Spring is in the air

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
In England—now!

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?

 

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.

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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.

Spring Daffodil biscornu

Spring Daffodil biscornu

 

Inspired by spring daffodils

Inspired by spring daffodils

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.

 

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24 comments on “Spring is in the air

  1. I would love to join in your giveaway and the chance to win your gorgeous biscornu. The thing I would miss most about the Spring would be not to hear the birds chirping as they begin nesting. We have several families of birds who nest in our garden every year and I love seeing and hearing all the activity as they prepare nests for the newest clutch.

  2. Thanks Claire. I also love seeing the birds building their nests and hearing the new chicks. One of the first signs of spring I used to look for was seeing the rooks carrying sticks for their nests.

  3. Thanks for the lovely spring thoughts and poems – I also would love to enter – the thing I would miss about Spring is that “Love is in the air feeling” when you see young love blooming. Ahhh Spring.

  4. thank you so much for the lovely poem and also the photo shots of your garden. The Daffodils are just lovely.. In Singapore we don;t have 4 seasons.. but what i miss most about spring when I’m vising other country is the cool air and also the blossoming of the flowers. Thank you for taking time in joining the Blog-hop.. 😀

  5. Your Dad’s favourite poem is one my Dad used to regularly recite to us when I was a child – happy memories!
    Your Spring biscornu is lovely, I’d definitely miss seeing daffodils and other spring flowers.

    • LOL! Maybe it’s a generational thing then – my dad (who died several years ago) definitely loved it. As you say, happy memories. I am hoping there may still be a few spring flowers around when I get back in a couple of weeks time. 🙂

  6. Ooh I love the poem, ‘The Daffodils!’ I’m living in the UK too and (strangely enough) I think I’d miss the spring weather…the one thing we can rely on is the unpredictability of it! Like you, I prefer warm weather, but I don’t think I’d be able to stand the humidity for long periods of time. In general though, the one thing that I do miss when I leave the UK is the queueing…no one can do it like we Brits can! Drives me mad! Haha. Thanks for the lovely giveaway 🙂

  7. I’d love to enter your giveaway! If (when) I am not in the UK the thing I miss most is the rain. You can get too much of course, like this last winter, but if I have to go more than a week or two without rain I begin to long for it.

    • I haven’t seen rain since last November, and to be honest, I don’t miss it much. But everything does get very dusty, especially when we get wind off the Sahara, which is annoying, and you are right – we do need the rain.

  8. LOL! It’s true – no-one knows how to queue like the British. Trying to get on a bush taxi (a minibus that serves as a public bus), is an interesting experience! 😉

  9. Oh my, your biscornu is lovely 🙂 And how nice for you, to live your life between the UK and Gambia. We definitely get 4 seasons, here at the Canadian 53rd parallel north. My favourite season is summer, but it is always too short :-/ Even so, if ever I could live somewhere tropical… I’d likely miss the changing seasons and get “soft” with expectations of each day feeling like summer… lol … That’d be a nice dilemma! 🙂 ❤ ❤

    • LOL! I think I am definitely spoiled living here. But I’ve heard Canada is very beautiful, and I do love a good snowy day in winter, but perhaps not too much of it. 😉

    • I love seeing the blossom on the trees in spring as well. And the dawn chorus in May is a lovely way to be woken up, although we are very lucky because we have beautiful birds here in The Gambia.

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  11. Lovely poetry and beautiful daffodils. Living in France spring is pretty much the same as UK except a little earlier! We do seem to have the same flowers although in our garden here we have masses of wild orchids which I most certainly would miss if I went back to UK. After 19 years in France there is very little that I miss about UK – except the shops!! Good to meet you and I look forward to following your blog. xx

  12. What lovely giveaway!
    I love Spring here in England – it’s my favourite time of year!
    I love the colours, the light, the breezes!

  13. I’d love to participate in your giveaway. I live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and what I missed most when we lived in San Diego was the rain. Don’t laugh…our spring is very, very green because of the rain. And between showers you can take walks and enjoy the lovely first flowers and the evergreens everywhere. When it rains you can curl up with cocoa and read, not feeling guilty about what’s not being done outside because it’s too wet! We also have long twilight here in the evening and our whole family missed that when we were gone.

    • I love the idea of curling up with a book all day without feeling guilty! Since retiring, I’ve had a lot more time to read books. I also love the woodland flowers in the UK, and they wouldn’t grow without the rain of course.

  14. Pingback: Spring Blog-hop Giveaway result | Stitches 'N' Dreams

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