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The Sun Appears

Something extraordinary has
happened in England
this morning: the sun is out.

After five months of almost
unremitting gloom and frigidity, the weather today resembles – only resembles,
mind – a spring day.  There is still a
distinct chill in the air, but a sure sign of hope is that the daffodils,
having emerged only reluctantly this year and even then appeared to lack the
strength to stand up, are today proudly vertical and looking positively
luminous – “fluttering and waving in the breeze” and all that.

The weather forecasters will no
doubt spoil the moment.  “Catch the sun
while it lasts,” I can hear them chortling with that familiar air of barely restrained
glee.  “The cold snap will return
tomorrow.”  And farther north the hills
are probably still coated with snow. 

And it is a foolish man who
tempts the gods of English weather on days such as this. But despite the frosts
of the past few nights, perhaps winter really is finally in retreat.  And, if nothing else, those sadistic gods
have refrained from raining on us for three days.

So, it’s out to the garden, to
make metaphorical hay while the sun shines. 
Actually, I’ll be sowing, not reaping. 
“Plant when the last chance of frost has passed,” say the seed and bulb
packets, but in these parts that could mean June, so I shall ignore the

Forgive my moment of John
Major-ish euphoria, but small mercies are a cause for thankfulness, and writing
of the joys of spring makes a nice change from ranting about the parlous state
of the nation’s finances – even the economy, fingers crossed, is showing signs
of remission – and the deplorable condition of our education system and then
inexorable decline of good manners and decent grammar.

“Oh to be in England now that spring is here ….”

Well, for now.  I shall no doubt be returning to gloomier
themes before the week is out.


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