We were in London for a few days last week, while the Godparents Formerly Known as Tropical minded the house and animals. I love London in spring: Ealing was awash in magnolias and flowering prunus, my Ma’s indulged fox was snoozing in the middle of the primroses on the lawn, and there was the misty, dusty, radiant light which seems to be a London spring specialty. Yesterday was coolish, but today we had a sudden outbreak of proper spring up here as well. At Fyvie, just down the road, the thermometer hit 22.8 degrees. My white narcissus triandrus are out, alongside the primroses and scillas, so the bank down by the lake is a pretty sight, and I have just seen the first bluebell. We spent the whole day outside — the Professor has a virus and is feeling rather shaky but he lay on a rug on the lawn soaking up some Vitamin D while I sat under the trees with a book (I don’t like sitting in direct sunshine), watching my little birds off and on — goldfinches, chaffinches, tits of various kinds, and greenfinches all came to the feeder. It seems extraordinary to get a day like that at this latitude, and we were duly grateful.