Spring may be all red poppies, bouncy lambs, budding trees and ever lightening mornings for the majority of folk and I enjoy the luscious green of the awakening countryside as much as the next person, but for me Spring is hard work. A large terrace and courtyard covered in pebbles is a great place to entertain and lounge around, it can even host a wedding for 60 guests, but those invited rarely give a thought to the thousands of weeds and baby trees that spring up amongst the stones every March and have to be pulled out one by one: a back-breaking task that takes a work force of one, with much encouragement from a doggy spectator, nearly a week to accomplish.
An arrival in Summer will bask in the warm waters of the pool, maybe sit on the steps with a well iced G&T, having no idea that a couple of months before their seat was the playground for baby frogs, toads and snakes - who have to be evicted before the chlorinated water takes over.
A clear blue pool is the past and the future but the present is green and murky.
Inside is no better. Spring heralds the falling off of any plaster that has allowed damp to creep beneath it and in one of my bathrooms - that means most of it is on the floor. If you visit me in early May you will be met by a be-masked figure, covered in white dust, in a mood to kill and that is before I try to remember which paint I used the year before and if the small roller worked better than the large one.
My labour is often accompanied by a scorpion or two. Thinking the house abandoned, because it only takes a couple of months of absence to appear so, wildlife returns and colonises what was once theirs. Spring is for birds and bees, blossom and bulbs. I wish it also came with blokes with bulging biceps or a bottomless bank account to hire one or two. Every year the prospect of getting the summer house back into shape looks daunting but once started progress is satisfyingly noticeable and sitting under the acid green grape vine, cold beer in hand, Spring is forgiven for another year.