Nick Horne's Monday Morning

Clouds now with sunshine on the way in London

YOU will be pleased to note that the weather here in London is as dull as dishwater, then again perhaps not.

Contrast the brighter skies of the Costas with the grey low clouds, occasional drizzle, short days and little warmth in the midwinter sun.
Then again there are the bright lights to compensate, and of course, we do have a great deal of indoors as compensate.

Kew Gardens with its hot glass houses filled with tropical plants is nearby. I can close my eyes and be elsewhere.

In the 1960’s film and musical ‘My Fair Lady’ the “rain falls mainly in Spain”. Would it be so the whole of Europe including Spain with the current drought would be happier I suspect?

The news from Paris of the River Seine at flood level, some five or even six metres above normal levels. Floods in French villages less heavily fortified against the water.

I cross the River Thames in London daily, I note how she flows, during the last days the waters have been murky and fast. Carrying the runoff of much rain that has fallen in the past week, as the land is already soaked with winter’s rain recent downpours run straight into the river. Floods here as well? I do hope not.

Looking out of my window I see camellias are in bud already which means that in this part of England spring is certainly on the way.

Over the next few weeks snowdrops will be followed by crocuses the daffodils in time for Mother’s Day then tulips. Before Easter magnolia’s will bud and bloom and I will pray this year they do not get frosted. I suspect that you too mark the passing seasons by the trees and flowers around you.

An occasional pastime is to travel through time.

Head towards warmer climes, just a little. To Devon or Cornwall perhaps and the camellias will be weeks ahead of London. Travel north to Shropshire and they are weeks behind.

One of my favourite places is mountains in early summer. Go uphill and you travel back into spring, descend and return to summer. There is a simple but intense pleasure in climbing and finding an alpine meadow carpeted by spring flowers.

Try it if you have not done so already. For the time being Kew Gardens hothouses will have to substitute for me.

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