Friday, 9 April 2010

Oh, to be in England now that April's there....and a little bit of magic...

One thing I could always rely on to bring about a sense of melancholy and sadness when I was living in Australia at this time of year was reading Robert Browning's

'Home Thoughts from Abroad'
Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!

And after April, when May follows,
And all the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom'd pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray's edge -
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
Far brighter than this gaudy melon flower!
I had started to think I must have taken leave of my senses to want to return to what has been a cold, damp grey and generally miserable place for what seems like the last six months, that maybe I had been wishing for something which didn't really exist, just in my imagination and in the writings of Browning et al. I thought that I must have had my rose coloured glasses on whenever we came over here for a visit and it had all been a terrible mistake.....then at the weekend, something magical happened....
The temperature was noticeably higher and along with the daffodils and hyacinths in the garden pink blossom started to appear on the plum tree, the trees lost their stark silhouette, softened by tiny pale green leaves bursting from their buds..
On Wednesday I did my 'pilgrimage' to the hairdresser in Hampshire and took the route I usually do but thought I might try a different 'back' I drove through tiny country lines dotted with bright yellow daffodils and marvelled at how different the landscape looked to the last time I was there, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. I stopped the car, opposite a green field sloping away from me upwards to dense forest and saw two beautiful deer in the evening sun as birds sang from, it seemed, every surrounding tree. I grabbed my ever-present camera and.....nothing! Flat as a pancake - so, this is the nearest I could find to the actual scene....

Since then, there have been two absolutely glorious days and I cannot think of anywhere in the world I would rather be on days like these! My neighbour is busy with several ewes all about to lamb and I watch the ones already born leaping around in her orchard opposite my window....
Phew.....just in time.....I was seriously starting to think about getting some shipping estimates...
But, for now, April is here, in England and I am happy and grateful to be part of such a magical time.

Wherever you are and whatever you're doing this weekend I hope it's magical too.........s


  1. Hello! Lovely post - I know what you mean about England at this time of year; its just magical (albeit still cold). I am not sure I could ever leave. There are a family of deer that live near our house and we see them every now and then - its always a gift when we do, they are so graceful. Have a nice weekend, LBx

  2. My sentiments exactly Susie... From Wordsworth country.. :) Jeanne

  3. Hi Susie,
    I think that the country one was born in is always in your heart. When I hear people moaning about MY country, Great Brritain, I don't understand because, as far as I'm conserned, it's magical ALL of the time !!
    I absolutely adore this time of year in England. I was out driving today and, exactly as you have said, the countryside is bursting into life. I don't think that I have ever seen the blossom look lovlier than this year. It is amazing. I could never live in a country that was hot all of the time and didn't have seasons. It's because of the winter that the Spring is even more glorious.
    Let's hope that the weathermen are right and we are going to have a hot summer.
    Enjoy the beautiful weekend, Susie. XXXX

  4. Hi Susie. Such a beautiful post. Here I am on the Gold Coast wishing I was back home in NZ feeling the air begin to get a little chilly and watching the leaves change colour and begin to fall, but here?...noooo, it's still hot, hot, hot. I am so over it!!! If it was up to me I'd be on a plane right now.
    So glad you have all that beauty to enjoy.

  5. A lovely post Susie.... and I am so pleased to be in England now that the sun is shining too! What lovely daffodils there are around too... and we were as you said, so lucky with the weather for my sister's wedding. Mind you I have lost count of the number of people who have said to me "Oh, you just cannot imagine what a harsh and cold winter we have had!" So pleased I did not experience it (but the snow scenes looked pretty!) x

  6. I have just come to visit via the Semi-expat and I can't believe how beautiful the weather looked in her lovely pictures. I think you will be having a lovely Spring this year by the looks of it!

    Best wishes,

  7. OK enough - I'm suitably envious and very jealous! I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be than early spring in the UK. We always used to be there in March/April but that seems to have changed in the last few years to May/June but I guess I shouldn't complain - the roses are always amazing. Hope you had a lovely weekend. Leigh

  8. Oh, it is the most wonderful time of the year here in the UK.
    Love this post Susie and all the images!
    Have a great week.