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Seasonal Reflections:  March

So, there we are, in mundane March that needs spicing up. It’s not quite Spring yet, and it’s not really Winter. It’s a month with an identity crisis!


An additional note (in 2013): approaching the middle of the month and I’ve just witnessed the most amazing 3 minute hail storm I’ve ever seen. What is hail? Well falling ice, but how does it form? According to one web-site it “forms in strong thunderstorm clouds, particularly those with intense updrafts, high liquid water content, great vertical extent, large water droplets, and where a good portion of the cloud layer is below freezing 0 °C (32 °F)”  So there you are! Without doubt, today’s little episode was the most intense hail I have every witnessed (no exaggeration!)



It IS Spring!!!!!  It’s was the solstice yesterday!  My diary said so!  For those of you who might have drifted along to this page every fortnight or so, you’ll know that I have a thing about Spring. Unashamedly I don’t like Winter. It is cold and grey and I like neither. Having been born in October I may have a slight predisposition towards SAD (see an earlier article about the bad news about Winter babies). I am someone who rejoices in Spring and Autumn. I like the warmth of Summer, whenever we manage to get it, but I find by the end of August the countryside and my garden are getting a little grey (unless it’s been pouring with rain of course), and then I welcome the wonder of Autumn with all it’s incredible colours.


But this is Spring and it’s even more incredible. We’ve tottered through the grey and cold of winter, the trees have looked bare and the plants look soggy or thrashed by the snow and frosts.  And then there it is suddenly – fresh life. Our gardening pages have been observing this for over a month now. Buds appeared on bushes, bulbs started pushing up and there was something different in the air. The birds recognised it and there’s been plenty of nest making going on and the dawn chorus has started to build.  People have been looking brighter.


Spring of course is the time of the year when the sap rises and creativity flows.

Shakespeare was in there:

From you have I been absent in the spring
When proud-pied April, dress’d in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing


As did Thomas Carew (1640)

Now that the winter’s gone, the earth hath lost    Her snow-white robes; and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream    Upon the silver lake or crystal stream:
But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,  And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree   The drowsy cuckoo and the humble-bee.
Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring,   In triumph to the world, the youthful spring:
The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array   Welcome the coming of the long’d-for May.


Well that says it all really so I’ll shut up and go away. Enjoy the Spring!

Now, back down to earth, things are happening in  the next two weeks.


Don’t forget in March it’s time to put your clocks FORWARD one hour. THAT will make us feel we’re escaping the clutches of Winter. If only the weather would agree!


But then, all of us who are children take note, Sunday 3rd April  this year (2011)is Mothering Sunday, a time for showing appreciation for mothers – and if flowers are all you can do – well! How about tea in bed, forbidden to do the washing up all day, taken out for lunch (older ‘children’) to stop her cooking, or make something yourself for her, do something with her you know she enjoys. Flowers are a good start, if not a bit expensive, but you could show her appreciation in other ways as well. Have a nice day together.


And finally a ditty from my youth:

                      “Spring has sprung, the grass has ris, I wonder where the birdies is”  Oh well!


And a final finally, back to the subject of special days. Did you know that the 20th March is the International Day of Happiness and no lesser body than the United Nations designated it so?  If you don’t believe me, here is their resolution:


Resolution adopted by the General Assembly [without reference to a Main Committee (A/66/L.48/Rev.1)]

66/281.  International Day of Happiness

The General Assembly,

   Recalling its resolution 65/309 of 19 July 2011, which invites Member States to pursue the elaboration of additional measures that better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to guiding their public policies,  

  Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal,  

  Recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives,  

  Recognizing also the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples,  

1.  Decides to proclaim 20 March the International Day of Happiness;  

2.  Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities;  

3.  Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and civil society organizations for appropriate observance.  

118th plenary meeting    28 June 2012


Well, there you are!!!!!


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THE SEASONS: March Reflections originally written in 2011, added to in 2012
Not Quite Spring|:   OK, we agreed last time we wrote that we’re only sort of in Spring. It is if you say that Spring comprises March, April and May, but not if you wait for what is called the Vernal Equinox, the 20th or 21st March, when the sun starts to go above the Equator. That we’re still waiting for, but as far as length of day is concerned we are indeed moving towards the point when day and night will soon be equal length. Already we have a sense of the days being longer, not so dark in mornings and evenings. It is all happening.
Now March is notable for the fact that within it is St. Patrick’s Day. Now as I’m not Irish and I’m not sure if there is much of an Irish population in Rochford and Ashingdon, I’m going to pass it by. Sorry

Now the Internet is truly an incredible source of information but it wasn’t very good on the subject of ‘March Madness’. It may be something to do with Mad March Hares but for us it’s because of a site we’ve come across. We don’t know whether it is wonderful or nutty: it’s called which appears to come from Yahoo. On this site I found myself browsing a page entitled “Weird Holidays for the Month of March.”

Now I can only go on face value – and this is one of the difficulties of the Internet,  but I assume with the Yahoo tag this is not a spoof site, but I have to say it had me wondering, for the lass who writes there maintains she has a different ‘special day’ for every day of March, I think it is. For starters:
March 1st is National Pig Day, and Peanut Butter Lover's Day.
March 2nd is
Old Stuff Day.
March 3rd we are scheduled to celebrate
Peach Blossom DayNational Anthem Day, and I Want You To Be Happy Day!
On March 4th we are to celebrate 
Holy Experiment Day.  
On March 5th we can all be someone else, because it is 
Multiple Personality Day! 
On March 6th we are to chill out and celebrate 
Frozen Foods Day!
March 7th is a time for pigging out with
National Crown Roast of Pork Day.

Forgive me, I’m going to stop there; if you want to work your way through the whole month, I’ve given you the site link above. Now OK, this is clearly an American site but what it has left me wondering is
 Who designates all these days?
 Are there at least 365 designations for the year?
 Who pays any attention to most of them anyway?

If this was purely for March it would merely confirm my theory that March is such a boring month we need to zest it up a bit by having all these different ‘days’.

Once upon a time Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday were sufficient designations. No longer!
I always liked the Scaffold’s song which built up to the last verse:

Today's Sunday, today's Sunday, Sunday is church...
Saturday's payday
Friday is fish
Thursday is shepherd's pie
Wednesday is roast beef
Tuesday is soup
Monday is washing day
Is everybody happy? You bet your life we are!

I’m sure many of us could put new words to that verse to fit our regular lives.