Snowdrops are starting to appear everywhere. Some people say that they are not really locals at all. The original plants, possibly, came over from Europe and the Middle East sometime in the 1600s, or they might have come earlier than that – when the Romans needed a little bit of winter colour in the villa garden, perhaps. Then, they might have just made their own way across the narrow strip of sea water some time after the last Ice Age. No one seems to be sure.
It makes you wonder. For just how many generations do you need to live in a place before you can think of yourself as ‘a local’. Most humans think that if they were born somewhere – then they are entitled to think of themselves as nationals. Why are plants so different? Surely, if it is growing wild somewhere – then it is a wild flower of that area. Especially if has been growing successfully for a number of years.
The last Ice Age scraped the whole place clean. Pretty much any living thing that we see around us arrived here as a pioneer, and then became a settler, some time after that. Those who could stand our weather, that is.
Just down the end of our little lane – our lonnin – at this time of year, quite suddenly, a daffodil appears. This year, with the mild weather, we have plenty of green spikes on the banks and the road verges. They, however, are mere shoots, a couple of inches at the most, with only the suggestion of a flower bud. This particular flower is in full bloom, a very welcome sight indeed, its bright yellow blossom breaking the monotony of the green and brown that have been our lot for the winter months.
It’s tempting when, as we walk down the lane to the gate, we see this bright and cheerful herald of Spring, to really believe that Winter is on its way out. Experience has taught us though – this is not the time to throw caution to the winds and pack away the winter woolies.
This particular plant is a futurist, up there at the bleeding edge, ahead of the game, and we feel a curious kinship. We too, are fed up with sitting round waiting for someone to do something; we too, have had enough of dark days and closed in nights; we too, just want to get on!
I have to say, when the cameras in phones improved to the point where
the narcissistic flood gates of ego were thrown wide open, I couldn’t
really comprehend it. The sudden urge to adorn every digital opportunity
with your own image, looking cute, surprised, shocked – with or without a
grimace – amazed me. I assumed, however, that this was a passing phase,
an aberration induced by the flow of technology, soon to disappear under
the tsunami of the next big thing. To some degree, I have been proved
right. Even the development of the selfie stick produced nothing more
than a minor stimulation. The selfie is on the way out.
Then, I broke through into the technological age. I acquired a phone with
a camera – and an amazing number of other functions unrelated phone
calls. This has brought a new understanding, I now see that, in fact,
the narcissistic tendencies I assumed to be a resurgence of something with
survival value from humankind’s past, are nothing more than the
limitations of the device.
It isn’t that we became overly infatuated with our own likeness – it’s
simply that the camera in your phone is pretty useless for anything
other than a selfie.
After what has seemed like months of living perpetually inside a cloud, with no horizon, and no real way to tell where the ground ends and the sky begins, the unseasonably warm, wet weather has given way – to the sort of cold, bright and still days we associate with winter. Everyone has wrapped up and cheered up, isn’t it amazing what a little sunshine will do.
The sun, you see, was totally fed up with seeing nothing but the backs of clouds. It has, after all, finished with summer down in the southern hemisphere, there’s just a few lose ends to tidy up. Although it doesn’t have much time for us yet, when it pops it’s head up to peek through the south facing windows, it can see that winter is definitely looking worn, jaded and very ragged round the edges.
What was obviously needed was a bit of a clean up. Not a fully fledged Spring clean, there isn’t time for that yet, but there was certainly a need a quick wipe down to remove that film of damp grey that seemed to cover everything.
Once that was done, and things were looking a bit brighter, our mountains were given a light dusting of snow – in lieu of icing sugar.
I am not an island.
I gather the gift of serenity
and hold it in my hand.
To give to all who know
that only in giving do we gain.
We reap as we do sow
We have been busy doing family stuff over the last few weeks – this meant travelling down to the other end of the world.
While we were down in the nether regions of the British Isles, we were so busy enjoying ourselves, that when the time came to come home – we left the camera on the sideboard in a daughter’s dinning room. Taking this as a sign from The Universe, we made the decision to use the camera in the phone for all future post pictures.
So here we go, then.
Along with all the rain we’ve been having lately, we’ve had some very mild temperatures – for the time of year. Personally, I wouldn’t trust the weather at the moment, but it seems that some people just can’t wait.
I think it’s not so much that we are impatient, it’s just that we are fed up with it all. How much longer do we have to put up with this? That’s the big question. When it comes down to it, I suppose, you just have to trust that there really is a ray of sunshine at the end of this very wet and windy tunnel we seem to have spent the last few months in.
Hope is funny old stuff, isn’t it? As you can see, even the daffs are hoping for the best. And The Very Best is what we wish you – in fact better than the best. A very Happy New Year to everyone for 2016 from David, Jackie, and The Dog.
Happy Holiday is OK, I suppose, but it does seem a bit wishy-washy. I mean, this is a Christian celebration. I know there are a great many people whose religions allow a relaxed attitude to a good party. Let me, right now, extend a very warm welcome to you all. Come on in, sit down, have a piece of Christmas cake. All good Christians are happy to have you here to celebrate this time of year with us.
A Very Happy Christmas and a Uniquely Prosperous 2016 to you all
David, Jackie, and The Dog.