Surely one of the most satisfying things about any kind of journal keeping is the Gilbert White-like sense it can convey of seasonal continuity or change. At dusk yesterday, Jesus’s plum tree burst into bloom. I note that last year, after a particularly long and evil Winter, it had just started to flower on April 4th; in 2009, blossom had started to appear on March 23rd. I don’t know what the plum tree was doing in 2008 because I didn’t mention it. However, I do recall hailstones the size of golf balls at Durness – it certainly wasn’t plum blossom weather.

nor were there butterflies . . .

. . .or beetles on the budding gorse.

Anyway, the Spring weather is glorious, and we have been out enjoying it at The Braids

hang on . . . are those your feet on a rough path, in normal shoes?

you fookin bet they are!

and what’s Tom doing off work on a Thursday?

Well, today he is on strike, and a walk was just what was needed after a morning on the picket line. If I had any labour to withdraw, I would certainly be withdrawing it.

Slow-cooked lamb for supper. The windows open. A good day.

66 thoughts on “sprung

  1. It sounds like the best! May I say that the photo of those shoes on that path are very thrilling to this blog follower?

  2. Looks beautiful! I was just looking at my Japanese Cherry trees the other day thinking how wonderful it is that they bloomed in march this year, last you in the Pacific Northwest it was so warm that they sprung early, the year before that they were so late!

  3. that story about the strike is really interesting – it’s nice to be informed about what’s going on in higher ed in Scotland! I hope Tom and all the other laborers come out of this with fair compensation for their work.

  4. Congrats! that’s awesome (and those shoes are beautiful). Hmmm something about the garlic and that tied up roast bundle are calling out to me.. have a wonderful day and dinner.

  5. Woo-hoo! The sites of spring were great; we just got 6 more inches of snow so it was nice to know what blossoms look like.

    The best photo, HOWEVER, was your shoes. No that is rejuvenation beyond what spring along brings!

  6. It is quite funny (?) that trees/bushes are in blossom in SCotland, but not in Denmark. We are further south, I presume, but never the less we still have a forecast for the weekend saying frost at night and maybe snow!
    Those shoes are lovely, and I know it must be thrilling to be able to wear them. Congrats. Karen.

  7. I was on strike also today and stood on the picket line this morning (despite living an hour away from campus…and some who live within the same city didn’t even show which made me cross!). Anyway…It was fab to come home in the afternoon and take my Ralph boy out for a lovely walk in the sunshine!!

  8. Wonderful to see you in ‘normal’ shoes! We used to live near Selborne – the last time we went back to Hampshire, we went to Gilbert White’s house – but only to the tearoom! I envy you the lamb – I’m on ‘soft’ food for a couple of weeks, until I get used to the new teeth! (fortunately most cake is soft!!)

  9. Woo, hoo to you and your lovely, lovely shoes!
    Also, all power to Tom for the strike – a colleague of mine has just learned that her lecturer contract is not being renewed after June :o(

  10. Beautiful blossom..Edinburgh is always a couple of weeks ahead of us, only 28 miles away but 800 feet up. Crocuses are blooming and gooseberries and raspberries have huge buds.
    Visited the local nesting swans today whilst walking friend’s dog and they have a bright red toy yacht added to their nest!
    Thanks for Gilbert White link, I used to visit Selbourne regularly as a teenager when I lived in Hampshire and I love his writings.
    Lovely day..thanks for sharing and hooray for shoes!

  11. What a beautiful set of pictures, and what a lovely (if perhaps, occasionally, bittersweet) day — I’ve always found participating in political and labor actions to be a combination of exhilarating, exhausting, unifying and sad, and I’m sorry that you all are in that state, even as I’m happy that you all are fighting back. Good luck with all and everything on that front!

  12. I wasn’t at college today either – got lots of homework done though.
    I clicked on your ‘I didn’t mention it’ link and there were my lovely Pentlands. Awwwh!

  13. So pleased you had a beautiful day in many different ways and your comment about the shoe wearing made me laugh out loud.
    Spring is so full of promise ……. onward

  14. ………………….oh – on my walk yesterday I saw a butterfly, a puddock and a fish jumping – not bad for March……………

  15. Woo hoo! those shoes are gorgeous!

    The trees have just turned chartreuse-y brown on the way to their autumnal colours in the past week here in NZ. They’re making that lovely rustley noise in the breeze as I type and I’m looking at getting a cozier dressing gown. I hope the warmer weather is balmy and rejuvenating – perhaps even that sort of golden warm saturation of the innards of you. This being my first summer in 2 years I was heady on the warmth of the sunshine. The urban hills here (old volcanoes) create similiar-ish views to yours in Edinburgh. Your post makes the seasons seem to be a direct exchange place to place.

    Best of luck with the strike.

  16. Funny the things we measure our progress by. They look fookin’ great, and I’ll bet they felt great too.

    The UK Uni situation is bloody dire. We’re hoping it isn’t catching.

  17. goodness … I began at Gilbert White and from there flitted to Thomas Pennant, Johnson & Boswell’s Journals of the Western Isles, Sydney Padua and her Babbage & Lovelace … thanks for the pleasant diversion

  18. Looks absolutely marvelous. From the shoes to the blossoms to the dog and lamb. Particularly the lamb. Whatever recipe you’ve got going there positively sends delights to my olfactory. Nevermind that I cant’ smell it from here. I can imagine I can, and it smells heavenly.

  19. Your glorious blog is coming up VERY strangely on my iPad as of yesterday. When I enter your site a little tab at the right tells me to swipe. When I do a collection of four recent entries pop up on the screen and then everything closes down and I’m back on my dashboard. I was so happy to see the old NEEDLED blog on my ‘real’ computer. Do you have any idea what’s going on?
    P.S. Love the shoes.

  20. Utterly lovely. Bare feet too.

    Am waiting in glorious expectation of asparagus ( my friend’s is already up in Cornwall). First cut 14th April last year.

  21. We’re back up to Durness/Blanakeil on the 8th of April…. I am itching in anticipation of a fine spring break. Thank you for the link back to your archives, it intensified my anticipation another 10 fold….

  22. Huzzah for normal shoes on a sunny day! And good for Tom, standing up for his rights.

    I love that photo of Bruce leaping for joy. It’s Spring!

  23. Your pics and post show such a lovely day. Bruce looks as though he was puffed; must have been the spring weather.
    I love where you looked down at your very cute shoes, “normal shoes” and kind of took the moment to appreciate and thank yourself for being you, and the work and effort you have put in to keep yourself fit and out there doing things you love.

  24. Glad you had a good day :)

    It never ceases to amaze me how happy those first few spring days can make me. They’re not here yet, but your post makes me realize they’re not too far off.

  25. The title makes me think of English lessons (spring, sprang, sprung? )
    And the photos – well, as much as I like winter and snow, I too begin to long for spring now…

    Have a nice weekend!

  26. Lucky Duck! We are in for 11 degrees again tonight. Its just as cold as it was in January & there is not so much as a bud in the yard. Thankfully, I have some happy little seedlings in the house or I’d go stir crazy.

    Enjoy the lamb.

  27. I’ve been on plum blossom watch all week hoping each day I draw back the curtains that today will be the day – funnily today I was just wondering if my blog would tell me when it blossomed last year – hope there are many more good days than bad for you this spring.

  28. It’s good to see you in your own shoes again.
    Tell Tom that we, french uni teachers and researchers back you with all our hearts. I hope your fight will end up better than our several month long strike in 2009, which was a failure.

  29. Oh, here’s to those lovely shoes…….. and Bruce’s lolloping leap ……. and for being on strike on a sunny day ….. and here’s to your Spring over there……

  30. Just found your blog and am looking forward to reading it through. Could you divulge where you found the lovely shoes? Thank you.


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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)