My heart leapt at the sight of daffodils in the park the other day, the first, just in time for St David’s Day. When I was at school, this meant eisteddfords and Welsh Ladies’ costumes with their yellow crowns pinned to tartan shawls. (If it sounds like I went to school a hundred years ago, it feels like it too. Wales is a bit like that.)
As soon as the final leaves have hit the ground, I start waiting for spring. I long for it to arrive faster. Face to the sun, shedding my coat with its pockets full of tissues, replaced hastily with too few layers for the breeze that still has a bite to it but I don’t care. Sockless feet, cold in shoes that it’s not actually warm enough to wear yet but your boots have been weighing you down long enough. Shorter shadows and longer evenings. Deep lungfulls of air that come and go without a trace. The great outdoors. Freedom.
If I can’t have long hair or any fun, I can have a cat.
I’ve tried with Hemingway. I have. I feel I should like him - he’s Mr American Studies - but we just don’t get along, with the exception of several Nick Adams stories. I tried again recently, with For Whom The Bell Tolls, but I had to put it down after a few chapters. I’m a Fitzgerald girl, through and through. Not that it has to be one or the other. At university, A Farewell to Arms was on one of the reading lists, so I suffered through it and then cried with frustration at the ending. All that, for nothing.
Anyway, today someone suggested that I read Cat in the Rain. I should obviously stick to the short stories.
Only a lunatic would expect the arrival of kids to improve their relationship; even if they are factories of joy
There seem to be quite a few of these articles around at the moment; cautionary tales about venturing into the world of parenthood. Or maybe I’m just noticing them more because the older I get, the more I think about it. I remain very much undecided about having children and I’m becoming increasingly aware that I’m not alone.
I was watching Sienfeld the other day and Jerry eventually has to go and see the baby of some friends. He jokes that instead of gushing about their kid, some disenchanted parents are all “It’s not that great, should have got an aquarium instead.”
Oh and another thing, I dreamt the other night that the cat attacked a baby. So that’s where I am at the moment, kids-wise.
The first flash of spring is a sexy, provocative time. Heads come up, gazes are raised in curiosity and enquiry. What are Rome, New York or Paris in the spring if not cities for new lovers, for affairs? And the painters come out, beguiled by the sprays of new buds.
This evening, I’ll be interviewing journalist and author Horatio Clare, for an article on his new book about being on board a container ship, Down to the Sea in Ships. He also writes (provocatively) about seasons.
His writing makes me have period-drama-esque feelings. I’m slightly daunted.