In like a lion, out like a lamb

And March came in with a beam.


Of course it did. After the long, brown dreariness of January and February, in comes March with a spring in its step. It’s my favourite month, and not just because it crams in our anniversary, my birthday and mother’s day with more celebratory breakfasts than you can shake a stick at. March is the month of the purple crocus, crowding under any old scrubby tree it can think of. It comes blazing with the promise of brighter things.

We spent today altogether – O, miracle! – at Mottisfont Abbey and Gardens, in Hampshire. You drive down a long, straight Roman road just the other side of Winchester, past a quarry, through a village, blinded by sun and green. Since we came with wellies and pushchairs, we decided not to do the house today, but the gardens were a dream. Sometimes I feel like the National Trust designs these places with little boys in mind.




Here’s a secret: one of the best things about having small children is that when you get to a walled garden path just begging to be a runway, you can buzz around like an aeroplane and no one stares [much].




We decided to do the Meadow Walk, forgetting that now it would be an Underwater Walk. It was, but we sloshed on, fording the bog with the pushchair. Teddy made a valiant effort to stay asleep, and very nearly managed it. I remembered – again, too late – that my beloved Joules wellies have a hole in the bottom, and it might be time to find some more that I could love as much (NEVER). There were daffodils waiting on the other side.



Look, I hate to brag, but Henry now says ‘en guarde!’ when he wishes to challenge you to a sword fight, and I kind of think it’s my finest motherhood achievement to date.



(PS, if you think you know how to spell ‘en guarde’, but you’re not entirely sure and you don’t want to look stupid, don’t Google it. The first hit is a Wikipedia page called…well, you can look it up. Is this a Google joke?)


One of the trees was called Madame Lemoine. Is this not an utterly perfect thing? Everything was budding and poking its way through grubby earth towards the sun, and I sympathised entirely. March is my favourite month, and you guys, we made it.


16 thoughts on “In like a lion, out like a lamb

  1. I’m also loving the start of March and (finally!) the end of winter. I think this calls for a celebratory reading of “The Secret Garden”, because of how it revels in the return of life and joy to dormant things and places.

    • Oh, I love The Secret Garden, for the same reasons!

      Wouldn’t it be great to start a blog with book suggestions that evoked the time of year you were in? The Secret Garden for March. The Little Princess always reminds me of bleak Januarys. Or perhaps Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for a winter month. Five Children and It for the summer. Now where to put The Borrowers, The Little White Horse and Tom’s Midnight Garden?
      [got far too carried away with that]

    • Isn’t it such a relief?! I get so over-excited when I can actually leave the house without a coat. Though it’s raining again now, sigh.

      Haha, why on earth was that the first result? Very odd πŸ™‚

  2. Next time you tell us not to Google something, remind me to actually listen to you instead of thinking “Oh, well, what’s the weirdest thing it could – HOLY MACKEREL!!!”

  3. Haha, the Google challenge was taken up and I did get a good laugh out of it. The whole thrust (sorry, had to) of the article reminds me of a quote from Doctor Who:
    “I like biting: it’s like kissing, but there’s a winner!”

  4. This looks absolutely gorgeous. We’ve got NT memberships for the first time this year, and are loving exploring their gardens. It looks like you had so much fun, and lovely to see sun and daffodils πŸ™‚ #CountryKids

    • We got ours for the first time a couple of years ago, and just love them. So many options nearby and whenever we go on holiday as well. And they do so much for kids! Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

  5. Yet another beautiful NT site to visit! The grounds are very picturesque with plenty of areas to explore with lots of family fun to be had. I can see you all had a lovely visit and a great day out. Thanks for linking up and sharing your fun day out with Country Kids.

  6. Love this post, looks like you had a fab day together! I just googled en guarde and OH MY GOD What??? hahahaha fantastic, so thank for sharing. I do love that your little boy says en guarde, well done mummy πŸ˜‰ xx #countrykids

  7. March, as seen in your photos does seem to have some in like a lamb though – so I hope it doesn’t turn lion-like later. This time past year we had similar weather and 2 days afterwards we were under 3 ft of snow! Please – not this year!

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