I have a love/hate relationship with spring.
It beckons in new life, things to do, vegetable gardens to tend to, opening the house up after a few months of cold and unpleasant weather.
Looking at different menus to prepare away from the stews, casseroles and soups I have been making for the last while to lighter foods, salads, some more Greek and Italian dishes with plenty of fresh vegetables.
Asparagus is back and the mornay is waiting to be made.
The cost of the vegetables we have to buy comes down substantially and the tomatoes begin to taste better.
I get up in the dark after retiring not long after sunset, getting the bride's breakfast and cuppa ready for when she descends for the day.
It is nice to open the ranch sliders and windows and smell the freshness in the air.
The heating bill has taken a deep dive, not to be seen again at the dizzying heights it has been reaching for a few months I hope.
The lawn guy is now coming more often as everything, including the lawns, is flourishing.
But the other side of the coin is the concept of four seasons in one day, sometimes before lunch.
Spring is also the most tumultuous time of the year weather-wise in our little part of the paradise.
We made a trip to the local garden centre yesterday to buy some plants.
We dressed for winter as it was cold and we are just coming out of a storm period.
Walking around the garden centre with all the other oldies, I noticed fleeces and jackets in abundance.
Then the weather warmed up in what seemed about 30 seconds, I went from warm and comfortable to hot and sweaty, as did everyone else, shedding jackets and placing these on their trolleys.
Carry on shopping, talking to the nice assistants and the odd old acquaintance. Into the carpark, freezing again, jackets back on, into the car.
Home, hot again, windows open, sun out.
I can't keep up.
We visited Miss 3-year-old, her new baby sister and support staff recently. Missy had a snuffly cold, hot temperature and was obviously a bit miserable.
Both sets of grandparents did not hold back, of course - cuddles, playing with toys, getting into mischief and being told off by son and daughter-in-law for teaching Missy bad tricks, all good grandparent stuff.
Next day or so, both sets of grandparents, Mummy and Daddy all with colds, headaches, runny noses, varying degrees of severe disability depending on the gender involved.
As we all know, men suffer much more than women at these times.
Miss 3-year old is up, running around, fit as a fiddle.
I am only just coming right now, two weeks later.
The other grandfather is also still suffering, I hear.
Of course all the females were sick for a day or two, but up and around again in no time.
I had forgotten the days of spring when our children were small and colds arrived home from school or daycare with our precious ones. The whole family getting colds or bugs, the kids right as rain in a short time but adults suffering longer.
There is something primal about spring and autumn, my two favourite seasons.
I am not sure why but it feels like autumn is a period of slowing down, days drawing in, preparing, looking at the upcoming stuff on Sky, Netflix and Neon, getting a few more books online, whereas spring is a period of speeding up, watching less TV, feeling better about things despite the awful year we have all had.
Spring is a busy time while autumn seems a peaceful, quiet attractive time with trees shedding in their many colours, the "Autumnals" as we refer to them.
We have been known over the years to take our holidays in autumn specifically to catch these Autumnals, particularly in the deep South, around Arrowtown and other parts of Central Otago. It's also a jolly good chance to sample the beautiful southern pinot noirs.
Living semi-rurally, we are well aware of seasonal change due to what is going on in the paddocks around our home - lambing, hay-making, cropping and other chores that are the way of life for our hard-working farmers, orchardists and crop-growers.
Spring in this part of the world also means the year is fast coming to a close.
It seems like yesterday that 2020 started with all the promise of a new decade where we were only worried about climate change, Brexit and what this will mean for New Zealand and looking on in bemusement at the US.
Then Covid-19 descended and the world has changed, maybe in parts, forever.
What a year to remember.