Spring hits London (along with the G20 Summit)

April 3, 2009


On the day that world leaders congratulated themselves on having ‘hit back against recession’ and the narrow streets around the Bank of England were packed with demonstrators hemmed in by a massive police presence, what we really noticed was that spring had come to town.

In the countryside spring is unequivocal: everywhere you look are flowers or at least buds and the trees and hedges are spendthrift with blossom. But in the city where it’s hard to see the skyline,  spring views can only be taken in as fragments round corners, down alleyways, rapid glimpses from the train, a single tree covered in pink in a street of identical terraced houses. You feel spring as much as you see it, in the warmth in the air.

I sat beside the canal in Paddington Basin at lunchtime, under a clear blue sky, eating a Marks and Spencer’s Egg Mayonnaise sandwich. The sun was bright on the water and there were placid barges (Somerset Joy and Frideswid) with their tubs of daffodils and red tulips. It felt like I didn’t have to worry about anything. It was good enough just to be there.

When I got home the cherry blossom was falling on the garden. In Japan when the blossom falls they celebrate. I could see why.



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