At last, at long bloody last, spring seems to have arrived. I’m wearing footless tights, for only the second time this year. I’ve opened the bedroom window – not wide, but enough for a gentle waft of London air and London sounds to permeate the flat. The heating’s been off for a couple of weeks, though I’ve had to resort to a hat and scarf indoors on a number of chilly evenings. There’s some heat in the sun, when it’s out. But the most noticeable change is the sudden glorious splurge of green in the parks. I’ve walked through Battersea Park several times recently and every time more trees and bushes have come into leaf, and those leaves have unfurled further and the greens are more vivid and intense. The most beautiful, uplifting trees, for me, are the horse chestnut trees, with their spreading, generous leaves, like giant hands, that I have to reach up and stroke, and panicles shooting up and looking good enough to eat – frothy confections, like coconut pyramids. I love the name – horse chestnut – and the fact I can recognise this tree, and the word panicle, and the viridescent light when the late afternoon sun shines through the leaves. I’d go out now, to lie under one, only it’s clouded over, of course. I’d better close the bedroom window and pull on a cardigan. Not a hat and scarf. Not yet.