Tuesday 11 April 2023


Well that‘s what the sadly late but irrepressible Robin Williams said. And as I look out of the window and see the unusually tall daffodils, fritillary, hellebore and ranunculi filling the flowerbeds I can see exactly what he meant. It’s as though nature is waving two fingers at winter. From monochrome to a blaze of colour. 

The most beautiful spring flowers in Tokyo – and where to see them

Open the Prosecco and let’s do something exciting. Have a drink, play Vivaldi’s “Spring,” that gloriously upbeat violin concerto and the temperature goes up, the sun comes out and one starts giggling.

I was thinking of doing something new to help change the gloomy un-spring-like news – Trump’s arrest, Scott Benson (if you don’t know who he is read about the latest “Tory sleaze” from this woeful character), the queues at Dover and at A&E and the weary journalists who, if gardeners, would be cultivating slugs not flowers.

Geoffrey Chaucer | The Historian's Hut

Geoffrey Chaucer comes immediately to mind. He was a genius and polymath. Philosopher, astronomer, bureaucratcourtier, diplomat, member of parliament and best of all a poet. His Canterbury Tales, despite being driven into reluctant teenage heads in Middle English (which is nearly English but not quite) is a work of splendid breadth and observation of human nature. Here is the opening to the work, the Prologue, in modern English thanks to a translation by Nevill Coghill: 

When in April the sweet showers fall 

And pierce the drought of March to the root, and all

The veins are bathed in liquor of such power 

As brings about the engendering of the flower, 

When also Zephyrus with his sweet breath

Exhales an air in every grove and heath 

Upon the tender shoots, and the young sun 

is half-course in the sign of the Ram has run, 

And the small fowl are making melody 

That sleep away the night with open eye 

So nature pricks them and their heart engages

Then people long to go on pilgrimages.

Free Easter eggs on grass 8489747 PNG with Transparent Background

Last week was important– the first day of the cricket season (if you’re unfamiliar with cricket read on), Easter which equals Easter eggs, days off, the spectacular and extraordinarily moving Easter story, the approaching Coronation and the laughter of Spring heralded by days of blue skies and birds busy building nests. Chaucer describes the season so perfectly with the description of spring rain as a powerful liquor – cheers! I’m not so sure about the west winds having a sweet breath - last week was very chilly.

But this is the season for doing things, spring cleaning if you must, and a new set of resolutions. This is the new Tax Year in Britain. And this is the time to plan for, what we say every year, will be the best summer ever. Exotic holidays to Greece or wherever. But for all of us a sense of some kind of pilgrimage, literal or figurative. 

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) and His Inspirations to Classical Composers 

My pilgrimage spiritually will involve three resolutions – refuelling (I’m worn out),  refreshing (I need to think a lot more) and resetting (defining my purpose in life…too much drifting right now). One of the key things on my agenda is to read a lot more – not the news, rather instead new things and new avenues of writing. And finally get down to the book I’ve had maturing (I hope it’s maturing and not rotting) for a long time.

So as part of the process there’ll be just one more “Hallucination Blog” after next week’s “farewell” for the next six months. Thank you for reading them those who’ve done so. Astonishingly there have been 742 since 2008.

Definitely time to pilgrimage.

Happy Easter.

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