Wednesday 28 April

I diligently watered the garden this morning as I was too tired to do it last night, and then irony of ironies, it started to rain. However, the downfall has been pretty minimal so I guess the watering routine will remain. It is still bitterly cold so no chance of planting out anything tender.

We seem to be being offered all kinds of blandishments to book a sunshine holiday in Spain in June, and however tempting that may be, I think I will be holding off for a while. Somehow flying does not seem so appealing at the moment, let alone the possibility of isolation or quarantine. There are so many wonderful places to visit in the UK anyway. Wild swimming will beckon soon, although 8.8C at Brighton remains a little cool. Although my niece is swimming at Portobello in 8.4C. Son and daughter-in-law in the Thames at Wallingford, 10.8C. Balmy. Or barmy, depending on your take on these things.

We went for a walk on the Farthing Downs, in between the rain showers. An absolute mass of cowslips, so lovely. Very few people too, being a working and school day.

For my overseas readers who do not know what cowslips are, I will give a close-up:

I have been watching My Yorkshire Farm, with the amazing shepherdess Amanda Owen and her nine children. I was interested to see that she did not send her children to the Reception class, but waited till they were 5 to send them to school. Partly because it is almost an hour’s drive to and from the school, which makes it a very long day, but also she felt they derived more benefit from being at home on the farm. And I would agree. In most European countries, formal education does not start at 4+ but at 6 or 7. Perhaps you might say that the early years in primary are not much more than nursery education, but it is nevertheless a school environment, with uniform and school dinners and the like.

I think as it is now the height of spring that a quick burst of Vivaldi is called for. I hope it does not remind you of being on hold at a call centre!

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