Today, we were visiting with my parents, who live on the Roman Wall near Hexham in glorious Northumberland.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning, the first really gorgeous day of the year – the sky was blue and the sun was actually warming with temperatures getting up to 6oC , even if the snow was still lying in the shadows of the dry stone walls or the dips of the fields.
I was woken to the sound of a greater spotted woodpecker playing tunes on the trees and the metal bits of telegraph poles – the males like to call their mates by playing tunes on the metal bits as if they are calling them via some secret drum beat, and the lapwings were calling their distinctive peewit calls and gliding up and down in their intricate wavy dances through the air through the stubbly fields.
Spring will be here when the curlews can be heard in the fields and summer when the swallows finally get this far north – they’re probably already in North Africa, enjoying the sun.
I love the light at this time of the year – it has a real crispness that brings everything out into sharp relief, making the snowdrops extra bright and white.
And the air was so still and fresh, clearing the lungs and cobwebs from this wintertime, when we have all spent too much time indoors, pushed inside by the really low temperatures. I seemed to spend much of the time, playing football or tennis or kick-the-can with the children, which got the blood coarsing around my blood vessels.
Perfection and peaceful; home.