As we reach the middle of February here in Lewes, UK, our winter is releasing its frozen grip out there and I can already see signs of hope out there on the horizon. I, inevitably, have succumbed to the latest viral infection that it buzzing round town but I haven't been entirely idle.
I've been reading Alex Ross's excellent book on 20th Century classical music, The Rest Is Noise. One of my new year's resolutions was fulfilled this morning when I came to the end of this massive and massively impressive study of a difficult but truly exciting period in music.
I have also been writing - pretty well as usual - and over the last week, amongst other projects, I have written six new Fibonacci poems, scribbling away in the little doodling book that I keep for the purpose.
Outside, in my little urban garden, things haven't been idle either.
The bulbs are more than stirring....
the primroses are in bloom...
as is the wonderful Hellebores out there, like the primroses, thriving in two of the garden's darkest corners.
My camellia too is beginning to flower with its boldly unseasonal red petals.
The snowdrops, of course, are now in their element....both old favourites....
.....and new plantings.
Before the lurgey forced me indoors, I've been out on my rambles around Lewes and was delighted to find one of my favourite plants in bloom down the road in the town's Grange Gardens.
The Chinese witch hazel, hamamelis molis, with its intoxicating perfume and vibrant colour offers more than enough hope to me here in this moody Lewes February. Late winter is always interesting here in the UK, if you love plants. You just have to look a bit closer for their beauty.