Last week I looked out of the kitchen window and noticed that a little yellow crocus flower had appeared in one of the pots near the back door, and that there were clumps of snowdrops and narcissi in the flowerbed by the garage. On an impulse I grabbed my camera and went outside for an impromptu 'Signs of Spring' hunt. Closer inspection revealed a whole array of different buds - silvery grey clematis, bright pink rhubarb...peonies, roses, hyacinths and scabious all sending out optimistic shoots too.
Storm Ciara has been wreaking havoc since then - some of the crocuses have completely lost their heads in the wind, and I'm sure the driving rain and sleet isn't helping any of those tender shoots, but the llittle burst of happiness they gave me has lingered.
A couple of other happiness-inducing things that have been lifting my spirits:
I finished another 1-2-3 Chickadee Shawl in the most ravishing purply-blue-green yarn - soft and warm and now a constant feature wrapped around my neck...
...and I started work on my Sophie Tilley peg doll kit at the weekend, making a conscious effort to put my paralysing perfectionism to one side, allow myself to experiment/play with materials and generally go with the flow. She's a long way from completion (her hair is just loosely pinned to her head, and she has no clothes yet) but she already has a hint of character and a little twinkle in her eyes. I think she's going to be imperfectly lovely!