Living in Sydney, October was probably my favourite time of the year.
It was then that the colder, wetter weather of winter would be safely consigned to the past and the skin-searing heat of summer would be yet to arrive.
This in-between season was usually warm by day and mild by night.
But beyond the equitable nature of Sydney’s October climate, this was also the month when the many Jacaranda trees would break out into vivid blooms.
Trees that would stand anonymously by the roadside all year looking like…well…trees, would become transformed almost overnight into a rhapsody of blue (or lilac to be more accurate)
It was at this time each year that I would remember how the Jacarandas had a pretty high ‘share of tree’ in the inner city suburbs around my home.
Last October was my first in the Northern hemisphere for many years, so I missed the spectacle that had become such a regular part of my annual Sydney life cycle.
But fortunately all is not lost and I have been able to replace my yearning for a bit of blue nature with a home-grown alternative, the bluebell.
Each spring in England, the woodlands and hedgerows come alive with these beautiful flowers, as they cover the ground with a rich carpet of blueness.
In small clusters, they are attractive. In large swathes, they are spectacular.
A week ago, I went along to a nearby ‘bluebell walk‘ which even qualifies for a series of tourist attraction road signs directing people to its own particular bluebell display.
Walking through the ancient woodland was a beautiful and evocative sight.
And I know I’m not alone in appreciating the bluebell – its floral charms have appealed to many others over the ages, including Anne Bronte who wrote a poem that summed the topic up well:
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.
When I first set myself up with a Twitter account back in early 2009, I wanted to personalise the background with a visual that meant something to me.
Despite having lived in Australia for many years with, at the time, no intention of returning, I decided something reflecting the English countryside would be appropriate since it represents a strong part of my DNA.
And after considering all manner of options, I eventually settled on something that just felt right. Something picturesque, peaceful and inspiring.
And what did I choose? Why a bluebell wood of course. And I’ve kept the same background picture ever since.
Something rather prescient about that, don’t you think?