Sunday, 14 April 2013

A riot of purple and yellow

Ah! The sun! How good does it feel when the temperatures suddenly start to soar? Spring is finally here!

Nathan and I walked out of the house in coats and scarves and immediately broke into a sweat. Thermometers told us the headline news; it was 18 degrees and rising. Scores of people were walking up Southwood Lane towards the cemetery, all with the ambling quality of folk with nothing better to do in the world than simply wander in the sunshine. 

Gilbert and George were out and about, far away from their usual Shoreditch haunts, wearing matching tweed suits and rather silly hats. I assume they'd been to the second-hand book shop on Archway Road and were heading down the hill to ensconce themselves in a nice cafe with the Sunday papers. They wouldn't have been alone. 

We decided, on the spur of the moment, to head to Thaxted with a big bag of Sunday roast ingredients. It felt like our turn to cook for the parents. 

I made the full works; beautiful fluffy roast potatoes, five kinds of vegetables, leek cheese, a fabulous port gravy, apple pie... My Mum threw in a lentil bake and we ate like vegetarian kings! 

After literally stuffing our faces, we went for a walk across the fields behind the town. Daffodils lined the pathways, crocuses, primulas and even the beginnings of May blossom. It's so strange to see them all coming into bloom at the same time. Suddenly the British countryside has become a riot of yellow and purple. 

We walked for some time along a stream which was burbling with fast-flowing crystal-clear water. As if to gild the lily, two pure white ducks appeared from nowhere, sailing down the stream at high speed as though doing some kind of avian white water rafting stunt. 

The straw-coloured sun sank behind a wispy dark cloud on the horizon and the cornflower blue sky filled with hundreds of majestic vapour trails from aeroplanes riding those great circles to the States. 

Marvellous. Invigorating. The perfect end to a perfect spring day. 

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