It is funny that I had expounded on the lack of potholes earlier in my British experience.  I did mention that there were a few potholes to be found after our winter storm, but it was nothing in comparison to the US.  The potholes we have experienced were mostly off on the sides of the roads and in parking areas in the Ashdown Forest.

But now, it appears that some council areas in the UK are full of potholes.  Yet, these councils refuse to have the holes filled in.  In fact, they are using them as speed deterrents.  Can you imagine that?  Of course, residents are angry because of the dangers to cars and their passengers.  Not to mention the number of accidents that would occur as people swerve to and fro to dodge these potholes.  As I mentioned before, if we were to have potholes in those narrow country lanes where high hedges and winding roads obscure your view of oncoming traffic, we would be in serious trouble.

Had I spoken too soon?  Are there many potholes out there that I am not aware of?  Perhaps we are just fortunate to live in an area where the councils believe in providing good roads.

The ubiquitous gorse

My favourite season has always been fall, followed by spring. I love the changes that come with these two seasons. In the fall, nature winds down in preparation for the winter slumber. In the spring, nature reawakens and preens herself for the magnificent festival that is summer. Of course, all of nature does not follow this pattern, but for the most part, the trees and flowers do. The weather is relatively temperate compared to the extremes of the other two seasons.

I decided long ago that I could only live in four seasons. Having grown up in it, I could not give it up. I don’t think I could ever be induced to live in a place where it is practically one season, with some variations. Even if that season was either fall or spring. It just doesn’t work.

The places that I have lived in the US had satisfied my need for the four seasons, though some not as dramatic as others. I loved the autumnal colour changes, especially in New England. It was always the highlight of the fall, of course. But the smells of the autumn harvest were also extremely pleasant. Then when spring came, I looked forward to seeing the flowers pushing through the ground, the buds on the trees and bushes opening up.

I am very glad that England has four seasons, though the fall had not been very dramatic this year. Also, it was so short-lived. Perhaps, it was because we had so much on our minds that we could not fully enjoy the change in the season. However, this spring has proven to be quite wonderful. The daffodils that are spread everywhere provide such a beautiful landscape. Add to that the rustic scene of sheep grazing and lambs bleating.

But the scene I will probably always remember as being uniquely English in my experience is the blooming of the gorse bushes through the Ashdown Forest. The gorse is really an evergreen as it thrives, even in the winter. It even has flowers in the winter, but not to the extent that it does in the spring. Driving through the Ashdown Forest every day, I have noticed that the rich golden colours of the blooms rival those of the forsythia and daffodils, both of which are abundant in neighbourhoods around here.

I have never seen gorse bushes anywhere I’ve lived until now. They are not well-known for being pleasant because of their prickly nature and the fact that they are highly flammable. But I’ve learned that they are good for land reclamation. So, it has its uses. More importantly, I love viewing the splashes of colour that it provides to the forest.