Friday, 28 February 2014

Even the mildest of winters here ...

... carry a sting in their tail.

As I walk up the steps to Yvette's front door for our weekly French/English conversation, little piles of hailstones nestle in the corners.

This week, "les giboulées de mars" - the unwelcome, early-March, cold, stinging squalls (much less friendly than April showers) - have arrived. A treacherous time for blossom.

But they are also a sign. As are the first cranes starting to fly north this week. And the tree frogs, beginning to tune up on the far side of the valley.

Spring really is just round the corner.

Thursday, 20 February 2014


Between bouts in the garden (oh the bliss of a mild February, even if it is wet!) I plonk myself in front of the TV to catch up on the Winter Olympics.  But rarely linger for long.  There really is only so much curling a woman can take.

Yesterday, for a change, I found myself watching a young Korean - Yuna Kim - doing wonderful things in a short freestyle programme.  I missed the beginning and much as I enjoyed her fluid movement over the ice and (almost) perfectly executed jumps, there was a part of me, totally distracted, thinking "What IS the music she's skating to?"  It was there, on the tip of my tongue.  I found myself catching fleeting words from it through the evening, but just could not pin it down.

This morning, I've found it. "Send in the Clowns" by Sondheim.  And this for me is the most achingly poignant version.  Not when she first sang it on stage in A Little Night Music, all those years ago.  But as she is now, with all her beautiful age and experience.

And this, Yuna Kim in all her glory ...