Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I have no idea what an Easter bonnet is, or why people wear them in the first place, or even if people do actually wear them, but just the phrase makes me feel festive and foolish. There is much excitement in this house as half the family is about to appear, bringing many delightful small people. Because my family is so diverse and extended, there will be many steps for me to see: stepsister, step-brother-in-law, step-niece, step-great-nieces, and three step-great-nephews, one of whom is very tiny and I have not yet met. My sister and I are busy planning lunch for twelve on Saturday. I write and rewrite menus, and contemplate ideal gustatory combinations. Outside, the sun is shining on the snow and the wind has come up out of the east and is howling at the windows. I am in high holiday mood.
Every year it comes as fresh amazement to me that we are so far behind the south. I hear rumours from below the Watford Gap of daffodils and primroses and pansies. Every magazine is filled with special Easter pictures of nodding daffs and bashful tulips and general flower life of all sorts.
This is what we have here:
Isn't it tragic? This is what will be the daffodil avenue, one day in the imagined future:
With dog, of course. That is my older niece's dog, and I like putting pictures of her up here, just in case the lovely niece might wander into an internet cafe in sunny Thailand and have a small yearning for home, and want to see whether her girl is having a good time without her. So, Tara, these are just for you:
You can see she has a thing for very big sticks. The dog, that is, not the niece.
Here is the whole pack, together:
Observe the blueness of the sky. It might not feel like spring, but the sun is shining.
As if to compensate for lack of daffs, the viburnum is doing its very best in my poor winter-ravaged garden:
And a brave hellebore attempts to raise its head:
And the magnificent Scots pines continue to mesmerise me:
Look at those different kinds of green. It's dream green; it's uber-green; it's Platonic green.
And I get views like this:
There are some days when I think that is all I really need. Well, that, and a very dry martini.