'Unburdened by our winter garb, there will be a literal spring in our steps'

A common grey squirrel among blooming crocus in the sunny spring weather in Bath.

A squirrel running through crocuses is a sign spring is on its way - Credit: PA

Next month, the clocks go forward heralding the start of British Summer Time.

Definitely forward, not back in case you’re asking. (It gets me every time – in moments of doubt I find the American prompt spring forward fall back very useful). And even though we will lose a precious hour of sleep, the reward of an extra hour of daylight on the Sunday is always worth the curtailed lie-in and general discombobulation.

The relief will be palpable. Longer, lighter days with the promise of warm weather just around the corner. Unburdened by our winter garb there will be a literal spring in our steps. The onset of warmer weather will transform the outside world into a place of breathtaking beauty as blossom bursts forth like popcorn, hawthorn hedges start to flower and the magnolias begin to bud . The magnificent palette of purest white, palest pink and fuchsia will turn the streets of Hampstead Garden Suburb into veritable ticker tape parades.

Shelley-Anne Salisbury

Shelley-Anne is feeling optimistic at the arrival of spring - Credit: 1000words.co.za

I’ve already seen the early signs of spring. Clusters of crocuses dotted about in my local woods, the quick darts of squirrels checking out the pre-spring offerings, the extraordinarily loud drilling of woodpeckers and the derring-do’s of some plucky foxes. It’s Attenborough-esque on a miniature scale but just as enchanting.

Given the recent dismal winter, with the miserable dull wet weather, and the enforced isolation of many as Omicron hit, this spring really can’t come soon enough. On my first day out of Covid isolation a few weeks ago, I thought I saw a swallow soaring high above me on the Heath extension. Inky black against a clear blue sky. It was probably my overactive post-isolation imagination or just plain wishful thinking (tad early for swallows) or maybe global warming is messing with the avian migration timetable?

I’m very aware one swallow doesn’t make a summer, but hey, I’m feeling positive. Covid restrictions have finally lifted , winter is behind us, spring is almost here and summer not that far away. And with the recent developments in Ukraine, we are going to need something to smile about.

Shelley-Anne Salisbury is a mediator, writer and the co-editor of Suburb News, themediationpod.net