Happy Easter!

Here we are in April – and it’s over a year since restrictions began and lockdowns were introduced. Far better words have been spoken about this than I’m able to conjure up, but the first social gathering – socially distanced, in the evening of the last week of March in a friend’s garden – was a joyous occasion and a forceful reminder of what we have been missing.

I had another book published during lockdown – The Secret Child, above, with publication day flowers – the second part of The Margate Maid trilogy.

Other than that, I did a lot of walking – daily, when I could manage it, even through the Beast from the East no. 2, which arrived in early February just three days after glorious sunshine and blue skies (above). Bitter winds and a high wind chill, plus ice and snow, guaranteed I had the sea front path to myself – or maybe my winterwear frightened everyone away.

As last year, it was a delight to see spring start to arrive. In March, there were lambs by the stream in Bishopsbourne.

Kingsdown Woods held violets, wood anemones, primroses and even clumps of late snowdrops.

In the garden, lime green euphorbia and pots of violas lifted the spirits even on the dull days, while the end of March brought my first tulips to life.

When the sun came through, it was glorious. The last week of March brought sunbathers in bikinis to the beach… Temperatures in the twenties all too quickly fell to something at least ten degrees lower – Easter snow is forecast! But after that unexpected taste of summer, and with the opening of ‘non-essential’ shops and outdoor eating and drinking to look forward to in April, spirits are rising at last.

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