Today it's my birthday, and I've had a stream of visitors. The first was Amy, standing on the doorstep with a lemon drizzle cake and LIT candles. The rest of my visitors have been eating lemon drizzle cake all morning.
Eleanor sent me tulips, really lovely tulips because she knows they are my favourite. Yellow and orange in a white jug, and brightening the kitchen table.
The garden ... well, I can hardly believe the presents it's given me today: the first tiny snowdrops, primroses, a cowslip in amongst the celandines, helebores galore (five different types), and one tiny purply-black iris reticulata. Oh yes, and a forgotten pot of last year's hyacinths left in the greenhouse instead of being planted out - badly in need of splitting - but starting to bloom today, and now on my desk.
Blue sky, too, a perfect cold winter's day, not like all the rain we've been having and all the grey skies that are forecast. Magical.
Stealing fruit - "Everything is balanced and orderly; everything is running riot; everything is an English garden." A.S. Byatt on William Morris's Strawberry Thief design; ...
19 hours ago