Saturday, 28 February 2009

France - and spring is in the air

I couldn't resist it and forgive me if I indulge myself a little.

But after a two week break in search of winter sunshine half way around the globe, I'm back in France and there's a definite sense that spring is in the air.

Now it might be a little too early to get overly excited, after all it's just the end of February and there's still plenty of morning frost around and there's bound to be more rain, grey weather and who knows even snow.

But in the space of just a fortnight so much seems to have changed as nature struggles to free itself from its winter mantle.

And taking a proper look around the garden on my return there was all the evidence I needed that indeed change is afoot.

Bert (the resident mole) has surely resisted the freezing temperatures and has been merrily tunnelling his way through the winter months, so in a sense "all is well in the garden".

But he has now been joined by the very first crocuses, happily poking their heads above ground.

Ah yes this country and many others might be going through financial meltdown and the media is whipping us all into a panic with stories about the economic crisis deepening.

Just yesterday for example on French television there was a report about the danger of deflation with the apparent mayhem it could cause if a recession turns into a depression.

Unemployment is rising, there's the threat of more job losses to come and all the signs are that another nationwide general strike scheduled for March 18 will go ahead.

But hang about, somebody forget to tell nature, because she's not having any of it - at least not here on the edge of the largest forest surrounding the nation's capital.

That solitary crocus from two days ago has now been joined by another, the trees are in bud and daybreak is now at 7.00am - a full 45 minutes earlier than it was two weeks ago.

All right it may all be a rather premature start to a season that should really be making its proper appearance some time in March, but what the heck!

It serves as a reminder that the simple things in life can still make an impact, not just to this forty-something man but maybe to anyone else who is willing to take a little time out to look around them and appreciate.

Admittedly it may seem a little childlike to be quite so enthusiastic, but as a wise man told me just this morning, "It's good to keep some of the child in us alive. It's healthy for the mind and body."

Have a great weekend.

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