Less than a month ago, I posted a picture of the snowy view from my front door. During this last week, conversely, it appears that Spring has decided to put in an early appearance instead.
This photo was taken last weekend at Syon Lane Community Allotment, which is already beginning to look a lot greener than it did the last time I was there back in January, with blossom starting to appear everywhere.
Despite what the weather forecast is saying, I’m hoping this really is the beginning of a new Spring…
Now that the election is finally over and the dust is settling on the chaos, here’s something more interesting you can do if you’re in London over the weekend. The Kew Bridge Eco-Village is holding a two day Spring Festival this weekend – so come on down on Saturday or Sunday (or even both days!) between 12pm and 7pm to meet the villagers and get involved in some fun activities!
Saturday is for the kids, so if you have little ones, bring them down – they’ll love getting messy potting out plants and having their faces painted by some of the best artists in the village, and they can also get involved in music, mask making, puppetry, story telling and more. Parents can enjoy a nice cuppa and a bit of peace and quiet!
Sunday is more for the grown ups. There will be fascinating workshops on all sorts of interesting topics, great music (bring an instrument!), an open mic session, poetry, a warming open fire and a communal meal. Bring yourself, your friends, and some food to share with everyone!
This is a weekend of activities for everyone, and all are welcome. Come down for the Eco-Village experience, if you haven’t already – and if you have, come back and say hello!
The Eco-Village is right opposite Kew Bridge mainline railway station (trains to and from Waterloo); look for the banners across the road as you come out of the station, which you can see in the photo above, and if you’re coming by bus, the 237 from Shepherd’s Bush, the 267 from Hammersmith and the 65 between Kingston and Ealing stop right outside. The nearest tube station is Gunnersbury, on the District Line, which is a 5-10 minute walk down the road.
So apparently spring has finally arrived at last! Not with a bang, obviously, but shuffling in like a kid who’s late for school again, staring at its shoelaces and shamefacedly muttering its apologies to Mother Nature as it slinks, red faced to its desk. A crappy simile, I know, but it has all been a bit underwhelming thus far.
But then I spotted this beautiful tree full of blossom as I walked through Old Isleworth (down by the river Thames in west London) on my way home from a friend’s house on Bank Holiday Monday. The sun was finally shining, the evening sky was an almost summery blue, and the loveliness of this tree just made me smile (and reach for my camera).
The walk I took (from the Brent Lea gate of Syon Park to South Street in Old Isleworth) is a very pleasant one indeed, even if you’re not a great walker. You can stop for coffee and cake at the Syon Park cafe, or have a beer at one of the several historic pubs in the neighbourhood if you want to take it slowly!
There are times in Syon Park itself when you can almost forget you are in London – and many of the beautiful Georgian and Victorian (and older) buildings along the route can even almost make you forget what century you are in. You can see more of my views of Old Isleworth on Flickr.
This week, we’ve had a few beautiful, glorious sunny days in this corner of west London. In fact, it has been so lovely at times that you might have been forgiven for thinking that spring had finally arrived to relieve this seemingly never-ending and freezing cold northern hemisphere winter we’ve been shivering through. But you’d be wrong.
Despite the fact that spring actually officially begins this coming weekend with the vernal equinox, there appears to be little sign of it in the nation’s parks and gardens yet. I’ve seen plenty of pretty purple crocuses and a few cheerful yellow daffodils in neighbouring gardens, but even the usually early flowering magnolia trees in my area are only just beginning to bud, and most of the other local trees appear to be as bare as they were in January.
The situation seems to be the same across the country, with the Woodland Trust recently estimating that signs of the British spring are anything up to a month late in emerging this year – and they’d know, they have records tracking the start of spring that date back to the 1600s.