Leaping and bounding

That’s what it feels like right now – with the weather we’ve been having nature is advancing apace!  Dutch irisAt 20 to 26 degrees during the day we are well ahead of seasonal averages and everything is growing.  When I finished pruning the wisteria last week nothing was budding up, but look at what a difference 10 days can make.  I should not be surprised if there are flowers towards the end of next week.  I’ve already seen some wisterias flowering which have a more southerly exposition.  The kiwis are also beginning to leaf out, and the Dutch irises seem to have come up over night.  During spring I often feel that I am far behind, that I should have planted and sown and that I’ll never catch up in the garden.  But somehow it always works out, and there will be tomatoes and all the rest.

On an altogether different topic, one of the advantages of our region is the number of airports which are destinations for the various low cost airlines.  Not all that long ago, Vias airport, now grandly called Beziers/Cap d’Agde, started services by a well known (and loved?) Irish budget airline.  Last weekend I tried their service to Bristol (twice a week, Friday and Monday), for a trip to visit family.  Beziers airport is rather dinky, two luggage scanners, one departure lounge and a cafe/bar at the front.  It’s perfect really, no long walks, no crowds, no endless queues for security.  Hand-luggage only, shoes and belts off, pockets emptied, computer out of the case and yes, no beeps as I went through.  The guys at the scanner were rather thorough and wanted to check a few things in the case (some of the chargers had gotten tangled).  All of it done very politely and unhurried,  and I admit that I prefer them being thorough, even if it’s my case being checked.  On into the departure lounge, where my case was weighed (9.2kg  – oouff) and was deemed the right size!  The inbound plane landed early, which meant we boarded early and took off some 20 minutes before the due time – amazing, but I guess everyone had turned up!  Arrived an incredible half an hour ahead of schedule in Bristol – it can only happen at small regional airports, where landing and departure slots are not as tight as peas in a pod.  Outside the airport building were daffodils everywhere, not just a few clumps but swathes – such a welcoming sight!

The drive to my destination was two and a half hours, to North Cornwall near Padstow and very straightforward thanks to GPS.  Once off the motorway there were again daffodils in all directions, nodding their pretty faces, and I was amazed at the country lanes seemed narrower than our back roads in France.

Rhododendron bloom

Saturday was spent on a visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan; if you are in the area it is an absolute must.  I was lucky in that the rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias were out in flower (apparently the rhododendrons normally flower in Cornwall in May) and of course there were more daffodils…  Sunday afternoon a long walk along the beach and cliffs near Padstow, after a big family meal out on the terrace, and then Monday morning back to the airport for the flight home.

Of course all this works equally well in the opposite direction, and if you’re tempted by a spring break in Languedoc either contact me or have a look at www.midihideaways.com.

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