You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.  

- Pablo Neruda

Last year around this time I began settling into London, making it my home rather than a place to return to each time our visa applications were finally approved. So, I was distracted. And I don’t think I properly attended to the beauty of the English spring. It’s actually not a season I ever thought much about before.

At this moment it’s not so grey here. Rather it’s… perfumed. This morning, for instance, I stood in the park between two cherry blossom trees and the wind, back and forth, snowed their sweet white petals down on me. 

Everything is flowering, or just has, or is about to. Even the grass is full of weeds that look like tiny daisies. It seems we here have a case of April flowers (and a little bit of rain) heralding the May flowers. 

But that’s the other thing about springtime in London, as far as I can tell. The rain and lingering dampness can come to be (or even just feel like) so much drear. Which is part of the reason why my husband and I decided we had to go someplace sunny for a long weekend.

Of course it's not just a change of weather that's on my mind. There are also fewer than eight weeks between me and motherhood, assuming all goes as planned. And my husband and I hadn't taken a proper weekend together in what sometimes feels like months. So. We have just returned from a few glorious days of not-doing, not-even-reading, not-thinking-very-hard-at-all on the French Riviera.  

At first the weather was warm and sunny enough for sunburns and swimming in the sea (evidently living in the UK means the mid-sixties will do…). And when it turned cool and wet we took to the rental car, alternately acting fancy and the opposite, à la Two For the Road

It helps to go away in the spring, and to come back a little bit closer to summer. And all that this summer promises to bring.