After many months of being out of bounds, glasshouses around the UK reopened on 17th May. In my book this is cause for celebration, I really missed spending time under glass, especially over winter when everything else was grey, cold and miserable. Ed and I made the trip down to London on Friday to visit Kew Gardens for the first time in two years, as he had the week off school for half term. It rained, all day, but nothing could dampen our spirits.
I love how different cultures and languages describe the physical world and seasons. In Japanese, there’s komorebi to describe the phenomenon of light flickering through trees, and in Polish there’s a phrase to describe a particularly beautiful autumn – złota jesień – which translates as ‘golden autumn’.
A Sunday afternoon visit to Winterbourne. We’re lucky as there are two botanical gardens in Birmingham, and both are walking distance from home. Each of the gardens has a different character, and Winterbourne is the quieter of the two. I love visiting Winterbourne year round, but especially in late autumn and winter as the glasshouses are a peaceful, bright and warm place to sit and watch the world go by. All that’s missing is a resident cat. A couple of summers ago the caretaker at the private school next door to Winterbourne had a cat, and they would frequent the terraces on busy days, but I haven’t seen them in a long time.
At the start of winter I hoped for snow and for the first time in five years it came. I love snow, as it covers the detritus of a big city in mid-winter and makes the world seem brighter and more inviting. Winter in the UK is usually mild, grey and damp. It stretches on for what feels like eternity, and is more of an endurance than a pleasure. Winter is the season I dread, but snow breaks up the monotony and makes it seem more interesting.