Springing into Spring

The year seems to be flying by, and I’ve been left asking myself what on earth happened to March?! Everything seemed to get slightly derailed last month – blogging fell by the wayside, I stopped making any kind of progress with my miles, and I started to settle back into my old cozy routines – argh!

With the changing clocks however has come a renewed effort to stick to my New Year’s Resolutions (is there anybody else out there still keeping up with theirs?!), and things are starting to look up! On the 17th March, I was 49 miles below target, and wondering how I was ever going to claw back any distance. As of today, I’m 21 miles below target, and have averaged 3.8 miles per day since mid-March. There’s still some way to go before I get into the green – unlike Sam who is a very respectable 15 miles above target – but it’s definitely a move in the right direction.100_0097.JPGThe extra hour of light in the evening is definitely helping, as is the beautiful weather we’ve had over the last couple of weeks. I’ve always loved this time of year; there’s something so special about watching plants that have lain dormant for months suddenly spring to life, and in many ways this really feels like the actual beginning of the year.

Having a garden of our own for the first time makes it even more exciting as we watch all of the hidden bulbs appear and start to see our new seedlings establish themselves. Here are a few pictures of all the things we’ve been enjoying over the last couple of weeks.

Hello Spring!

Scramblers and Seeds

We had a busy weekend of socialising and (for one of us at least) yet more tennis, but did at least manage to fit a new eight mile walk in on Sunday afternoon.

Starting from Bramber – very near to Steyning – we walked up Beeding Hill and across to Truleigh Hill before dropping down and returning to Bramber via the South Downs Way and the Downs Link.

The walk overlooked the very familiar Chanctonbury Ring to the west, and Lancing College and Shoreham to the south.108_3566.JPG108_3572 (2).JPGThe light levels seemed really odd, and the camera has made my photos very dark and gloomy although it didn’t seem particularly dull when we were out (I am reminded at this point about a saying about a workman and his tools..!). As a result, I don’t have a great selection to choose from, although in all honesty I didn’t take a huge amount, being content to wander and simply take in the scenery.

At this point, it would be lovely to write about walking in the peaceful countryside but what we hadn’t realised is that in one of the valleys below us was a scrambling centre with a large event on. On the approach, we were rather puzzled trying to work out what the noise was, but once we could see the bikes we were quite entertained and sat and ate our lunch watching the race. Not the most scenic of views, but definitely a fun distraction.108_3562.JPGThe noise soon disappeared as we dropped onto the other side of the hill and joined the Monarch’s Way back towards Bramber, leaving us to walk across the downland and enjoy the sound of two larks high above.

One of the main things that I enjoyed about the walk was the difference in the weather from last week. Now, I am not about to get ahead of myself and say that spring has arrived, but I am starting to see hints of it approaching. When I was weeding our new garden in the summer I unearthed loads of bulbs, so I was hoping to see at least some of them come up in the flowerbeds and I’m very pleased that they seem to be doing just that. Most of them aren’t near to flowering yet, but I love seeing the promise of the new life to come, and we do have a few early splashes of colour emerging. It’s quite nice not knowing what’s going to appear; I resisted planting many bulbs last year before I’d seen what was already there, so I’m looking forward to seeing what comes up.108_3516.JPG108_3511.JPGIn other exciting garden news, the first shoot of rhubarb has emerged which I’m thrilled about. I wasn’t 100% sure that I’d planted the crown the right way up, and I’d forgotten to mark where I’d put it, so it’s somewhat of a relief that a) it’s the right way up, and b) it’s roughly where I thought it was!108_3531.JPGInspired by the turn in the weather, I may have got a little carried away online with my seed purchasing. I bought from http://realseeds.co.uk/ and http://moreveg.co.uk/ and was really impressed with both sites. They had a great choice of vegetable and flower seeds, and they were all delivered very quickly. Now I just have to work out what to do with them all..!108_3532.JPG