Home / articles / Is Spring Almost Here?

Is Spring Almost Here?

A somewhat insignificant little picture to start with, but oh my goodness, this is the first of the wallflowers coming into bloom.  And how amazing that it’s one that is bright daffodil yellow that has opened first because no other colour heralds spring quite like bright yellow.  Pure white snowdrops are a glorious sight, as are purple crocus, but Wordsworth was rather quiet on the subject of these two flowers, wasn’t he?

I was up quite early this morning; I made coffee and opened the curtains in the sitting room and this was the morning sky, lights in houses just coming on, street lights just going off.  No matter how often I wake and greet the morning, I always love to see the sky.   This pastel pink didn’t last long, though. A few moments later the sky changed dramatically …

And then, a little later …

Sadly, the promise of early morning sunshine …

… hasn’t been fulfilled and we have had a rather grey morning.  I planned to do various jobs but those haven’t been done, either!

But we had a rather tasty breakfast …

Sorry to bleat on about breakfasts, but I do enjoy this meal more than any other during the day.  I had fresh fruit salad and a brioche (which was warming in the oven as I took this photo) with apricot jam, and husband had scrambled egg (he said he’d have fruit salad later on, he prefers it later in the day.)

I thought it might be fun to show you a map of Totnes, where I went yesterday. I photographed this from a board by a bus stop in the town some years ago.   If you look at the River Dart on the map, you can see Vire Island which isn’t a real islan, with water all around, it’s about attached to the rest of Totnes although it is referred to as an island.  The Plains are just beyond Vire Island and that is where I visited my hairdresser.  The River Dart is navigable from Dartmouth as far as Totnes, and above on the map you will see two bridges. The one in the centre of the map is the old bridge, and the new bridge, which was built in the 1970s, is on the left.  I arrived in the town via the old bridge.

This is the little ‘cut’ between Vire Island (on the left) with the rest of Totnes (on the right)  As I mentioned yesterday, the warehouses  (known as Apple Wharf) have been refurbished and are now apartments.

On our kitchen wall is a pastel (which my mother bought in the 1980s) of Apple Wharf which shows some of the buildings before they were transformed into living accommodation.  These are actually a continuation of the buildings you see above, out of the photograph.

If you stand on the old bridge and look downstream to Dartmouth, this is the view …


Vire Island is now on the right of the photograph. If you look upstream, towards Dartmoor, this is the view …

And here you can just see, in the distance, the new bridge, built in the 1970s.

And after showing you a photo of myself in my red Joules jacket yesterday, I thought I’d pop on the antique gold one today.  Under it I’m wearing a pastel grey cotton jumper, and dark grey cotton jeans, with an old scarf which is in shades of pastel blue/grey and taupe.  I tend to look as if I’m squinting, but I can assure you my eyes aren’t crossed, they just look so on this photograph (wearing my reading glasses so that I can see what I’m filming!)

I actually think the jacket looks better with navy blue under it – my polo neck jumper and indigo jeans.  But gold a fun colour to wear; whether it goes with silver hair … well, the jury’s still out on that!

Now to stop faffing and make lunch (re-heated chicken casserole, mashed potatoes and cabbage with cream and nutmeg, followed by apple crumbles.)

Until next time.


About Margaret

Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

Check Also

Saturday … and more rain

This will  be a short post today because I have a touch of toothache.  Not …


  1. Loving the colourful jackets Margaret – I think they really suit you. Smart but with a sporty edge which together with the bright colours feels youthful but not inappropriate if you see what I mean. It’s a fine line I find between dressing my age and looking old-fashioned. I visited Totnes a few years ago and fell in love with it – everything I like in a town. Am I right in thinking they had the first cat cafe in the country there – I seem to remember seeing one but it was closed.

    • Margaret

      Yes, I like modern clothes, but I don’t ever want to be considered mutton dressed as lamb. I think this kind of jacket is fine for anyone, though, between 20 and 90. I would hate to feel I must dress how others think a 74 year old ought to dress, I like a shortish skirt and opaque tights, I love jeans and bright colours. I don’t want to look like I’m trying to look younger than I am, just that I don’t want to look like a little old lady before my time!
      Totnes is lovely but after more than 2 hours in the hairdresser and not feeling on top form yesterday, I went straight home. Yes, there used to be a cat cafe there, but I’ve not been to that part of the town in ages, and I don’t know whether it’s still there.

  2. Oh yes! Silver and gold…looks fab.
    I’d not heard of Vire Island, though I spent many happy years visiting our apprentices doing their outward bound courses along the River Dart. Again, I have to say what a lovely part of the country you live in.

    • Margaret

      Vire Island (pronounced Veer) is thus called, I think, because Totnes is twinned (or it used to be) with Vire in Normandy. Thank you for the kind remarks re my silver hair and gold jacket!

  3. You look quite smart and well put together!

  4. I think it’s more important to have a hearty breakfast than do jobs, so you chose correctly in my book 😉

    Thank you for the photos of the lovely buildings and river views. Your part of the world is very pretty indeed. Those boats look very well- behaved, all lined up in a row. Australian bays and rivers tend mostly to have swing moorings (where the boat is attached at one point only and the boats can swing 360 degrees) but there are a few areas where they are line down up in that fashion. I like seeing boats moored ‘free range’, rather than in marinas. Unless of course it’s trawlers or tug boats, in which case I love them however they are.

    I like your gold quilted jacket and the rest of your ensemble. And your hair highlights look lovely with those colours. It’s lovely seeing people dressed in bright colours in winter, when the tendency can be to wear grey, black and navy much of the time. I rarely wear black anymore – aside from owning a ginger and white cat who feels it her responsibility to leave her fur everywhere – as I think it can drain the colour from my face. I think navy or charcoal grey are more flattering for me.

    Thank you for another interesting post. I love going on tour with you 🙂

    • Margaret

      Yes, the boats at anchor on the River Dart do look neat and tidy, don’t they? Yes, your kind of mooring buoy was common here, and perhaps they are like that on the River Dart, and they used to be like that in Torquay harbour until they installed pontoons and now the boats are parked like cars (but on water, of course.)
      Yes, after all my years in navy coats I thought it would be nice to have something bright. I do have a red trench coat (by Joules) and also a navy one (Marks & Spencer) but I particularly like the new red and antique gold jackets, they are such fun garments. Yes, black can be draining and navy is a much more flattering colour, I think. It seems to have a bit more life to it compared with a very flat black. And most other colours look good with navy. I wear aubergine ankle boots and aubergine gloves with my navy items in winter.

  5. I also love bright colours and like to think that I am good at finding the colours that suit me. I especially like a bright blue – think it is called cobalt – as I have often been told that this colour is good for me.
    I do wear black also and I like a combination of navy and grey.

    You look very smart and classy and I really like your hairstyle – so fresh and elegant. Your red jacket suits you very well too.

    • Margaret

      Oh, Karen Elise, that bright blue (cobalt) is lovely, especially in winter when we need a bit of extra colour, I think, and as I’ve just said to Lara, you can put almost any colour with navy and it will look good. Thank you for your kind comments – I almost decided my hair didn’t need cutting as I have it cut every five weeks, but I’m glad I did have it cut and highlighted as by next week it would’ve looked rather messy. And I enjoy the morning in the hair salon, it’s very relaxing. They also sell the most wonderful coffee! As I’ve said before, I tell them I only go for the coffee! (Which of course is rubbish as I’ve been going to this salon for over ten years.)

  6. Nice to see more photos of Totnes Margaret, makes me want to buy a coffee in a riverside café and enjoy the world passing by but it will have to warm up a bit first. At least we are getting little “tastes” of Spring just now, let’s hope it stay that way!

    • Margaret

      Yes, Heather, coffee by the river is really lovely, one of the small luxuries that I really enjoy. The Riverside Cafe on the opposite side of the River Dart (in Bridgetown) is nice. The coffee is quite ordinary, it’s not a Costa or a Starbucks or whatever, not barista style coffee, but the view is worth it, and they also sell rather nice Eccles cakes! (For those not in the UK these are pastry filled with fried fruits such as sultanas, raisins and candied peel, and they are named after the town in Lancashire where they are produced.)

  7. You know I always feel compelled to comment about your wonderful early morning photos, Margaret! Such gorgeous colors in your sky. And the lovely pictures of the countryside! You look fabulous in your quilted jackets as well. Hope springtime arrives for you very soon.

    • Margaret

      Thank you so much, Beth, for such kind words (including me in my quilted jackets!) The day, which started very dull, has brightened up a bit, but we’ve been informed that by next weekend it will be in the high teens (Celsius), so spring is coming!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *