It's here and it's happening; everybody stay calm... | Jack Marshall's column
It’s here and it’s happening; everybody please stay calm. I want to tell you the story of the first 45 minutes of a weekend morning I had recently.
Nothing particularly out of the ordinary happened. In fact, the 45 minutes was routine. But everything about it was different in the most wonderful way possible.
I woke up with limbs and eyelids heavy from that properly deep kind of sleep - the kind where you wake up in gentle, lolloping stages, face still deep in a pillow and feet tangled in the blankets.
You come around slowly to find that you’re tessellated snugly in a cat’s cradle of duvet in the most perfectly comfortable formation possible - the kind of arrangement you could never invent whilst awake.
The first wonderful giveaway was the curtains: light streamed from behind them, a warm little slip of halo sneaking into the room.
Off the back of a particularly chilly British winter - and British winters have a spiteful habit of always being particularly dark and chilly - to wake up with the sun was like scratching an itch on a phantom limb that you didn’t even know itched.
With the bright (if pale) light seeping into the room like heat off a radiator, the next wonderful thing to stand out was the temperature, which was that kind of sweet-spot warm where half-a-degree warmer makes it stifling and half-a-degree cooler makes it unremarkable. There’s not a tog on the planet that can guarantee that unique warmth.
The final and most wonderful of wonderful things was something intangible; something you only really know when you feel it.
It was the feeling of Spring, a slight susurrus of promise.
The promise of warmer weather, of beer gardens and days so long they feel endless. Of evenings thick with greenery and charcoal and wine glasses left faintly stained overnight.
Of the feeling of grass between your toes and the game of balancing a pint in the sand. Of sunglasses and suncream and of the concept of a breeze being a welcome thing. Of light everywhere. Of walks thick with insects. Of peals of effortless and easy laughter. Of 2am warmth.
I opened my bedroom window wide and this wonderful feeling bled into the room. Outside it was balmy and quiet. Spring isn’t for a few weeks yet, but for 45 minutes, I could smell it.
It was so close I could taste it.