Saturday, February 27, 2010

Signs of spring?

I can never remember such a long period of cold weather. You can tell that the cats want me to put the heating on. (They're sitting on a hot water bottle under those blankets.)

Mr Life has nobly taken my mother through to Glasgow to see friends and I've had a domestic day, cleaning and potting up cuttings. I went for a walk and took some books back to the library and it was COLD - biting wind and grey light. I took my camera to look for signs of spring but there weren't many. These little daffodils on my doorstep are a cheat: I bought them at the supermarket yesterday. Still, they do bring a bit of cheer.

The pansies by the door are blooming,

but these potted crocuses are not hurrying to flower.

A few straggly snowdrops in the garden

and some equally unenthusiastic crocuses. I know how they feel.

On the walk down to the library, I did see these aconites, doing their best.
Can you see the snow-covered Pentland Hills in the middle of this picture? They're almost invisible against the grey-white sky.
I was just thinking rather pathetically: what's wrong with life now that the offspring have sprung off is that it's rather dull. It's all right. We can cope. But the children were such fun. Among other benefits, Daughter 1 is always interesting - she's got such a wide set of skills and knowledge different from ours; Daughter 2 is very empathetic and knows how to cheer us up; and Son is very funny and always made us laugh when he lived at home.
Now we just have cats; and all the time I've been trying to write this post, Cassie has been walking to and fro over the keyboard typing little messages to you such as qqqggg/////, rubbing her fluffy side against my face and sticking her tail up my nose. Composition under difficulties!
I think I shall be very decadent: put the heating on, make a cup of tea and read my book. Mind you, it's Jodie Picoult's My Sister's Keeper, which I bought only to make up a 3 for 2 offer and took a while to get round to because I realised it wouldn't exactly be a giggle. Which it's not. I've not got very far but (as I always do) I had a look at the last chapter and - goodness me, she piles on the misery at the end.
(As I was potting the cuttings, I was listening to Othello on the radio and having much the same "For goodness sake! Do you have to write about this?" thoughts about Shakespeare. Could you have made this a gloomier play, do you think, Will?)
Mutter, mutter, mutter...


  1. I have often felt that about Shakespeare's tragedies myself.

    The weather is being particularly discouraging today. On the other hand, J is making the tea (and singing a song about it which is probably called "Let's all make the salad").

  2. At least you're not reading Thomas Hardy, that was an author who loved to torture his characters, then damn them for all eternity.

    Cats do love keyboards, don't they?

  3. I have heard Ms. Piccoult's book is good, however I can't bring myself to slog through sad parts in the grey of winter. Too much sad. Maybe I will tackle it in the sunny spring? :) Hope the sun's shining on you now.

  4. Oh Isabelle! My Sister's Keeper has such a twist at the end -- not a good book to jump to the end -- I hope you didn't ruin it. On the other hand, maybe you can now put it down and move on to some better literature!

    Your peeks of spring look lovely. We're still under snow here. Which is fine by me -- I managed to get a good bit of sewing on the newlywed quilt today!

  5. Anonymous11:26 am

    Goodness me. Such cold is a very long way from my thoughts. Take a moment to imagine yourself in my heat with my teens chatting to you and I'll imagine the cold and quiet. It seems a good swap for a few hours.

  6. I have enjoyed reading your take on things. I am on the brink of the grown and flown children stage and that bit tugged at my heart - I already recognise that feeling of having imagined their early childhood it seems so far away.

  7. Poor you. The chickens have flown the coop, the weather is miserable and you've been reading a sad book. I've read several of Jodie Piccoult's books, and enjoyed all of them, although some are certainly a bit on the deep dark side.
    Oooh, that photo of the street made me shiver - it LOOKS cold! Our summer has not been as bad as predicted, but I always look forward to the cooler nights, because it means the neighbours' teenagers won't be outside drinking until the early hours...

    I smiled at the thought of Cassie tapping her paws on your keyboard - Topsy used to do that when she was a kitten! No more (she's too big to even get up on the table), but she still puts her tail up in the air and her backside in my face when she gets the opportunity.

    I haven't commented on your last few posts - nothing much to say except that I enjoyed them as usual!

  8. The wind has been dreadful here, biting cold and howling round the top storey of the house making the bedroom unpleasantly cold at night. Nothing seems to be happening in the garden either - I must get some things in pots and pretend it's spring!
    I'm no fan of Shakespeare's tragedies either - an unfortunate flaw for someone whose husband has a special enthusiasm and academic knowledge of the bard. I'm cheering my days by reading Barbara Pym as an antidote to gloom.

  9. I am ashamed to admit that the one and only time I attended a Shakespeare play, [invited by my lovely literature appreciating daughter!]I disgraced her by falling asleep....which makes me some kind of Luddite, I guess? I did stay awake for "My Sister's Keeper," though I'm not a great fan of the author. We've had the coldest winter in a very long time here in Florida. But, no snow! Wishing snowdrops and tulips and all kinds of Springy things for you soon!

  10. Cats really hate you to concentrate on anything other than them, don't they? My two prefer to ignore the keyboard and climb up on to my chest so I can't even see the laptop any more for the wall of fur.

    I have just given up reading Catch 22. It was one of those books I felt I ought to read and lots of people I knew told me I'd love it. I didn't and decided life is too short to read a book I am not enjoying. So off to the swapping site it goes. I will not rush to replace it with Jodi Picoult!!

  11. i checked and there are NO signs of ANY kind of green outside ... sigh ... the receipt-checking man at Costco told me that i should read My Sister's Keeper - i dunno why he thought that he's the person to guide my book selections, just by taking a look at the stuff in my cart

  12. Oh, snowdrops! How gorgeous. We have just had a cool change ( I was in Canberra communing with children) and I am wearing long sleeves.
    I see you have an Asian comment - just deleted one of those.
    I am mourning the sudden death of a camellia. I think it was the last nasty very hot day which did it in. Now I have to yank it out.
    I am not a Jodi Picoult fan, although I did see the film of that book.

  13. Although we have no snow I think I'm just as sick of winter as the rest of the world. It is wet-wet-wet in my part of Northern CA and I'm really ready for some sunshine.

    Or maybe that hot pad the kitties are sitting on.


  14. The kids do make life interesting, that is SO TRUE. I'm glad you have those lovely cats for company as a back-up.