The woods are full of succulent wood anemones. There's a whiff of garlic, shiny leaves are almost ready to produce snowy flowers. Along the hedgerows are banks of wild primroses and planted daffodils. On patches of open grass rugs of dandelions sparkle in the sunshine. Blue and great tits, blackbirds, robins and hedge sparrows sing their hearts out and argue over territory. Rooks, who like to be near humans are nesting in tall trees by the highway. Yesterday, in the distance we heard the hammering of a greater-spotted wood pecker. Flashes of unrecognisable brown and tan fly in and out of budding blackthorn bush. Lambs' tails wag enthusiastically beneath their mothers. Everyone you meet on a country walk is friendly. It's a truly wonderful time of year to celebrate life.
Ironically, April for me also represents a time of mourning. Over the past decade three friends and an uncle died during this month. Last week a friend's son, aged 40, died of cancer. Our thoughts are with her in her sorrow.