Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I get up slowly, like a very old lady. I no longer feel ill. I do not exactly feel well, either.
Outside, the air is light and warm and the young trees are turning the colour of ripe limes. My sister cycles past, box smart in a bright scarlet coat.
'You look nice,' I say. 'Like Thoroughly Modern Millie.'
She looks down at the bicycle, slightly rueful.
'I've just got to work out how to ride it while wearing a long skirt,' she says.
'The suffragettes did it,' I say, staunchly.
She nods. 'Yes, they did,' she says. 'And if they could do it, so can I.'
She rides off, waving, followed by her poodle.
Afterwards, I wonder: why does she want to wear a long skirt while riding a bicycle?
Just as I am pondering this odd question, my attention is diverted. THE CHERRY BLOSSOM IS OUT.
This is very, very exciting. The blossom I have had so far has just been on the little ornamental cherries in my flower beds. The main trees have remained stolidly blossom-free. But now, suddenly, almost overnight, they are in flower. It is not yet the full, dashing effect, but it is blossom, and I do not look that gift horse in the mouth.
Here it is:
It's slightly maddening, because it does not come out as pretty in pictures as it is in life. Still, at least I can give you an idea of the bounty.
The hawthorn has come out too:
And, very soon, my favourite little apple tree will also bloom:
Talking of trees, look at these lovelies:
The Duchess, taking her ease:
And with the sky in her eyes:
And the Pigeon:
I admit to utter bias, but I really don't know if I ever saw such beautiful faces.
The hill, very gracious today: