Spring has sprung
Well, not quite yet but nearly there.
We're at the tail end of February and barely two weeks ago I was freezing my nuts off during a run of the winter stuff. Snowfall still in shade had not melted after 6 or 7 days. People's tethered patience began to snap a little. The flotsam and jetsam of our global pandemic seemed destined to go on into infinity and eternity.
Then it broke, eased, lost its grip and mostly faded and thermals were put away, one hopes, till the next cold grip.
I walked to my local park in, what was for us, a balmy 60 degrees of sunshine and dazzling blue sky. There were probably two or three hundred people in the park all told, glad to be out, free of the prison of our houses, actually feeling the faint warmth or the sun on expectant faces and daring to dream of better days.
I sat myself down by the glistening pond and poured myself a glass of chilled German Weiss bier and smiled as the life of the park washed over me....
Seagulls fought with each other like squabbling siblings while ducks and moorhens were scrapping for mates or space or merely for the hell of it;
toddlers messed about near the water's edge, throwing bread, messing with sticks, shouting at the fowl or just being there;
a couple of men pampered their dog, some sort of French pug which always look to me incapable of displaying any kind of joy;
a young woman, sat near me, a little dowdy and so engrossed in a book, it's all the company she'll ever want on a day like this;
the bloke on a bike who plays great Hispanic music wherever he journeys, cycles past, oblivious to everything but Latino vibes;
the loud Indian woman tries in vain to prevent her snow white hounds from lapping up the pond water, (I can guess she feeds them tofu).
Soon - but not soon enough - the trees will be in leaf, an explosion of wildlife, lounging in the sun, cold cider in a pub garden, sat by the river with friends and some fine food.
And sitting around the fire with an ale and telling stories to make each other laugh or reflect or wax nostalgic as the bright flames consume the night.
So it goes.