A Quarter Round the Sun

Spring officially starts today as the vernal or Spring Equinox takes place this year on March 20th in the Northern Hemisphere. Earth is spinning its yearly journey through the solar system and for earthlings in the northern hemisphere it’s definitely the topic of the day, the week, even the month; it’s almost all we can talk about at the school gates and in the boulangerie. I like winter though, of course, for winter is a necessity to enjoy spring, and as it is seen as a time of rebirth, with many cultures holding celebrations marking the equinox in March. 

Even the children, getting wiser and older as they go through the years, appreciate the seasons now. Each new day they ask me when they can wear shorts and when they can swim; perhaps they’re jumping the gun a bit, but it won’t be long now; in fact, it’ll be just a matter of weeks before the shorts go on and sunhats replace the gloves and scarves in the hallway. It’s like the prelude to a great big party, the build up is immense and the sights, sounds and smells of summer lurk tantalisingly just out of reach above the burgeoning blossom. Our garden birds all have their mating clothes on, too, and are prancing about in the warm spring sunshine.


But this year I am finding the very thing I love the most about spring, about the garden and feeling the earth between my fingers, about mowing the lawn and getting to work, is causing me the biggest headache; for this year, more so than perhaps at any time since marrying and starting a family 20 years ago, I’m finding I have never been busier.


To make matters worse a most unwelcome visitor came knocking at our door last Thursday; La Grippe (otherwise known as the flu) came to pay a call and linger under the eaves for a few days. If it’s not la grippe then it’s something horribly similar. One by one we are falling. Still the show must go on, as they say, and I was determined to post today. I managed to get out and about a little in the car yesterday and add a few photos to the collection I had put together at the beginning of the week. I apologise my brain is somewhat fuddled and so this post is all about photos and really rather short on words!

Everything is early this year, our plum trees have already dropped their delicate flowers and replaced it with tender green young leaves. All the other blossom is starting to bloom in a variety of colours at every corner and I just know our cherry will soon be joining the parade.





Early crops are in flower throughout the fields. Rapeseed is cutting a blazing trail of bright yellow across the landscape and the vines are all pruned; they’re snugly dormant for now, happy to wait for even warmer weather.



I am sure our wisteria is just a couple of weeks away as I can literally see the buds getting bigger by the day.


In gardens sheets can be seen flapping in the wind to dry.


The cows are out from their winter barns and happily back in their fields and fresh new pasture.


The Marais is quiet except for a lone swan.


Scrambling across the dykes, children’s laughter and screams punctuate the air like the shriek of excited waders and wildfowl.



The beaches are still empty though, and on beautiful days such as these there is simply no better place to walk the dogs.


Unless of course you prefer narrow little lanes amidst the emerging foliage of spring; it’s a hard choice.



With warm skies and such a hazy sun it was more like an English summer’s day than spring in the middle of March yesterday.




Back home, I realised that even from the kitchen window everything seems calm and serene. Wishing everyone in the Northern Hemisphere a very happy first day of Spring, and everyone else a wonderful Sunday x



40 thoughts on “A Quarter Round the Sun

  1. Blossoms!! Ahhhhhhhhhhh……….and the girls in Spring wear!…………and daffodils!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you!!!!!!!!

  2. Hope you will all be feeling much better very soon. Thank-you for the lovely photos & blog despite you not being very well; much appreciated. Spring is also well under way up here near the north coast of Brittany. Warmest wishes.x

    1. Hi Petrina, isn’t it just wonderful to see spring flowers and everything starting to emerge and blossom, so glad it is the same in Brittany, I think this is my favourite time of year. I am sure we will all be on the mend soon, my poor husband is the only one who has not succumbed and so he is acting matron to all of us! Hope you have had a lovely weekend. Susan x

  3. Hope you will all be better soon. Stuart has been down with “la grippe” for almost a week. Luckily. fingers crossed, it has avoided me so far.

    1. Hi Nadia, it’s certainly doing the rounds, I know so many people who have had it. Hope your husband feels better soon and hope you manage to avoid it. The problem with big families is as one gets better the next goes down!!!

  4. Spring: the most difficult time of year to sit at a computer and write. Well done for making your post date. The photos are beautiful. Aren’t yellows and greens the most heart-lifting colours against a blue sky? Bon rétablissment.

    1. Oh I so totally agree, the colours are just perfection, daffodils literally seem to smile and the baby tender green leaves are so fragile and yet so perfect, I just love this time of year, the emergence of new life at every turn. Susan x

  5. Bon rétablissement à vous et à votre famille. L’ arrivée du printemps en Charente-Maritime et le bon air iodé de l’ océan Atlantique devraient vous aider à guérir plus vite !. C’ est très sympa de partager vos photos de votre belle région vendéenne malgré la fatigue due à la grippe. Good recovery for all the members of your family.

    1. Merci Philippe, Il semble que la gripe est partout en ce moment! Mais j,espère, comme vous dites, que ça va aller mieux maintenant que le Printemps est là! Susan x

    1. Hi Yvonne and Neil, Oh so do I, it’s all rather boring! But the weather has been gorgeous and I am hoping that everyone will be outside enjoying the weather again soon. Hope you are having a wonderful month wherever you are! Susan x

      1. Been on The Algarve for 7 weeks, now enjoying Scottish Springtime. Off to USA in April for 5 weeks…..love retirement! Looking forward to France in September!
        Say hi to all from us

        1. Hope you had lots of fun in Portugal, I cannot think of a better way to spend retirement, so looking forward to seeing you both again in September, everyone says hello back xxx

  6. La grippe held me in its grip last week as well. My variety, in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, involved a great deal of coughing. It got quite monotonous. Glad to hear you are much better, as I am, though the fatigue hangs on, doesn’t it? So far, my husband has not succumbed. Our first day of spring began with a wet snow falling on daffodils and blossoming trees. Too warm to stick to the ground for long, though. Thanks for your lovely photographs.

    1. Hi Bettye, it seems we have exactly the same strain across the pond! The cough is horrendous I agree, now feeling so much better expect, as you say, for the fatigue, even tapping away at a keyboard seems like an inordinately amount of hard work! My husband hasn’t succumbed either, he is the only one who hasn’t, so the poor thing is acting as Matron to all of us! I hope you snow showers disappear and that warmer weather arrives soon, I feel sorry for the poor daffodils. Rest, and don’t do too much and get better soon. Susan x

  7. Susan, Just love receiving your posts every time love the pictures, and how you share the details of your everyday life. Thanks for sharing, Hope that you all will be well soon.

    1. Thank you Marilyn, I am sure with the arrival of spring we will all be on the mend soon, my poor husband is the only one not to succumb and so he is playing matron, and exceedingly well I might add, we are all rather lucky to be in such good hands! It is always such a pleasure to write about our life here as I feel so privileged to be here that I just have to share it. Hope you have had a lovely weekend, Susan x

  8. Oh my, your photos bring out the yearning in my heart to be where you are…those blue skies, those serene paths and magnificent old homes…oh to dream. I so appreciate you taking the time while having la grippe to pass on the pics. They are like heaven on earth to me, while we still sit in the pouring rain on the west coast of Canada! Milles mercis!

    1. Hi Liane, thank you so much, and I am sure spring will soon be arriving with you, you certainly live in a very beautiful part of the world. I always try an remind myself that rain is good and that we need rain, but it’s not always easy to appreciate it when it never seems to stop! Despite the bad weather I hope you have had a lovely weekend, Susan x

  9. Happy Spring from Georgia, USA. I am a new reader of your blog, and I enjoy it very much! I hope “la grippe” leaves your household soon!

    1. Hi Theresa, welcome to the blog and I am so glad you found me and thank you for taking the time to comment. I am sure we will all be fit and healthy again soon! I rather love Georgia, have travelled around the state quite a bit and love the southern charm. Hope you have had a lovely weekend, Susan x

  10. Lovely photos, so thank you for doing them in spite of “la grippe.” I think that’s just a nasty old meanie part of winter, trying to hang on for a while. Begone to it!!

    1. Hi Emm, yes you’re right, winter just doesn’t want to let go! Begone to it indeed, my poor husband, the only one not to have succumbed is doing a fantastic job as Matron! We will all be better very soon, positive thinking! So glad you liked the photos, there is always something so magical about spring. Hope you have had a lovely weekend Susan x

  11. Hi Susan. What a committed blogger you are! I hope you all pick up soon, it’s horrible feeling under the weather, especially when Spring is coming out to play! A beautiful Spring day here in Wiltshire today, blue skies, warmth, finally, in the sun and at the moment, no wind! I think that’s going to change for the Easter weekend sadly, but for now, I’ll drink in the season’s beauty. Have a happy and healthy week.

    1. Hi Marian, thank you so much. The weather has been stunning here for a week or more now, as you say, it’s so fabulous to finally throw open the odd window (away from the wind) and feel warm. Very best wishes Susan x

  12. Was a nice read Susan. I know the feeling when Spring hits our special place in the world – France! beautiful pictures you have taken. And the kids are in their shorts hahaha, kids will be kids ha! Have a wonderful Spring. Take care. Juli

    1. Thanks Juli, it is stunning here at the moment! The kids will pull on shorts the minute the weather feels at all warm! But admittedly they had been playing tennis! Have a great Easter. Susan x

  13. You are intrepid to go out and photograph when not feeling the best. Thank you for the lovely photos of spring. We managed to have sleet and a bitterly cold wind for the first day of spring, so sunny day photos are lovely. Crazily, we are supposed to get in the 70s (21-23C) by Wed. March madness, indeed.

    Hope everyone is recovered and that Roddy dodged la grrippe.

    1. Hi Mary, sleet and snow just shouldn’t be allowed in the spring! But the 70’s sounds more than pleasant, enjoy it whilst it lasts. Roddy is soldiering on, he’s a real star! Thank you so much Susan x

  14. Flu – bleah ! I loathe it – the hunchbacked beast of Spring that devours all goodness and wrenches the to-do-list out of your grasp with a sneeze and cough.

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