We came back home yesterday from another visit to our son in Scotland where the weather was beautiful – blue skies and sunshine. So different from here in the south-east of England, where apparently it rained all weekend. Scotland has its own particular beauty but for me April in England is the place to be. As we travelled home the scenery changed becoming softer and greener and then on coming into home territory the hedgerows were full of blossom and it reminded me of Robert Browning’s poem Home Thoughts From Abroad ( he wrote it in Italy):Oh to be in England Now that April’s there, And whoever wakes in England Sees, some morning, unaware, That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf, While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England – now! And after April, when May follows, And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows! Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge Leans to the field and scatters on the clover Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge- That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over, Lest you should think he never could recapture The first fine careless rapture! And though the fields look rough with hoary dew, All will be gay when noontide wakes anew The buttercups, the little children’s dower – Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!