The Great British Year





It's cold. This morning there is hoar frost covering every surface. It takes me twice as long to walk to the shop because I keep stopping photograph it all. Now I am wrapped in a shawl with a warm laptop on my knees. Tom has brought me a double choc chip cookie back from work (Subway) and it's not half bad. There is coconut and sweet potato soup on the stove for lunch and a bright bunch of Cornish daffodils in a Cornishware jug on my windowsill and I think I like this time of year best of all.

But, wait, what about when it begins to get warmer, that day when the sun feels warm on your face after weeks of damp and cold, when the air is soft and scented with the first spring flowers? Surely that's the best time of the year? Or is it some weeks later when everything is suddenly the greenest it has ever been and you can practically hear it growing, and the woods are filled with bluebells. Or the long days of summer when all the windows are open and the kitchen is full of scarlet berries being turned into jam. Or late summer when the holidays are over and there are new beginnings, a welcome return to routine and the blackberries are ready to be picked for a crumble. Or is it later still when the apples and quinces are ready, pumpkins and squashes appear and the days shorten and chill. Or when fires are lit and you stir the pudding and catch a glimpse of sparkle just around the corner?

What I love about our wonderful, varied, ever-changing year is everything.

Comments

  1. That's the best description of our changing seasons that I've ever read! Plus I've never really thought about it before - I just take the weather as it comes - never watch/read forecasts. I love the image of you all cosy with a scrummy soup waiting to be eaten.
    I made your every day fruit cake ,using up similar bits & bobs - it wouldn't have occurred to me to add choc but it did give a lovely taste and was much appreciated by all who ate it. I'm wondering what you're rustling up for tonight's dinner?
    Lovely photos.

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    1. Tonight's dinner.... well I was thinking about making some sweetcorn fritters to eat with gilled halloumi but I don't think I want to fry anything and they are a bit of a fiddle plus I have peppers and some passata to use up so I'm going to make my old standby which is basically spicy tomato sauce with sweetcorn in plus any other veg hanging around. I shall probably add chunks of halloumi and serve with bread.

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  2. Autumn's my favourite season, although this afternoon I've swept some leaves up and sat on the garden bench with a cup of tea with the sun on my face! Felt wonderful.

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  3. Well said! Every season has it's beauties.

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  4. I agree with Tigger ... the best description of the seasons of the year, and I think there are more than simply four, that I've ever read!
    Margaret P

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  5. Love that post! I am always changing my favourite season. When I was working I used to hate January, so grey after sparkly Christmas. Now I try to remember to see the beauty in every day and these frosty mornings certainly quicken the senses. Lovely to get home for some soup, or coffee or cake...

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  6. Love this post! Thanks, Sue.

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  7. Such evocative writing, Sue. There are elements of every season that I love and I don't think I have a favourite either. These cold, bright days are invigorating, with their wonderful skies and crisp air. What a thoughtful son you have :-)

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  8. Loved that description of the changing seasons, exactly how I feel, but you put it exactly into words

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  9. Yes everything and that's why I love blogging, so that we can see it as it unfolds all over the world.

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  10. Anonymous11:38 pm GMT

    Thank you. Am fed up of all the ritualistic whinging about January and oh the doom and gloom of it all. We are so lucky with our weather and seasons (floods not included). Because we have them at all and because of what they are and the activities and feelings that are synonymous with them. Faye

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  11. Sue, I am another fan of January, and of most all of the seasons. Perhaps the peak of summer is not so enjoyable in NYC as other parts of the year.

    This weekend, we have our first measurable snowfall forecast. It's plenty cold right now, and perhaps "too cold to snow" as my Grandmother used to say.

    I do like your supper plans. Your mention of halloumi prompted me to ask google for an NYC source, and up popped Murray's a place I used to patronize when I had my primitive SoHo loft, which was very, very cold in winter. See how I've closed a circle?

    xo

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  12. Lovely post, like you my favourite season is the one we are in at that moment although I don't like it very hot or very cold so perhaps I am more of an autumn and spring/early summer person. Then again the frost has looked very pretty this week.

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  13. I do agree. Can't imagine living anywhere with just constant heat or cold. Love the infinite variation of our seasons...never boring! Beautiful photos. Barbara

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  14. Oh my giddy aunt...... that's probably...no, that IS the very best post ever! Even better than all your reading posts, better than all the posts that have made me laugh so much.....
    I'm deeply in love with our ever changing seasons here too, and that last big paragraph says it exactly how I feel it.
    I have a feeling I will be returning to your words here often.
    Thank you, Niki x

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    1. Gosh! I think it needs a bit of work, I wrote in a rush but thank you so much x

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    2. I copied and pasted the last paragraph in an email to both my daughters. Not that they're thinking of living in another country, but well...you never know! They both heartily agreed and loved it, as I knew they would. My youngest said she felt moved and a bit teary reading it, and I said, Me too!

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  15. Love your post, Sue... And I feel happy to live in a place where I can experience the four seasons...
    Even each season's little imperfection help us appreciate other seasons....
    Have a lovely cosy January weekend, Pati x

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  16. Yes, this is a lovely post Sue. Whenever I've been on holiday somewhere sunny I always come to the conclusion that having four seasons is just the best! The fact that lovely sunny days are few and far between most summers makes them all the more precious. Like others, I think I'm in my favourite season until the next one comes along....

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  17. Anonymous6:25 pm GMT

    Lovely! I agree completely. Especially enjoying sun rise just that little bit earlier each day and the beautiful skies on my morning cycle ride. Sarah

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  18. I struggle with January, but this afternoon I was walking by an icy stream - and there was a pheasant and two herons - and aconites and masses of snowdrops just coming up and the light seemed to last a bit longer than it did a week ago .. so I reckon that was a nice day.

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  19. Fabulous - perfectly put. We are so lucky. I always feel January has an amazing feeling of anticipation - like waiting to open Christmas presents.

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  20. Loved your post Sue,I would hate to live somewhere that didn't have proper seasons.Have you checked your lottery ticket!

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    1. Am I missing something? I don't do the lottery.

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    2. I get it now. My daughter has just told me that someone from Worcester has had a big win -ticket bought down the road from us as well. Lucky peeps.

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  21. Lovely photos and a cheerful outlook on the seasons are just what I need as my little corner of the world faces "The Storm of the Century." I think all the hoohah over it makes it all seem worse than it will probably be. I've spent the day calmly preparing for the inconvenience of it all, but with a heavy mantle of dread wrapped about me. We need your thoughtful reflections on the joy in every season over on this side of the pond, front and center on tv and radio. You have inspired me to wake up tomorrow and look for something pretty and fun about the snow.

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  22. What a lovely post. Yes, I enjoy the changing seasons too but wish it was a bit brighter and frostier at the moment. I do like it to be cold when it is supposed to be cold!

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  23. Oh my word, what a beautiful post. I'll come back and re-read it often, I'm sure. Whilst I really enjoy your Instagram, this is why I ADORE your blog. THANK YOU!

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  24. Anonymous9:24 pm GMT

    Thanks Sue, this is lovely & captures how I feel too! I appreciate your writing and photos so much...
    Kim

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  25. Couldn't agree more. Loving the frost pics; we haven't had any frost at all. It's depressingly mild and wet.
    Leanne xx

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  26. I know exactly what you mean about our seasons. I used to like early autumn best, then it was been slightly over-taken by late spring. But as each month arrives in all its freshness, I think it may be my favourite, despite its familiarity. Fickle creatures, aren't we? Your frosty photos are gorgeous. Hoping we get some more frosty weather here so that I can set my alarm a bit earlier and take photos before work.
    Cathy x

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