Spring is definitely back on the agenda in Southampton after last week’s snow. The catkins are appearing, there is blossom on the trees, flowers are popping up everywhere, the birds are singing happily and I am down to just three pairs of socks with my boots. This is brilliant news because my winter coat is in a disgraceful state, I have only three gloves left in my possession(none matching), and have had to resort to wearing a very strange bobble hat. But I absolutely refuse to get new winter clothing until October.
At the Ornamental Pond every day has been different: sunshine, mist and clouds. The birds are all enjoying their new found ice-free space and the swans have been basking and stretching in the early morning light. They are also starting to prepare the ground for making a nest on the island, which means that it will not be long until the great annual cygnet watch begins.
The birds are not the only ones enjoying the warmer weather: yesterday afternoon as I stood watching the swans going about their business a small gaggle of young men from a nearby sixth form college passed by. Encouraged by his peers and the promise of almost instant online fame one young man stripped down to his underpants and jumped into the pond. He clambered out very promptly, indicating that the water had not been entirely to his liking, and berating the nearby coots and ducks for not advising him as to how cold it was. His friends would, I’m sure, have been very sympathetic, had they not been occupied with uploading his plight into cyberspace.
It was probably lucky that he went on his adventure yesterday, whilst the sun was shining. It has been rather rainy today, making the Spring flowers all a bit damp and slightly mud tinged. But Spring is here, and there will soon be those beautifully ugly baby coots for me to admire, so I am full of happy hopefulness, despite a complete absence of sartorial elegance.