You know it's Spring in France when

  • you get multi-coloured bug splat on your windscreen
    * you see people rummaging in ditches for wild asparagus & leeks
    * you open your windows & doors all day without the heating on
    * you hear the chatter from people eating outside at lunchtime
    * supermarkets precariously balance lawnmowers on top of plastic stacker boxes
    * you see random objects hanging outside car windows/boots as people head to the decheterie
    * you see duvets & carpets flung over balconys everywhere

    …over to you…any more…

That made me laugh ... I get the urge to open more bottles of rose !

What's useless - David's cycling trainer? I don't know about spring - I'm trying to work but I'm flipping cold.

It is also bloody useless now.
I resign

You can stop riding your home cycling trainer in the garage and once again get out and test the old quads on a few big climbs, take some stunning photos on the coast road toward Cannes from St. Raphael and curse the stupid drivers (which by the way are everywhere).

You are excited about leaving the British winter behind as you await the arrival of your passport so you can go over to France and complete the purchase on your new French property!

Spotted two lots this morning in Dept 82

The whir of the mower, there is no rest for the wicked for at least 7-8 months!

The sound of the Grus heading north , then looking skyward to be the first to spot the flying formation . Just the sound of the Grus gets everyone peering skyward . It’s like an ornithological version of spotting dolphins at sea ( without the seasonal implications )

When there are daffodils nodding in the breeze … but more snow on the Pyrenées than there’s been all winter

Oh and as for the lycra, we've been wearing it all winter but are still in winter kit for the moment, spring's on it's way but it'll be a while yet before we put the mi-saison kit on!

My belovèd says soothing words such as:

"Shouldn't you be out in the garden" and

"No rugby this weekend" and

"Do clocks go backwards or forwards"

They're not in the garden, David, respounchous are mostly found in ditches and hedgerows ;-)

For me it means driving to work and opening the tabac in daylight and there still being daylight when I close, we're almost there but not quite, mais ça va pas tarder :-)

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We don't have wild asparagus in our garden, somewhat inclined to wildness rather than horticulture, what we do have is loads of Bath Asparagus ornithogalum pyrenaicum. This used to grow in abundance around Bath and was a valued wild comestible even exported to them posh people in 18th/19th century London.

And forget about buying a wood burner in your local brico. They've all been replaced by barbecues and parasols.

Ah Nikki you have the joys of the scent of the local breweries and the not so delightful scent of the Marmite factory. I lived on Calais Road in the early seventies and have fond memories of Burton upon Trent when it was the smallest County Borough in England sadly obliterated under the Local Government Act 1972.

The jonquilles in the valley below our house are a magnet for flower gatherers. The local primary schools bus the children in to pick jonquilles and depart with baskets full. The local PTA's also pick and sell on the market to provide funds for collégiens extra curricular activities. Our mairie/ salle des fêtes car park is only full for weddings, pre- chasse drink ups and the jonquille season. Our commune even has a medal presented to the deserving with jonquilles on the reverse. But the jonquilles are only the overture to the fritillaries and the orchids. Those aren't collected. It's a real local tradition.

When all the flowers start to open, the buds on the trees appear and then it starts to rain heavily and the forecast is for heavy snow for the next 5 days :-)

you see the cranes and grey geese flying north

Last weekend, I heard the first lawnmower. Does this mean it is spring?