There is an emanation from the heart

which cannot be described,

but is immediately felt and puts

the stranger at his ease.

~Washington Irving

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.

May my life be like a great

hospitable tree, and may

weary wanderers find in

me a rest.

~John Henry Jowett

Monday, 1 February 2016

Days of Discovery

Every spring is the only spring -- 
a perpetual astonishment. 
~Ellis Peters

In the late winter and early spring, almost
 every day is a day of discovery. Another
clump of snowdrops has erupted and the 
daffodils and narcissus seem to bloom overnight.

The first daffodil to bloom on our daily walk
this week, and cause for great excitement.

It seems only fitting that the first few 
daffodils to bloom along our path
 should be on the grave of a poet ~ 
Charles Stansby Williams,
Inkling and poet.

Other clumps of daffodils stand ready to bloom 
at the first signs of spring--warmth and light.

Snowdrops continue to carpet Holywell 
Cemetery and more bloom every day.

Even the delicately pale, yellow primroses 
are starting to make an appearance.
They're a lesson in strength and resiliency, as 
they push their way up through the winter debris. 

The bright yellow has made it's way to 
our front door too, with cheery, little 
narcissus and a primrose......

.......and more in the bicycle basket.

Inside, a well dressed spring kitchen and breakfast
room will wear yellow and blue well into May.

Yellow tulips brighten a blue and white 
Staffordshire jug in the breakfast room--
beautiful against the dark, Tudor panelling.

Bunches of daffidils brighten our
kitchen on a dreary, rainy and windy,
 winter day like today.

I hope some day to meet God, because
 I want to thank [Her] for the flowers. 
~Robert Brault

And the best part is, we still have the full daffodil
season in Oxford ahead of us. Academic seriousness
and solemnity is infected with the brightest of all
 yellows and the sunniest of all flower faces.

Daffodils bloom on our back terrace
against the backdrop of New College.

Naturalized daffodils bloom along the banks 
of the River Cherwell at Christ Church Meadow.

The flowers of late winter and early
 spring occupy places in our hearts
 well  out of proportion to their size. 
~Gertrude Smith Wister

Early spring primroses grace the mantle of
Jane Austen's home, Chawton, Hampshire.


  1. So lovely! We're still weeks and weeks away from flowers here, despite the fairly mild winter (may it continue to be so!), so please keep sharing your flowers! :)

    1. We're a wee bit early this year because of the mild December (which we missed) but I'll definitely keep sharing. I think it will be a bumper year for daffodils. And--I hope your winter continues mild and that the bluebird of spring and happiness will come early for you! xoCarrie

  2. All the yellow is so lovely and bright! We are still in the grey stage, and I'm still waiting for (a little) snow!! Being a February baby, I love Winter, and feel cheated if we don't get any!! But I do love the yellow of Spring and late winter. So charming against your stone buildings and cemetery markers. And I have always adored yellow with blue and white crockery. I use it often with my Blue Willow kitchen dishes that we use every day!! xo Jane

    1. I learned very quickly that winter is short in England and spring is very, very long--mid-February until well into June. Summer is the short season, if we ever even get one. Hope you get your snow this winter and Happy February birthday! xxooCarrie