Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Signs of spring

I think spring must be my favourite season in Britain. I'm originally from Washington DC, where spring passes far too quickly - you get a couple nice weeks in March and April, and suddenly the weather is sweltering and the spring flowers have all wilted.

In Britain, on the other hand, spring arrives in late February and lasts and lasts and lasts... until summer shows up briefly in June or July, if you're lucky. And then by August it is already autumn. In fact, you could argue there are actually only two seasons in Britain, spring and autumn, sandwiching a few weeks of winter and summer at each end.

I used to lament the lack of summer, but I've decided it makes more sense to enjoy spring for all it is worth. It helps to have a garden - around this time I start noticing all the spring flowers blooming and become enthused about gardening again.

Spring certainly seems to have arrived in the past week or so. The balmy weather motivated me to finally get out and start running. I went for a run at University Parks with a friend on Sunday, and was delighted to see snowdrops carpeting the ground.

The snowdrops I planted at the allotment last autumn are coming up nicely - not in quite as much profusion, but all the same I'm inordinately pleased with them.

six whole snowdrops, and one daffodil just about ready to burst forth

The arrival of spring also means a change of wardrobe. I'm suddenly coveting a pair of Bensimon sneakers. I think these are a better option than the ubiquitous Converse. They don't make your feet look freakishly long and narrow, so you can wear them with skirts and not look like a clown. And they come in so many lovely colours. I can't decide if I should get the elasticated green ones, or practical beige. Or why not both?

Or no, wait. I absolutely MUST have these!

These remind me of saddle shoes, which are
apparently enjoying a resurgence via Japan. 

And finally, I've started a new knitting project, a stranded colourwork and lace shawl designed by one of my favourite designers, Kieran Foley. I'm knitting it in a range of green, grey and yellow Holst Garn 4-ply that I picked up at Le Comptoir in Paris last fall (available in 115 shades!). The shawl is called Mercato dei Fiori - the flower market - but mine will be more like an early spring meadow dotted with daffodils.

Signs of spring - a new shawl and daffodils