Spring in England

The English always seem slightly obsessive about spring.If I mention Bill Oddie to the average Australian, the immediate response will be “The Goodies”, but to your average English man, Bill Oddie is the somewhat obsessive bird watcher, still with beard (although a lot greyer) who hosts “Springwatch” and enthuses nightly about the happenings of spring.  This could be everything from watching Osprey, Wild Cats or Badgers going about their business.  Fascinating stuff!To be fair, spring in England is a somewhat different affair from Australia.  Having lived in both Australia and the Middle-East, I can now say I have never really experienced spring.  Sure we have a gap between winter and summer with a few flowers, but it’s not the same as here.In England, spring is raucous explosion of growth and a rioutous explosion of colour.  You can almost hear the plants bursting out of the ground.  Gardening is no longer about a small skirmish with the clippers to keep the plants under control, but an all-out war conducted almost weekly to hack the bushes down before they eat your garden alive.  Almost 50% of the space in backyard suddenly dissappeared into bushes when we turned our back on the garden one night.You can walk down the footpath on the way to work, and return that night to find that the hedges have migrated, sending out shoots of new growth which cover over half the path since the morning.  As you walk across the common, you can’t afford to stand still, or the grass WILL grow beneath your toes, and you have to keep an eye out for daffodils sprouting beneath you.Another thing I’m enjoying again is the squirrels.  I hadn’t really noticed that they had gone away, but now when I’m seeing 2 or 3 on a normal walk to work, it’s clear that they have been hibernating and I realise I haven’t seen them for several months.The biggest portent of spring however is that it’s now come to an end. June the 1st is not only the first day of summer, it’s also the month we head for home.  That’s right, in exactly 4 weeks (28 days) from now, we’ll be boarding the plane to head home.Before then though, I’d better book a cab as I have to head off to the US for a week today!