Smitten with Spring

SpringEveryone, meet Spring. Summer’s little sister. Excitable. Fresh. Ready to roll.

Nature’s playground. A creche for young spring bulbs that wriggle free from stagnant sleep through rich soil, yawning open into boastful blooms that blanket English lawns. Cherry tree branches cup delicate buds that burst into blossom like popcorn, sprinkling pavements with sherbet confetti. Daffodils stand proud, trumpets nodding against baby-blue skies. Pearly snowdrops, lilac hyacinths, and mellow yellow primroses cluster together in a display of pastel perfection not to be outdone by the scented narcissi that perfume the air with a floral bouquet of loveliness attracting butterflies and ladybirds here there and everywhere.

Bright and breezy tulips parade their vibrant underskirts like up-turned ballerinas enveloped in lacy tutus, prised apart by the bumbling bottom of a fuzzy-buzzy bee, drunk on nectar and greedy for his next fix. The early morning dew crystalises blades of grass with a thousand diamonds that dance in the breeze and twinkle rainbow colours in the light of dawn. Barefoot, toes delight in the springy mounds of minty green grass.

The days lengthen. Time springs forwards in a sixty minute leap that exasperates a population unwilling to sacrifice even a minute of their sleep. Weary alarm clocks gratefully retreat into hibernation, their tinny imitation wake-up call of cheeping birds is replaced with a real-life dawn chorus that could give El Divo a run for their money. Tweeting takes on a whole new meaning as the cheery trill of blackbirds and song-thrushes glides through the bedroom window, left slightly ajar, flowing forth on the breath of a crisp air that tickles the noses of soundless sleepers.

The Beatles sing: ‘Here Comes the Sun’.

The sunrise shouts: ‘Rise and Shine’.

And so, with eyes closed, a tentative step towards the glowing window, a pyjama-ed hand draws back the curtain a la Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

There. It. Is. That delicious orb of honey-gold that beams at you like a long lost friend.

Bleary eyes are dazzled with the light of a chirpy sun that provides the get-up-and-go of a dozen double espressos. Like a shot of Red Bull laced with ecstasy, we step into spring with a spring in our step. We walk off winter and skip hop and jump into action. Suddenly, the impossible seems possible. Getting up an hour early to fit in a brisk morning run before work? Sure. Feeling intensely satisfied with just a green-is-good salad and an apple for lunch? Sure. Finishing work an hour early because you’ve been so on the ball you’re practically tripping over it? Sure. Catching that Bikram yoga class you’ve been promising yourself you’d attend since Christmas before cooking up a storm in the kitchen, spring cleaning the entire house, relaxing in the bath with a glass of white wine in one hand and your friend’s dulcet tones rattling through the phone in the other, completing the crossword, taking a sizeable chunk out of Tolstoy’s War & Peace, watching Eastenders and taking the dog for a walk with plenty of time before bed? Suuuuuuuuuuuure.

Winter coats are abandoned for another year to make room for more appropriate items of clothing that prove utterly inappropriate for the season. Behold… The Summer Wardrobe. Yes, we are all well aware that it is not nearly warm enough for floaty skirts, loose pink shirts unbuttoned at the collar and havaianas, but we peel off the layers nonetheless, adamantly refusing to acknowledge the icy chill that lingers in the breeze and creeps through button-holes that shiver against our skin. A fresh-faced sun beams innocently outwards but shouldn’t be underestimated. Skin is sun-kissed with a tingle that catches the cheeks and the bridges of the nose. Why do we always forget the suncream?

Hello sunglasses. Hello eating outside.

The scraping of metal as chairs and tables are carried onto the patios that decorate the outside of cosy cafes. Book in hand, cappuccino in the other, we can indulge once again in the most beloved activity of people-watching, safe in the knowledge that our gawping eyes are protected by dark shades which perch delicately on the tips of our noses.The promise of summer is carried on the voices of children playing outside. A tentative suggestion for a premature barbecue at the weekend. Ladybirds.

The outdoors becomes your back garden. A feast for the senses. Fine dining for the nose. Sweet treats for the ears and food glorious food for the eyes. Drink in the patchwork countryside, swathed in buttercup yellow and shades of pistachio, jade and lime green. Bask in warm sun-de-light and catch the soapy scent of clean clothes drying on the washing line. Wind down the car windows and turn up the radio. A flirtatious breeze tickles your hair. You inhale the earthy smell of newly cut grass deep into your lungs. The cotton-ball tails of burrow-bound bunny rabbits hop in and out of sight. Clouds, laced with a hint of candy-floss pink, float amidst powder-blue skies and eventually melt into a blushing sunset blended with sherbet orange and yellows, edible violets and macaroon pinks and purples.

Lent culminates with chocolate for breakfast and succulent roast lamb, melt-in-the-mouth brand-new potatoes and emerald mint jelly for dessert. But who could forget those spiced, sticky buns fresh from the oven, encrusted with plump raisins, cinnamon kissed and smothered lovingly with lashings of slightly salted butter that stick to the crumbs nestled in the corner of your mouth.

Hot cross buns. Hot cross buns. One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns. If you’ve got no daughters give them to your sons self. One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.

Out with the cold and in with the Brand Spanking New. Love is in the air and spring loves you.