If you’ve been speaking recently to anyone living in the UK, you will know that we have felt the grip of winter’s chilly fingers well beyond the ‘start’ of Spring. Night-time temperatures have dipped below 0C for far longer than usual and the days have nipped at the noses, fingers and toes of anyone daring venture into the outdoors.
But last weekend, things shifted. The sun appeared, the mercury climbed into the mid-teens and I found myself moving to the patio at Gidday HQ to breakfast, read the paper, paint my
paws toenails and anything else I could think to do that meant I could stay in the warm mellow sunshine.
The days are getting longer too (I mean versus the night, not that we are getting more than our requisite 24 hours). In the last week I have walked from the office to the train station three times, a wonderful 15-20 minute respite in the fresh air dividing the frantic busy-ness of the office and the cocooning commute of the train.
The best bit is that Spring colour is starting emerge. There have been signs of spring here and there but it would seem that the week of double digit temperatures has opened the ‘blooming’ floodgates (geddit? blooming…did you like what I did there?) and the tree out the front of Gidday HQ has burst forth in a riot of delicate pink blossoms.
And the daffodils are out. Their yellow heads have lifted from their winter sleep to bob drowsily in the breeze, lining paths, meadows, gardens and even the main entrance to the office. The Metro has been filled with pictures of Wordsworth’s host stretching across the Lake District in a golden sheet of colour – a sign of lighter, brighter days to come.
I have always loved daffs. They are such joyful, hopeful flowers and nothing makes me happier than a big vase of bobbing sunshine-y blooms. In Australia, they are in season around August and Mum always bought me a humungus bunch for my birthday so for me, there has always been a really strong association with family and happy times.
When I first arrived in the UK I was having a really difficult time, and I remember sitting on the bus, gazing out the window and quietly despairing about how I was going to keep getting up each day and build this ‘new life’ I’d crossed the world for. The bus rumbled over Kew Bridge and suddenly the view was filled with hundreds of dancing yellow daffodils splashed across the Green. My heart lifted, my resolve stiffened and in that moment I felt that somehow, things would all turn out.
So for all of you lovely Gidday-ers who enjoy my expat ramblings here at Gidday from the UK, you have a host of drowsy Spring daffs to thank.
And every year, when those glorious golden trumpets appear again and toss their spritely heads, I remember that moment on the bus nine years ago when an unexpected burst of Spring gave me hope and I found the courage to keep building my dream.