Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age

Oh To Be in England Now That April’s There…….


Possibly for the first time in my life I understand why Browning wrote that.

I am definitely an Autumn person. I’ve always thought Spring a bit over-rated, even when I lived in England. It seemed so drawn out, and usually very wet. I suppose that I expected everything to bloom at once, rather than over the three months of the Season. Going in April two years ago I found the best of the blossom over, though there were some stunning scenes in London’s parks. To be honest I was there this year at the end of March, rather than the beginning of April. I got home early this morning, hence the dearth of posts of late. My internet access was woeful most of the time I was there, but more of that another time.

This Spring, which began the day I arrived, was sunny and balmy. Girls were striding out in summer dresses, daffodils were making the most of their last days and birds of all kinds were rushing around all over the place with twigs, bits of paper and all manner of stuff for their nests. Even in the North the sun-god smiled on me. Often I find that whilst the London area might be mild, further north can still chill the bones this early in the year.

Last Sunday Austin and I hiked from Rydal Water to the head of Grasmere, but then turned back and upwards returning to Ambleside, a beautiful walk, taking in the Lake District’s famous daffodils dotted around the edges of the lakes, and landscapes of morning mists and mirror-like reflections on still waters, all enough to inspire the most jaded of  poets.

This evening finds me tired after dozing last night away on a bench in Stansted Airport, but more of that another time, for today, photos of a lovely hike.

And, just to remind you how Browning put it so eloquently:

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows
Hark! where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower, –
Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Author: IslandMomma

Exploring island life and the freedoms of Third Age: Challenging myself every day: writing, traveling, snapping pix, running & teaching ESL

22 thoughts on “Oh To Be in England Now That April’s There…….

  1. Absolutely gorgeous photos, Linda! Makes me homesick. Not for England in general, perhaps, but for the North and perhaps my childhood.

    • Lots of childhood memories surfaced last week. Although I kept saying to Austin, “That’s where….” or “if you take that route….” but he always knew better. He knows the Lake District better than I do now! It was something like a dream, because the weather was perfect. I can’t think how it could have been any better! I said to Austin too, even if I never live there again, I’m glad it’s where I come from. Tried to ring you last night when I got back btw – must have been thinking along the same lines again!

  2. Gorgeous pictures, Linda! They make me want to go back to England ASAP 😉

  3. STUNNING!!!!!!! And I´d LOVE to see the photos that didn´t make it here…….

    • LOL! These are the best ones! The walking was prime objective and the photography second on this occasion. I would have loved to go back another day just to take photos I must admit. Austin is absolutely great about me stopping to snap, but I have to be fair too. We were there to hike and the photos are just recuerdos on this occasion!

      • Ah, the hikers internal debate: “Am I a photographer who hikes, or a hiker who take photos?” It affects things like choice of camera (especially when backpacking and counting grammes), and number of stops, therefore affecting finish time or length of walk.

      • Yup, Sheila! Really, really would be perfect to be both, just change hats – or cameras at least – one day, one day I will have a wee point and shoot too :=)

  4. Nice photos – very painterly (Turner / Constable).

    As the poet says: “All will be gay when noontide wakes anew” … perhaps he was waking up in Brighton after a “lad’s night out” ? 🙂

    • LOL, Richard. Looking at them I wondered even if they were a bit too chocolate boxey! But they are what they are, and I was incredibly lucky with the weather all the time I was there!

      Do you know how many times poets used the word “gay”? I wonder how teachers explain it in school? Most kids have no idea it ever had another meaning than the modern one!

  5. You chose a perfect week – weather-wise – for hiking in the Lakes. The lighting has been superb this March – the landscape has still got the golden hints of autumen, with the new spring green showing in the bright sun.

    I can imagine how much you loved exploring the area again.

    • It was just beyond words. The Lakes is my second home (don’t ask where the first is because I don’t even know!), and it was lovely to share it with Austin too. Here’s a thing – I always am lucky with weather when I travel. Although this trip wasn’t really travel or exploring, but because of family illness, I did have some lovely moments. This was just one of them!

  6. Lovely photos, Linda. It´s been a while since I did that walk. I only ever seem to return to the north of England for three or four days at any one time, see family and friends and then get back to Spain ASAP. After seeing this lovely reminder, maybe I should consider lingering longer next time.

    • It’s such a rush, isn’t it, when you go back. I’d intended to get over to the Fylde Coast this visit too, but I had to return to York to take my Auntie for an outpatient op, which meant it wasn’t possible, and I felt bad about that. I used to hire cars and bomb about everywhere at one time, but they’re just too expensive now. I kind of have luck with weather, but last week was exceptional, well, the two weeks, in fact. I would never have gone this early in the year from choice!

  7. Absolutely gorgeous photos, Linda – ‘Reflections’ would seem an appropriate title for them 🙂 – I must admit to a twinge of home sickness looking at them…but it soon passed. Nice to have you back – welcome home.

    • Thank you for the compliment and the welcome home. I have to say that little talent was required with scenery, light and weather as it was. Most of them were taken early, when we arrived at 8.30, and later I put the camera away for a while and just enjoyed walking, when the light changed. It only just dawned on me that I am currently very lucky with one son in the Lake District and the other in London I really have the best of both worlds when I go back!

  8. Well – if you have followed the weather forecasts you will be feeling very blessed for your Lakes experience. I had a heatwave in Canada, followed by frosts and snow/hail you name it. ruined the local fruits crops with the early heat and then the frosts. So I missed the heat here and now it bl..dy freezing again BUT we have no snow just here.
    New trams started running today and the first one derailed because of sand on the tracks. couldn’t make it up eh? big fanfare yesterday for the VIP’s and big raspberry today.
    Glad you got those Lakeland hikes lodged once more into your memory bank Linda.

    • I was very aware of how lucky I was with the weather. It helped make a trip which was, at times, difficult, easier for one thing. Today I was thinking how lucky I am that the weather here right now is pretty much the same, not hot, not cold, sunny. It does make life easier, even if you’re not a sun-worshipper.

      Glad you’re home safe. Sorry about the weather there now! I read about the tram. I made a pretty similar comment to yours on my Facebook page!

  9. Gosh, it’s been a while since I went to the Lakes. Looking at these pictures, it seems like that’s something I should rectify sooner rather than later. Thing is that my family are all based in the south-west (which is also pretty damn gorgeous, I must say), so that’s where I end up on the increasingly rare occasions that I go back to the UK nowadays. I have no real excuse other than laziness, though *slaps wrist*.

    Seems like you chose the right week for it, though. According to the accounts I’m getting from friends and family back in the UK, it’s turned cold again now, so it seems like you lucked out rather wonderfully weather-wise.

  10. It’s not easy, is it, “going home”? My family & friends are pretty spread out too. I keep trying to plan a “proper” trip – book the trains in advance (which I understand can be very cheap done far enough ahead) and all, but I keep popping over for one reason or another without plans. This hike was a bonus on this trip, and I know how very lucky I was with the weather. It was unbelievable. Every morning I expected it to have turned cold again, but I had only one cold day – last Saturday, when we had planned a museum visit anyway, and Sunday the clouds had rolled back and it was sunny again :=)

  11. Stunning photographs, times like this that I am glad I can only holiday in Tenerife. Having said that, we’ve had snow & lots of rain since you left….. so now I’m very glad I’ve not long until my 3 weeks of sun begin ~ 4th May here we come.

  12. I heard! The thing I don’t miss about UK isn’t the rain nor the cold, but the dark! I think May is a lovely time to be in Tenerie – not too hot, rarely rains, and quiet. It’s between seasons – happily. Hope you have a great time.

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