Everywhere in the garden are signs of new life.
Polyanthus tucked in against the wall out of the wind's way.
The wild daffodils coming into bud —
— and the regular ones rising strong.
The fruit trees and the roses sending out the first signs of new buds —
— I read somewhere they go that red colour as a defence against insect predation while the leaves aren't properly out yet.
The moss and the ferns are as verdant as ever, and this very low-growing mint we have mingled in with the moss.
There's this silvery thing that one of us put in —
And the beautiful hellebores, of course.
The aconites are coming through —
— and the lemon balm just beginning to sprout again.
Even the front door is feeling the call of Spring —
— though it still has a chilly attitude.
Oh, look — just to the left of the front door — the first piece of letter-cutting Hebe ever did. That must be a decade ago!
People stop in the street to look at it, which makes me happy.
The Winter has nearly gone. Just as well. We are using up our firewood very fast!
Meanwhile, indoors, the sunlight falls as clear and sharp as lemon juice, on old projects like this casual scrap of iridescent glass with a snowflake painted on it —
— and new ones like this tabernacle. Tony has made the cross for the top (the original one had got broken off and lost), and now it's all waiting to be painted.
A design is roughed out —
— waiting for customer approval.
Up on the workbench, Our Lady of Grace has had some initial surgery to her layers of accumulated paint —
— but I trust those ill-advised stick-on stars will be going; that's the Earth she's standing on, not the firmament of heaven. And her hands look a bit meaty. Don't worry. She'll be transformed . . . The work goes on . . . Soon I'll be in writing purdah for a book that's under contract to be in for midsummer. By then the snowdrops will be past, the violets that have not yet flowered now will be fading then, and the rose on the fence in full bloom and the cherry fruiting.
It'll be Christmas again before we know it . . .