Harbingers of spring
JUST around the corner is a lime tree that charts the seasons for me in central London. Its branches as yet remain barren, but a surrounding carpet of daffodils has come into bloom, brilliantly coloured harbingers of spring. We were tempted out by the accompanying sunshine for a family visit to the Tower. The Crown Jewels formed the unquestioned highlight of the trip. I have never really warmed to them before, but the children’s wonder was completely infectious. There was also enthusiasm for the ravens, but, to my disappointment, rather less for the White Tower.
The history and architecture of this great building—london’s first high-rise—left them cold. Instead, it was the armour displayed there that caught their attention. When I tried to move them on from the three suits that chart Henry VIII’S changing stature, they had their revenge by loudly discussing which one most closely approximated my shape. I’m not used to such teasing. A few days ago, we had a surprisingly animated discussion about giving things up for Lent. It quickly emerged that the children aspired to 40 days’ abstinence from school. As nothing else would satisfy their scrupulous search for self-mortification, we agreed— but only after a short argument—that life must carry on as normal. JG