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Spring is here!

IMG_0817Spring is finally here! We’ve had to wait a while, due apparently to the fact that a jet stream got stuck in a southerly position, but it’s moved now and in the space of two weeks snow and sub-zero temperatures have given way to clear skies and sunshine. Here in the south-east of England, the trees are bursting into leaf and we have spring flowers at last.

This certainly isn’t the first time that Spring’s been delayed and it’s not the most catastrophic either. In 1816, the temperature in the Northern Hemisphere reduced dramatically as a result of the eruption of Mount Tambora, and in many places summer never came. July saw snow, frozen waterways, and failed crops, causing enormous suffering. The literature and art of the period reflects the weather conditions too – Byron and Shelley were living near Lake Geneva in 1816, and from that period comes Byron’s poem ‘Darkness’ and Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’. Likewise, Turner’s glorious sunsets were real – a result of volcanic ash.

Even today, there are many places throughout the world, where the weather is a constant threat to people’s crops, their homes and their lives. And it’s estimated that 2 million people are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder in the UK alone.

So I can count myself lucky that my own life is not usually influenced by the weather – being English I suppose it’s my duty to mention it at least once a day, but beyond that my reaction to good and bad weather is just to wear less (or more) and adjust the heating. I will admit to having been unsettled by this long wait for spring, though. Perhaps because things seemed out of kilter – somehow wrong for the time of year. Or perhaps because, for all our knowledge about why this happened, there was nothing that could be done about it, and no-one really knew when, or if, things were going to right themselves. We may like to think that we’re in control, but Mother Nature knows differently!

So how about you? Do you shine on sunny days, and feel gloomy when it’s cloudy? Or is the weather just something that’s going on outside your window when you get up in the morning? And – well, I’ve got to ask. How’s your weather today?

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16 thoughts on “Spring is here!”

  1. Annie,
    I had no idea about the weather in 1816 and how it affected our literature. Very interesting. I like the rain. I’m an open the windows and doors so I can hear it person. Most of the time rainy days don’t affect my attitude. I just want to sleep more.
    Today, was cool and sunny in north Georgia. It was a nice day to be out. I attended a niece’s bridal shower.

    1. I like the rain too, Susan – something special about rain on a summer’s day when you can open up the windows and doors. We’ve been having spring showers, which have produced some gorgeous rainbows in the last week. I’m so glad to hear that your niece had a nice day for her bridal shower – I hope her wedding day is just as sunny!

  2. LOL, Annie, I just blogged about Autumn down under! The leaves are turning and the mornings are crisp and brisk. WE’re going to have to wait until August before we see daffs!

    1. I was wondering whether we were going to wait until August for the daffs too, Fiona 🙂 I love those crisp, brisk mornings – one of the things I would have brought back with me from Australia if I could have, was the quality of the light – so much clearer and brighter than I’m used to.

  3. Annie, we always joke about the weather forecasters here in NZ never having a clue as to what’s going to happen. We have an iconic local song, Four Seasons In One Day- and that’s pretty much what we expect. Today was humid and sunny, then it rained and went quite cold. Now, at 5.30pm it’s quite warm again (I’m talking 19 ish celsius). Who knows what tomorrow will bring? (I’m hoping for calm and settled as I’m going on a ferry!).

    1. Four seasons in one day, Louisa! Not sure that some of the people at bus stops near me would ever get anywhere if they had that much weather to talk about 🙂 We’re on about 13 celsius this afternoon, which feels positively balmy – hope you have a calm day tomorrow for the ferry!

  4. Annie, thanks for the interesting facts. Living in Scotland the weather is a constant source of interest and comment. It rains a lot here at least it does in the west coast- the East, just forty miles away is colder and drier.
    Today it is overcast but. thankfully, no longer, freezing. The daffs are out- much later than usual- and there are signs of tulips about to bloom. Although I love sunshine, I also like the sound of wind and rain when I’m inside. It gives me an excuse to put a fire on and curl up with a book.
    However, after a very long winter, I’m looking forward to some sunshine and warmth. At least the days are longer now. It doesn’t get dark in Scotland until almost nine. In the middle of summer it doesn’t get completely dark at all. I don’t mind the cold and rain as much as I mind the short days in winter when it gets dark at three thirty!

    Anne x

    1. This winter does seem to have been very long, doesn’t it Anne. And what a difference between now and a few weeks ago – all of the flowers and trees seem to be racing into bloom after their late start.

      I envy you your long hours of light on summer nights – although not the darkness at three thirty!

  5. Hi Annie – Being a California girl, I definitely react to gloomy weather. It would take quite a bit of adjusting for me to get used to gray, cloudy skies. I’d definitely need to have one of those sun rooms in order to live in certain parts of the world and not be super depressed. I always feel more energetic when the sun is out. BTW, it’s out today, and I must go walk the dogs. (I say dogs because we’re dogsitting our daughter’s dog while she and her hubby are visiting England and Ireland.) So glad to know spring has sprung in your neck of the woods!

  6. Hi Lynne – so many Americans and Australians in London say the same. It’s not the cold they mind, but the grey days and dark evenings. A sun room sounds a marvellous addition to any home 🙂 I hope your daughter and her hubby have a wonderful time in England and Ireland!

  7. Ooo, interesting facts about 1816, Annie!

    I’m very fond of the weather as a topic of discussion! It’s a very odd rainy then sunshine and then back to rainy day here today. And after a very dry summer the garden is enjoying it… though it always amazes me how sodden it can look on top and then be dry as a chip a few cms down.

    I remember the sunsets after Mt Pinatubo in the Phillipines erupted. Spectacular! All those particles in the atmosphere provide a canvas for a stunning display. Actually, bushfires can do the same thing.

    1. Hi Sharon, I agree – what I like about talking about the weather is that it’s something we all have in common, so everyone within earshot tends to join in 🙂 And I’m glad to hear you’re getting some rain at last!

      It’s astonishing to hear how far the effects of volcanos seem to travel – those sunsets must have been amazing.

  8. I’m late to the party! And sorry to be, the year without a summer spawning Frankenstein… That’s awesome in a crappy-to-be-them sort of way.

    Every time I say Spring is here, it snows again. Not jinxing it!

    1. Don’t apologise for being a little late ladies! Lovely to see you 🙂

      I did pause to wonder whether I’d jinxed things by rashly announcing that spring was here – but so far…(fingers crossed!) Hope you get some sunshine soon, Amalie!

  9. I’m even later! Sorry……
    Funnily enough I was just watching a doco this week about that volcano and how Mary Shelley had written Frankenstein during that period. Fascinating stuff!

    Weather for me is just what’s going on outside my window. Although we’ve had an extraordinary amount of rain these last couple of years! It’s forecast sunny here all week although the days are now much shorter and the nights and mornings have a nip in the air.

    One of my most enduring memories of the UK is the daffodils everywhere when we first arrived in March. One of our first jaunts was to the Lakes District where we visited Wordsworth’s grave. It was covered in daffodils! Got very teary when I saw it!

    1. Hi Amy, thanks for dropping by! I’m very partial to daffodils, they’ve got such great timing and always seem to know when the sun’s about to shine. I haven’t been to Wordsworth’s grave so I know what time of year to visit now 🙂

      I can’t imagine how scary those long months of darkness and cold must have been, particularly as many people can’t have known the reason for them. It makes me respect the writers and painters who put those experiences into their work all the more.

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