s clear that one of the young silver birches has died. I feared as much in the 42-degree summer but waited to see if it would revive itself in spring. Now I’ll have to chop it down, surreptitiously, and hide the pieces in the green bins like a body. Why the secrecy, you ask? Because some of the older blokes who set up this place in the ’70s love to tell relative newbies what we’re doing wrong. Luckily, I’m the one who puts the green bins out. I might just get away with it!
The helpful handyman’s been round, and I’ve sorted out the shed.
Are you spring cleaning at your place? I prefer to call it cocooning. At this time of year I really love being able to slowly tackle little projects around the house, interspersed with a lot of sleeping and reading and quiet enjoyment of the comforts of home. Don’t tell anyone, but this is the third weekend in a row when I haven’t had anything majorly social to do. Last weekend I met a friend at the farmers’ market and we sat in the sun with the dog and chatted and watched the world go by, but then I came back to my cocoon and slept.
There are times when a good night’s sleep evades me for weeks and I seriously consider changing my name to Macbeth (“Macbeth doth murder sleep”) so when a chance comes along to cocoon and sleeeeep, I grab it gladly.
It rained, and the garden turned green before my eyes.
Spring is planning time isn’t it? I’ve been looking at the gaps in the garden and thinking about what to plant. This is a great season to pick up new interests, too, new activities. At this time last year I walked into a tango class, and the ripple effects of that are still being enjoyed. This spring I’ve found more dance classes to go to. I’ve booked a couple of weekends away, and a friend and I have started planning a trip to Spain and Portugal next year. Portuguese lessons start soon. Oba!
I planted some seeds and talked gardens with the neighbour.
The good books keep coming. Simon Reeve’s Step by Step has been an enjoyable lunchtime read, and I’m completely gripped by Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, which somehow I’ve never managed to get around to reading before now. A slightly mad American Baptist preacher takes his wife and four daughters to live in the Congo in 1959, and the women each tell their version of the story. I’m quite worried about them because Something Bad is going to happen. If you’ve read it, don’t tell me what it is.
The jasmine is about to riot. There’s one lone blossom leading the charge.
Next door’s cat lolls on the warm pavers in the morning or sneaks on to my verandah in the afternoon to bask. I take my coffee and join her. We’re like flowers, our faces following the sun. The air seems lighter and there’s an expectation to it. Everything’s unfurling slowly, steadily around us. The sun sets a pale orange each night over purple mountains and I go to bed ridiculously early. They’re almost medicinal, these springtime weekends, each day a quiet meditation and rejuvenation.