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February 4, 2012 / Aware of the Void

Spring to be Sprung


On the first official day of Spring we have been revisited by Winter. It got very cold very quickly. The heating is on and rain is lashing against the windows. There are weather warnings on the news about ice and snow.

The worst thing about winter in Ireland is that it starts to effect my life in October and seems to continue until at least May. How can this be, I can hear you yell at your computers? Ireland has a temperate maritime climate and we don’t have extremes of weather. It is never too hot and rarely too cold. It is easy to dress appropriately, eat well and stay comfortable regardless of the time of year. It is either rainy and mild or rainy and a bit cool.

This soft climate does not apply to my beautiful wife who manages to very quickly revert to her mantra of repeating every 15 seconds that she is literally freezing to death. I will continue to enjoy this statement from now until it switches to “I’m too hot” in June.

It has been a very long winter.

I have started to resemble a potato from a winter of sitting indoors, sipping stout and staring at books wearing nothing but a Snuggie. This is taking its toll on my creativity and I am delighted to see the first rising shoots of daffodils. In an effort to banish the last of the winter I am revisiting some of the spring days from last year. I am casting off the Snuggie potato skin and embracing the new season reborn as a beautiful butterfly.

Without winter there would be no time for quiet contemplation. Saturday lie-ins under the duvet surfing the internet or hours spent watching Twin Peaks to see if it does hold the answers to everything in the universe. Or Sunday evenings in a pub with an open fire and the Johnny Walker wisdom running high. Most importantly, without the darkness of winter we wouldn’t fully appreciate the amazing lightness of Spring.

How boring would life be if everything stayed the same?


Cold Outside



Leave a Comment
  1. Bonnie Michelle / Feb 4 2012 1:25 pm

    Love your commentary! The photos warm the soul.

    • Aware of the Void / Feb 4 2012 3:22 pm

      Thank you for stopping by Michelle, it is wonderful to get such a nice compliment.

  2. Esther Moliné / Feb 4 2012 5:06 pm

    wonderful photos Brendan!!

  3. violetsandcardamom / Feb 4 2012 5:46 pm

    Love the photos! That last one, with the lights coming through the trees, is simply stunning!

    • Aware of the Void / Feb 4 2012 6:43 pm

      A lucky moment in my local park, the lesson here, always have a camera with you…Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Nandini / Feb 4 2012 6:42 pm

    Here too, the first day of the Spring has passed. It was sunny and warm with little chillness brought by the cold winds. And just after five days, it’s raining and freezing cold. No sun at all. But that’s how winters prolong with a little hope of sunlight here and there till the end of this month. Hopefully, March would be sunnier and pleasant. 🙂

    Really liked reading your post. Made me smile, and laugh at some places. And beautiful and great photographs – gave me the familiar feeling of yellowy-Spring. Third one is just fantastic- love that green. 🙂

    • Aware of the Void / Feb 5 2012 7:48 am

      Nandini, that you for your kind words. I remember taking that picture last year in the spring. It was a beautiful day with just a hint of a chill in the air.
      It is still raining here today….roll on March. There is a saying here (and I am sure in other countries also) Spring arrives like a Lion and leaves like a lamb.
      Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  5. 1cruzdelsur / Feb 5 2012 1:20 am

    Incredible production, you can breathe a lot of art in your photos.

  6. marinachetner / Feb 5 2012 2:20 am

    Beautiful unfolding of your photos! Your writing is super witty as per usual 🙂 Snuggie? That’s so passe – you must update to the Forever Lazy ™.. And I complain every day about being ‘too hot’ and ‘too cold’… Maybe I do too much Bikram Yoga and need to buy a puffy jacket 😉

    • Aware of the Void / Feb 5 2012 7:55 am

      Hi Marina, I only went with Snuggie because I thought that’s what all you cool cats are into now. If the truth must out I ware a Lama wool poncho that I think makes me look a bit like Clint Eastwood. I am reliably informed it does not but I persist.

      May I suggest yoga in the puffy jacket, it will even things out.
      Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

      • marinachetner / Feb 5 2012 11:21 pm

        ha! please google the Forever Lazy – it is a riot and the TV ads for it are SO bad. I would love to hear what you think of its design…! Clint Eastwood – going for the big guns! And so you should – I am sure it looks endearing 🙂 Bikram Yoga is done in 105F temps… a puffy jacket during it would be akin to wearing what our folks would have worn to sweat more during exercise – those plastic tracksuits. Who thinks up these apparel designs? ha!! Have a warm Sunday!

  7. kathryningrid / Feb 6 2012 7:39 pm

    Clearly a light *is* breaking through (as seen in the last photo) and life returning (daffodils, rosebuds and shoots). But I have much experience with winter-itis myself, being both too cold-blooded for comfort and having lived a whole lot of my life in the Seattle area (a *very* similar climate to yours, I’ll wager). So I am sympathetic to the life of curling up fireside or TV-side in blankets, not to mention the fetal position, and complaining about the seemingly endless dark and deathlike foggy days. So, cheers to you for picking up the camera and noticing the bits of Spring sneaking in. While the puffy jacket is quite stylish (and the model even more so), I *don’t* recommend it as a substitute for the appearance of Spring, least of all whilst contorting in Bikram–had I done so, I’m pretty certain I would not be here to tell the tale but rather have converted to a pot roast of a less than savory sort! 😉

  8. sibokk / Feb 6 2012 8:45 pm

    As I was reading this my wife announced she was “very very cold”.
    Excellent portrait. I think you have a ‘knack’ for it.

  9. christian harkness / Feb 8 2012 2:51 pm

    The daffodils look gorgeous Brendan – I always console myself with the thought that if the weather did not get lousy, we would not appreciate the good weather as much. The only place where I have not gotten the ‘weather blues’ has been Hawaii. We lived there for three years and that place has a truly gorgeous climate. I grew up in northern Germany, in a place close by the Weser river and the North Sea, and as a youngster I somehow took perverse pride in the often/most of the time, lousy weather. One drawback to living in a place like Hawaii – I am finding out now – is that you are probably going to end up with loads of little skin cancer problems, if you are lucky that is, and they don’t get worse. Now that we are living on a little island stuck out in the Gulf of Mexico, the ‘bad weather’ is the summer, when it get brutally hot and humid and stays that way all the way through the exciting and thrilling hurricane season! So, here I look at summer as I would other places look at winter. It’s about an even split with somewhere around seven months of nice weather with five or six months in which only ‘mad dogs and Englishmen’ would go out and stroll about.
    Now my wife swears that Seattle has the perfect climate, and I see her point. It depends a bit on how much you crave the sun.

    Sending you good wishes and some sunshine! -c-

  10. stefanocontiphotography / Feb 9 2012 8:46 pm

    Woooow!! i love the last one!!

  11. jrliggettsblog / Feb 11 2012 6:43 pm

    Loved the shot of the light through the trees. It’s too early for any hope of spring-like weather here in the Midwest United States, til then, I’ll just gaze at your warm photos! ahhhh… I feel better already!

  12. J. A. Robinson / Feb 12 2012 1:19 pm

    Thanks for visiting my “punny” photoblog and leaving a “like.” Thanks also for the photos of your emerging spring in Ireland. Here in Ohio we have snow on the ground, and our first official day of spring won’t be until March 21 (and we won’t have any daffodils until April).

    –John R.:

  13. wheresmrmerlin / Apr 13 2012 4:21 pm

    I love your style of writing and commentary in your blogs. It is very flowing and conversational. You’re definitely an inspiration to a beginner blogger (ME!!). Oh, by the way – I literally laughed out loud when I read your portrayal of your wife about being “freezing to death” and then the switch to being too hot in June. My co-worker in the cube next to me was piqued with interest and needed to find out what I was giggling at. I look forward to reading more of your Posts!

    – Beth. R.

    • Aware of the Void / Apr 13 2012 8:40 pm

      Beth, thank you so much for stopping by. Don’t be fooled I am very new to blogging and am living proof that anyone can do this sort of thing. I am glad you enjoyed my post, sometimes I have a leaning towards hyperbole but my wife really does repeat these mantras for the two seasons that we have in this country.
      I am glad that someone finds it funny because it drives me insane…..

  14. Tricia A. Mitchell / Apr 16 2012 11:36 am

    I love the opening shot – the daffodil heads look as though they’re spectators in an audience. 🙂

    • Aware of the Void / Apr 16 2012 12:17 pm

      That photo is the background on my PC desktop in work and always makes me smile. Thank you for the visits, I appreciate the feedback.
      I have stated to have a look at your blog, it is wonderful and I will get a better look at it later. So much travel!!!!

      • Tricia A. Mitchell / Apr 16 2012 12:35 pm

        I can see how the flowers make one smile! Daffodils always herald spring’s return for me…

        Glad we discovered each other’s blogs. Marina (through whom I found your blog) and I have been blogging buddies since last Nov. when my husband and I first started on our sabbatical. Yes, we’re fortunate to have been able to have this experience – still so much to share!

      • Aware of the Void / Apr 16 2012 12:45 pm

        We could start a Marina fan club blog where we document our experiences of reading her wonderful blog………maybe not. But it is always worth a visit.

      • Tricia A. Mitchell / Apr 16 2012 12:51 pm

        🙂 Indeed hers is! Always fun networking with new bloggers…


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