I don't care if it is cold in your part of the world. In the Smith/O'Reilly household there is a certain whiff in the air that has me reaching for the cleaning fluids and eyeing up me man a certain way (in fairness, he has the decency to look scared).
I've been getting ready, I tell myself, for La Fheile Bríd (fadas and Irish spelling ever my failing). This day is the 1st of February and already the evenings are lengthening out a little and my kids are behaving like baa lambs: extra bleating and sproinging around the place; they played outside on Saturday for the first time this year, making a nice muddly circle in the back garden where their cycle tracks went round and around.
I love spring. I love its renewal and promise. I love the green bulb buds spurting up from the ground and the small tight knit furls of browny-green on wet branches and bushes that look otherwise dead. I love the slightly deeper green that grass gets this time of year and the red glow of Salix Alba along the motorway cuttings with the sun behind it makin it glow.
And I love the idea of another year kicking off again. Yes, I love spring!