If winter comes

Immersing myself in the aural landscape of Schubert’s Winterreise as I have been since Christmas it seemed perverse to be reading about Spring today.
The book in question is Nick Groom’s celebration of the English year – “The Seasons” and we have come to the sweet spring, first of all the seasons.  For all sorts of reasons January 1st now sees the start of the new year in mid winter yet once upon a time, in ancient Rome, the year began in March, the month that holds the vernal equinox – equal hours of darkness and light – marking the beginning of spring, and at the end of the month the start of British summertime!
Spring is also the time for bluebells and one of my fondest memories of childhood is visiting a local woodland known as Everdon Stubbs to see the bluebells in spring.  Nick Groom lists some of the English names for bluebells – “English jacinth and blue harebell, granfer griggles, and goosey ganders, fairy bells and ding dongs.”



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