Welcome to ‘Stitches ‘N’ Dreams’! Thank you for hopping here from Handmade by Hannah, and I hope you enjoy my post, as well as all the others in this ‘Happy Spring 2014 Blog Hop. If you just arrived here and didn’t know about the blog hop, you can start at the beginning on ‘Pretty Little Things in a Box’. The blog hop is due to start on 19 April.
I love the spring! I am not a winter person, and as soon as Christmas is over I am looking for the first snowdrops poking their heads through the soil, and the first spring lambs in the fields. I love the spring bulbs with their vibrant colours, and I always get excited when I see the first baby leaves popping out.
However, regular readers of this blog will know that for most of the year I live in the Gambia, West Africa, and of course the climate here is very different. The temperature is almost always around 30 degrees, and there is no rain between the end of October and the middle of June, so it always feels like a lovely summer’s day. During the rainy season (June to October), it’s even hotter, but there are big thunderstorms, making it very humid. I like the heat, although occasionally in the rainy season it does get a bit much overnight, but this Happy Spring Blog Hop has made me think about spring back in the UK, and I have found myself getting a little bit nostalgic.
I found myself remembering a very famous poem by Robert Browning.
Home Thoughts, from Abroad
O, 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
And after April, when May follows,
And 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!
And of course, who could forget the famous poem by William Wordsworth about the daffodils?
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
In my garden in the UK, I planted lots of miniature daffodil bulbs, and the bright yellow colour always cheered me up on a grey day when it seemed as though the warm weather would never arrive.
So in honour of those spring poems, I designed a Spring Daffodil biscornu, and I’m offering it (along with a few little extras), as a spring giveaway.
If you would like to win it, just leave me a comment saying which thing you would miss the most if you weren’t in your home country during the springtime. If, like The Gambia, you don’t really have spring, just tell me what you would miss the most about your country. I will make the draw on April 30 to give everyone a chance to leave a comment. I should say that the postal system in The Gambia is not terribly reliable, but I’m returning to the UK in early May for my annual summer visit, so I will post the biscornu as soon as I get back. I hope the winner won’t mind waiting a little while to get it – I’m happy to post anywhere in the world.
And to finish, I am going to share my dad’s favourite spring poem – he used to quote it on the first day of spring, and it always reminds me of him. There are lots of versions of it, and it really needs to be read aloud to get the full impact!
Spring is sprung, de grass is riz.
I wonder where dem boidies is?
De little boids is on de wing.
Don’t be absoid!
De little wings is on de boids!
Happy spring to you all, and I hope you enjoy the Happy Spring Blog Hop – thanks to Angela for arranging it. And now you are off to Aomori Workshop for more spring enjoyment.