Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Oh To Be in England, Now that April's There"

The wonderful poet Robert Browning was right, April really is one of the most beautiful months of the year in England. British weather is notoriously mercurial - you don’t get to be a “green and pleasant land” without a lot of rain - but somehow this one month has a quality all its own. For a moment we forget our often rainy, disappointing summers and our dank, grey autumns and winters, and just revel in the glory of a British spring.

Yesterday evening my son and I walked through some wonderful countryside, not even ten minutes’ walk from our home, past fields of flowers and calves, down to the Thames. On our way we stumbled on this house, which looks pretty ordinary most of the year (and does not usually have a boarded up window I hasten to add!), but that right now is transformed by the riot of Wisteria blooming on its face. Gorgeous.

The daffodils that bloomed everywhere here - even along the sides of the roads - are just beginning to fade, exactly in time to make room for the bluebells. Most days the sky is an ethereal shade of blue, and even the spring rain has a different quality to it - a fresh smell and a lightness the rain never has at any other time of year.

We never know what summer will bring - long, hot summers are few and far between here - but April truly is a wonderful month to be in England.

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