Bless you!  It’s springtime – the pros and cons of the spring.

In Europe there are four Seasons;  spring (le printemps), summer (l’été), autumn (l’automne) and winter (l’hiver). Each season has its pros and cons (positive and negative points). Here we will discuss the springtime.

The spring is traditionally associated with a time of rebirth (renaissance).The flowers and trees that were hibernating in winter “spring to life” during this season. All around we see seasonal flowers such as tulips (tuilpes) , daffodils (jonquilles)  and trees heavy with blossom (fleurs). The countryside (la campagne)  and gardens (les jardins)  are full vibrant colours (les couleurs vives), we see green, yellow, red, pink and purple flowers everywhere.

However, spring is not a beautiful time for all, and one major disadvantage for some people is that there is a lot of pollen in the air, which causes people with hay fever (le rhume des foins) to suffer. If you are allergic (adjective) to pollen/ you have a pollen allergy (noun), the spring is as terrible a season as it is beautiful.

Symptoms of pollen allergies include blocked or runny nose (le nez bouché ou qui coule) and sneezing (éternuer). Itchy, red, swollen, watery eyes (les yeux irritants, rouges, gonflés et aqueux) and even asthma. There are different treatments to alleviate the symptoms of pollen allergies; such  as homoeopathic remedies, immunotherapy and allergen avoidance. However, the “go to” (normal/ most popular) remedy remains medications such as antihistamines (antihistaminiques).

So if you hear someone sneezing during the spring, you can say “Bless you!” (à tes souhaits) and wish them a speedy season into the summer!