Sunday 21 March 2010

The First Day of Spring with Mrs Miniver and me

It was a Wedgwood day, 
with white clouds delicately modelled in relief 
against a sky of pale pure blue. 
The best of England, thought Mrs Miniver, 
as opposed to countries with reasonable climates, 
is that it is not only once a year that you can say,
"This is the first day of spring." 

She had already said it twice since Christmas - once in January, 
when they had driven across the Marsh to the sea 
and it had been warm enough to lie on the sand without a coat;

(We cycled out to some marshland near us early this morning.)

 and once in February when she had taken the children 
for a lunch picnic in Kensington Gardens. 
The grass had been scattered with twigs from the previous night's gale 
and by the next afternoon it was snowing: 
but while it lasted that day had been part of the authentic currency of spring -
 a stray coin tossed down carelessly on account.

A small and very damaged painting by Paul Maitland
called Kensington Gardens- a secluded spot.
A stray coin tossed down at my feet 
when I had to clear an aunt's cottage after she died.
It was impossible to see any detail 
but a picture restorer took pity on it
and cleaned it just enough so that we could discern 
this Edwardian lady perched on a shooting stick.


  1. All right, all right, all right - you win - I've just ordered Mrs. Miniver!!!!

    I just couldn't take any more references to this book that I didn't even know existed until recently.

    Love the blog!

  2. Oh yes, I do like Mrs. Miniver, too ...

  3. Early morning cycling, you say?
    Sounds suspiciously like a search for photo-opportunities to me!

  4. oh gosh, another book to add to the must read list!

    Just stumbled upon your blog. Fab.