I will always reply to comments and always re-reply to re-replies.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


At last the three months of winter draw to a close and I begin to emerge from SAD hibernation. It has been a particularly doleful winter this time, almost ceaseless rain, with dreary "nothing" grey days. But the sun's red orb now sits exactly on the far house rooflines when I rise in the mornings (07.00) and the frost sparkles everywhere. Muddy paths on the dog walk have solidified to ice and many more birds are in evidence.

At least the warmer winter has meant that primroses are now blooming early and even the first spikes of unfurled bluebells are evident. Unusual, but welcome.

It may be just a little early, but March is the first month of the spring cycle, so I now change my blog head image accordingly.


The Crow said...

My late father-in-law used to say that Spring began January 1st, no matter what.

Spring is early in my neck of the woods as well, though - if history repeats itself - we might have a huge dump of snow at mid-March.

I hope history is still hibernating. (Enjoyed the cartoon!)

Avus said...

Yes, I suppose we could still have snow-in-March - it has been known. But I am trying to kid myself that all will be sunshine and violets from hereon!

Anonymous said...

Want me to send you some of today's 38 degrees of sunshine?
Love Daughter

Avus said...

Cannot do things by halves, can we? Your 38 degrees of sunshine would be fine here for a morning, then I would be wishing for "our" climate again. A steady, gentle 22 would suit me fine!
Pa x

pohanginapete said...

Here at the bottom of the world we're in the last days of summer, and the stag has just stripped the velvet from his antlers — always a sure indicator autumn's on the way. I don't relish the thought of short days and the cold, but on the other hand the light in the evenings can be particularly beautiful. 'To everything there is a season', I suppose.

Avus said...

Know the feeling Pete. I grow more contented as the evenings lighten!

Tom said...

Hullo Avus. I don't think I suffer from SAD, but even this mild winter is seeming to go on a little too long. It looks as if one ought to be able to get out on the garden, yet it is perpetually wet and draughty. On the other hand, the wild birds keep me busy topping up their feed containers. Perhaps its change that is needed rather than enduring cold, wet or even hot sunshine.

Avus said...

I have tried feeding the wild birds this year. My Australian daughter put up containers when she holidayed here over Christmas, but they refuse to use them. I can have a tree full of various birds but they nibble the branches instead! The contents of the feeders have all mildewed and have been changed twice.
All I can think is that the inhabitants of this large estate, on the edge of the country, all have bird feeders in their gardens and the birds are spoilt for choice.
Any ideas?

Tom said...

When we first starting out bird feed, they wouldn't accept it either. In time we realised that they came to us when we hung feeders under the open barn roof where they had easy access and exit - in case of predators (including us!). We also found that they were rather choosy about what they would eat. I now feed them almost exclusively on sunflower seeds, suet balls containing seeds and other goodnesses, and bread crumbs if there isn't a dog around to eat them. Mixed wild bird foods, which often/usually contain wheat, were never taken. I don't know whether this is any help, but it's the best I can come up with at present. Of course there is always the possibility that the birds do not recognise what you offer as food.

Avus said...

Thanks for the tips - I shall persevere!

Kay Cooke said...

We are heading into autumn, my favourite season. Writing my novel has kept me indoors a lot this summer. No regrets though. I've enjoyed leaving the front door open and listening to the sunshine-drenched trees waving in the breeze and smelling the fresh air pouring into our wee home. Enjoy your spring - no-one does it better than England. I look forward to seeing piccies and hearing about countryside rambles.

Avus said...

Your comment cheered me up no end! Thank you.

Roderick Robinson said...

I try to ignore weather, good or bad. Dawn coming over the Malverns; pretty but it'll happen again. Or perhaps it won't. Think of the weather as you would think about Fate; speculating about it wastes time, suffering from it and some kind of transfer mechanism is indicated.

Go on a weather diet; exclude it from your conversation and see if you're aware of the deprivation. If you are read some kind of book you would never have otherwise considered. Meredith's The Shaving of Shagpat, for instance. Reflect on the horrible prospect of being limited to such novels. This is something you can cure; with a little thought you may find you're able to cure yourself of the weather.

As far as I know SAD is a comparatively novel locution. Did you agonise about it before you learnt the phrase? A little learning...

It's presently the Borderlines Film Festival here in Hereford. I'm down for 21 movies. Last night I saw The Revenant; you'll be aware, however faintly, of the plot. It had its longueurs and I found myself devising a new title: No Country For Vegetarians. Try and exist in contra-distinction to what is expected; surprise yourself and others.

Otherwise consider this: when you watch the telly weather forecast there's usually talk of weather coming in from the Atlantic. As if there were times when weather didn't come in from the Atlantic. It will always happen, just like breathing and it's not a good thing to dwell on that. Nor on the fact that an infinite amount of weather exists - in reality and as a prefiguration - out to the West waiting to "come in" to the British Isles. That phenomenon just doesn't deserve thinking about; it's as uninteresting and as predictable as a Daily Mail condemnation of a Mike Leigh film. So don't think about it; your umbilicus offers greater possibilities.

Lucy said...

I agonised with, not about, SAD long before I'd ever heard of it, it was a relief to hear it was a recognised condition. It troubles me less now, partly because I can recognise and detach from it, partly because I think my brain chemistry has settled down quite a bit and maturity and stability seem to have done much to banish it. It isn't, as I've known it, a matter of just being fed up with the weather and the short days and feeling rather lethargic, all of which still afflict me, but a genuine state of quite frightening depression. But anyway.

Yet I wouldn't want to live in a hemisphere that didn't have our kind of seasons, or to live without winter.

This one has been mild but too long, I think. We've saved on fire wood and not had too much battering by weather, but I feel by now there should be more motivation to get outside and move about a bit more. But the seed catalogue is on its way!

Looking forward to hearing about your outings.

Avus said...

RR :
Yes, well................!
I do enjoy the varied seasons and wouldn't want to live in a country like my daughter does (Western Australia) where heat and humidity come up with the sun for the greater part of the year. She suffers from the reverse effects to me - getting up early to do things before the heat hits her, then drawing the curtains, turning up the air con. and settling down with a good book.

Roderick Robinson said...

I note with a sceptical - nay, jaundiced - eye, the strapline on your blog: "I will always reply to comments and always re-reply to re-replies."

If you'll forgive me, two words only just qualify. 100% better than one, I suppose.

Avus said...

Sorry. i was too busy staring at my umbilicus.....

Roderick Robinson said...

Excellent! You are profiting from this study in terms of style and content. I look forward to more of these sharp soundbites.