Posted by: christinelaennec | March 5, 2013

Hints of spring

This has been a time of practising gratitude!  Just when I thought things couldn’t get any more stressful, poor Michael has been floored by a dreadful stomach bug, of which the Dafter has caught a milder (I pray) version.  However, in the month that our flat has been on the market we’ve had 9 viewings, plus one which was cancelled at the last minute, causing me to pour myself the first drink I’ve had in quite a while.

In case you’re interested, the Scottish system for selling property is a bidding system:  instead of setting an asking price that’s higher than what you really hope to get (as in England and the USA), in Scotland you set an “offers over” price.  Not all properties go to bidding.  You can set a fixed price, or you can accept an offer from a buyer without inviting bids.  We shall see what happens, and we trust that things will work out as they’re meant to.  So – lots to be grateful for.  Including the subtle advent of spring:

A blossoming tree!  Aberdeen, early March, 2013.

A blossoming tree! Aberdeen, early March, 2013.

I don’t know what kind of flowering tree this is.  The flowering pears will blossom in about a month’s time, and the cherries in May.  So this one is an earlier kind, and I was so grateful to see it the other day!

Today we had a little bit of sun and a mild, albeit very chilly, breeze.  Partly due to the stomach bug and partly due to the good weather, I’ve aired some quilts:

Quilts airing

Quilts airing

The one on the left I made and quilted by hand – for the first and last time!  All other quilts I’ve made since have been tied.  The one on the right was made by a family friend, Marge Golden.

And look!  The hellebores are coming up!  They are a bit late this year.  Usually I’m lifting the pink ones’ heads before the end of February, but they are still just buds.

Hellebores and crocuses, March 5th 2013, Aberdeen.

Hellebores and crocuses in my front garden, March 5th 2013, Aberdeen.

The birds have been very, very busy.  Here are some tits in my front garden at the two hanging birdfeeders (can you see them?).  My appearance with the camera frightened the ones by the seed feeder, so you can see the blurs of them flying away.

Birds busy feeding, Aberdeen, March 5th 2013.

Birds busy feeding, Aberdeen, March 5th 2013.

And there was just enough sun today for the crocuses to sing out.  For the past few years I’ve been planting species crocuses, mostly bought from the lovely family company Clare Bulbs in Suffolk.  I particularly like the species crocuses because they multiply of their own accord.

Crocuses and daffodils yet to flower, my garden, Aberdeen, March 5th 2013.

Crocuses and daffodils yet to flower, my garden, Aberdeen, March 5th 2013.

In the lawn I planted a few crocus tomassinianus, and they too have multiplied.  I see (top left of the photo) a few of their lighter cousins have also escaped from the confines of the flowerbed and are blossoming in the lawn!  (How do they do that?)  Some snowdrops have come up nestled at the foot of the birch tree as well.

Crocus tomassinianus coming up in the lawn.  March 2013, Aberdeen.

Crocus tomassinianus coming up in the lawn. March 2013, Aberdeen.

So I have been busy cleaning, cooking rice, making toast, bringing glasses of water, and giving thanks for my own health (so far so good), my washing machine, interest in our flat – though viewings may have to wait a few days! – and all the other things I enjoy in life.  I’ve also been particularly grateful for our lovely cat Tilly, who spent the entire night watching over a very sick Michael.

Off to watch Friends with the Dafter now.  She’s on her third time watching the entire series all the way through – this time waiting for me so I don’t miss any.  (Her ME/CFS is ever so slightly better than it was in November and December, but still very bad.)  I have to say, although they might not be everyone’s thing, I find that episodes of Friends bear repeated viewing, and they make us laugh.  And laughter is definitely one of the best medicines.

I hope your week is going well and that March has come in more like a lamb than a lion for you, wherever you are.



  1. Your crocuses are glorious and I wish a speedy recovery to your sicklets, and a speedy selling of your house.

  2. Oh, goodness, a sickness bug? Just what you all needed at this point in time!
    I hope everyone is well on their way to recovery.

    Love your quilts, by the way – very impressed that you made one yourself! Why is the blogging world full of so many talented people?

  3. Spring is definitely a time for renewal – you have been very industrious, Christine. My hat’s off to you, and you’ve inspired me to get to work. Sending my prayers to Michael and the Dafter for a speedy recovery. ❤

  4. I’m so sorry to hear of your husbands recent stomach bug. That is thoroughly miserable and I wish him a speedy recovery. Also the Dafter, it’s the last thing she needs and I hope she is soon better. Buying and selling a property is stressful I know. It’s as if everything goes on hold and you are in a state of limbo not knowing when and what to plan for. Spring is traditionally a good time to buy – so hopefully you won’t have to wait much longer.
    I love your quilts. They look beautiful airing on the line.

  5. Oh no! Wishing you all much-improved health and well-being. Sending big hugs, xx

  6. So sorry to hear about your family sickness bug. There is a lot of stuff on the go just now. M. was home at the weekend with her university variety of a feverish cold, and I returned from a work trip to Europe with the version I picked up there.
    Your quilts are works of floral art in their own right!

  7. Hope all are well soon and you dont succumb. The lovely flowers will be luring the buyers in!

  8. Hope the Dafter and Michael are recovering…..lovely spring pictures.It has been a wonderful day here too…made me happy..
    Erna x

  9. oh no, poor both of them, wash your hands lots! Hope they both recover as fast as possible. I love your flowers, they’re beautiful, especially the crocuses in the lawn.

  10. seems to me spring is popping all over — even in the lawn — hoping the sickies get better super fast..wipe down door knobs..that helps tons..

  11. I wish you all a very speedy recovery and positive thoughts for getting a wonderful bid for your house!

  12. Sorry to hear about Michael and the Dafter getting the bug. It does give us the opportunity to see your lovely quilts hanging on the line, though! The flowers are very cheery and the birds, too. Hoping the best for recovery soon and a buyer for your home! xoxo

  13. Wishing your household much health and continued good health for yourself. Lovely to see your quilts on the washing line and to see signs of spring. I hope your place gets sold in a timely fashion. kind regards to you all.

  14. Yes it seems to me that Spring is on it’s way! The crocus and Hellebore look lovely and it doesn’t seem to matter how cold the Winter is they still make their appearance. The quilts are beautiful I love the graduated colours of the one on the left, You are so talented and patient.

    Having worked as an Estate Agent here in Essex I envy your system It seems to be one that works though I believe once you accept an offer you have to move pronto! Here in England there is so much fafing around over price and moving dated I could bang their heads together!

    Good luck with your viewers and hope Dafter continues to improve


  15. PS – my daughter and I have a saying-there is no ‘after Friends’. As in “I’ll do my homework/wash up/hoover after Friends’. Because Friends is on a continuous loop on TV. And also great under the weather viewing here. They got daughter through a very nasty bout of shingles – so I’m a fan of Friends. Good to hear that they are appreciated by the Dafter.

  16. Here’s wishing Michael and the dafter a very speedy return to good health. I’m sure better days are to come.

  17. Oh poor you’s! We have had this very nasty virus too, I have never seen the kids so sick, my hubbie has it now. Wishing you all well x

  18. Today we are enjoying our best snowfall of the year! (I think we only had one other). So we are far behind you — I can’t believe you have a flowering tree!!!

    I’m so sorry to hear about the stomach bug. yuck! I hope you don’t catch it!

    We could never understand selling houses in Scotland. It all seemed to domino……everyone’s sale was tied to someone else’s and if it went wrong everyone was out.

  19. How lovely the signs of spring are! 🙂
    How sweet that you are watch Friends with the Dafter. I don’t watch TV (and don’t own one) but I have all Friends’ DVD and they are the best cure when I am homesick or sad. :))
    Happy day to you all.

  20. I hope Michael and the Dafter are improving, and that you have escaped. Cats do make wonderful nurses when you are ill. It’s strange how they really do know.

  21. Dear all,
    Thank you so very much for your good wishes. They have been very effective: Michael is on the mend now (but has lost 10 pounds). The Dafter is back to her old self (just the ME to deal with) and so far, Knock On Wood, I am fine.

    Thanks also for your compliments about the quilt. The things about quilts is that they are both useful and a thing of beauty (William Morris).

    And I’m pleased that some people understand why Friends can be a solace!

    Heather, what you were hearing about is the English system, where there is a “chain” of buyers and sellers. That’s why Susan (brentwoodprop) says she envies the Scottish system.

  22. Hopefully, Michael is much better now. Love the photos as always. The quilts are beautiful (look at all your wonderful, intricate stitching!) and the flowers are a marvelous reminder that SPRING is coming! Laughter (especially a good ole’ belly laugh) releases more endorphins than pain medicine! 😉

  23. Happy International Women’s Day to you and the Dafter! 🙂

  24. Hope everyone is well now. Glad I am not buying or selling a house anywhere in the UK.
    I will post you the book when you are moved.

  25. Greetings from Finland! I was reading all comments hoping somebody could have told a name to this flowering tree but nobody did not do it 🙂 I thought at first it could be Jacaranda mimosifolia but not perhaps can not manage in Aberdeen 🙂
    Aberdeen brings so many memories from our living in the village Kinmuck,, we have still friends there, they are living in Cults. My husband was working in Rowett Research Institute then.

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