Today's weather has left a lot to be desired, particularly after yesterday's more inspiring blue skies, so I have been getting on with a few chores. And washing (of clothes, dishes, hair) done - and trying to avoid looking at the enormous bag of ironing on top of the cupboard - I finally ventured outside between showers (the precipitous, not bathroom kind) to trim winter's obvious bleakness from my surviving plants and to cut a few choice bay leaves in preparation for tonight's culinary exploits - a Kym-style take on cottage pie accompanied by roasted squash.
To my surprise, I could see rows of tiny 'bud-lets' along the seemingly naked stalks and in recent weeks, my continental parsely seems to have been inspired back to life. The bay tree by the door soldiers on as always and my strawberry plants may just be redeemable with a little TLC so there's a chore for next weekend already.
The weekday mornings and evenings are getting slightly lighter now and during the week I was delighted to see that my daffodil bulbs had emerged, green and stoic and heralding Spring-around-the-corner. But today, bay leaf snippets in hand and having pocketed my almost redundant secateurs, I turned to check on my brave little daffs only to find four - YES FOUR - flower buds nestled amid the greenery.
And after last year's flowerless haul, there are no words to describe the joy that the prospect of those happy, yellow blossoms gave me today.
The year is looking better already...