We are off to Norway for a week, as of tomorrow, so probably off line, and almost certainly off blog. Very much looking forward to it after a pretty strenuous month. Norway is so restful. Everything works, and what you see is what you get. We expect to return to a transformed NE Scotland — after a really nice Sunday (it was nasty again yesterday and today), the vegetable world has finally woken up to what is expected of it. The barley, suddenly, is hairlike green shoots half an inch high; visible as only a faint olive haze on the fields. Some of the grass seed we scattered is coming up at last. The birches are showing the first of their flourescent green spring foliage, the larches their first soft green paintbrushes. The overwhelming impression of the landscape is still grey and drab, the area round the pond still bare earth. But when we return, if there has been even a tiny bit of sun, everything will be green.