A Word In Your Ear - March 13, 2014

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Officially it’s not yet spring, though supermarkets are full of gardening paraphernalia.

“Each season starts on the 21st of its first month,” retired sailor Jack informs me, down at my local, Blackpool’s oldest pub The Saddle.

But diligent staff there cleared the inn’s fireplaces for ‘end of winter’ a week ago.

What’s more, at dawn the other restless morning, I heard our blackbird singing lustily outside Edmonds Towers. You wouldn’t hear that in winter, even here in Great Marton.

I feel cheated. What happened to those crisp and frosty early mornings with a brightening sun – that sent you striding into the park? Or those few magical days when snow fell, leaving gardens like a Christmas scene?

Even our robin has now gone on its mysterious summer retreat, a sure sign of winter’s departure.

What’s more, last autumn I took the car in for an anti-freeze transfusion but have since not even had to spray my de-icer.

When living overseas I missed the variety of our English seasons. In Australia, faced with months of sunny days, I yearned for an April shower or a cosy winter’s day lazing inside with book and fire.

During so-called ‘winters’ in the Far East there was just a slight fall in humidity. This was a chance for wealthy locals to sport leather coats and furs. After opening the wardrobe to don my one jacket for the first time in months, its arms dropped off from rot. So, that was why people used de-humidifiers!

How I longed back then for a fresh spring morning or chill winter’s sunshine: just for that change of seasons fuelling our habitual weather conversations here.

Still, it’s only the winter we’ve missed – while spring has come early. No wonder our blackbird was singing joyfully!

n Visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com for Roy’s books. Signed copies are at Gazette reception, The Saddle, Blackpool Cricket Club and Plackitt & Booth, Lytham.