in celebration of spring

As a musician I’ve spent almost every Spring of my professional life preparing for some kind of Christmas event, which means the writing, arranging, composing, auditioning, rehearsing, directing, and performing circus has dominated my life with refrains and tinsel from about September onward. All this is fine except that Spring is one of my favourite times of year and I only glimpse it from the windscreen of my car as I drive from venue to venue.

This year, however, everything is different. For the first time in many years I can make the most of these precious three months when the world comes alive again. Here’s how I plan to get amongst it:


Obviously. But if there’s ever an excuse to fill your house with beauty and perfume, it’s springtime. Simple bunches of single varieties, clumped in mismatched specimen vases or in a simple glass cylinder. Buy whatever’s at the market and enjoy the gradation from bright bulbs to pastel sprays as the season deepens. Oh, and poppies. Poppies are where it’s at.

Kir Royale

Vintage champagne cocktails are making a comeback. The Bellini is perfect for summer Christmas parties, so right now I’m mixing Kir royale, with it’s deep purple hue and fizzy berry sweetness it’s the perfect compliment to luscious Spring evenings and the sparkle of Summer anticipation.


You heard me. Get ’em while they’re in season. They look great in your fruit bowl, or in jars on your windowsill, and require very little dressing. Surprisingly fun to prepare and they’re a great lazy party snack.

Get Outside

Pack a picnic and go see some green, people. If you’re in a city, hit the botanic garden or heritage listed estate nearby. There are entire regional towns that transform for flower festivals in Spring and village communities that host open gardens. You might even find outdoor concerts and pop-up dinner events.


For obvious reasons anything set in Italy is perfect.

A Room with a View – E. M. Forster

Under the Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes

The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone – Tennessee Williams

The Enchanted April – Elizabeth von Arnim

The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Graham


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Easter Parade (1948)

Cinema Paradiso (1988)

To Rome with Love (2012)


Whatever you do this Spring, resist the festive lure until at least late-November and take some time to stop and smell the roses.


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