Emerging pussy willow, dung spread fields, sodden log piles and a saturated, watercolour sky.
It is half past seven in the morning as I walk the spaniels down through the village. But it might as well be the middle of the night. Curtains are closed, with just the odd light here and there indicating someone is up and having breakfast.
I feel like a benign stalker as I glance around me. Night Nurse is still in bed (as usual), as are Manual and Mrs Regal Bird. There is no sign of life at Tuppence's house as I push a note through the catflap. And the Sheepwashes are still snuggily tucked up when I walk past their cottage at ten past eight.
The Champagne-Charlies are awake, thanks to the morning alarm call of our barking dogs excited at going for a walk. And I see the shapely silhouette of Poshy Totty behind her kitchen window, dishing up something for the children and her husband, MDF Man.
Mr Grigg will be sorry he missed that, I think.
Walking back up through the village, I meet Mr F-Word, a retired chef, walking down the road clutching the Daily Mail he has just picked up from the shop.
'Everyone's still asleep,' I say. 'All the curtains are closed.'
'Ah,' he says, patting the dogs, 'that's because they're all in love.'
That's about it.
Love Maddie x
It's Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent. General Custer, he of the face carved out of Mount Rushmore and last seen loitering in the pub...
The village square is looking very pretty this year. There are lights on Christmas trees outside the houses and holly wreaths on the doors...
Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was a child in a meadow with a woodland circle of beech trees around me. And there was clover growing i...
When the young Gerald Durrell and his family moved to Corfu in 1935, it didn’t take him long to get to grips with the local wildlife. I...
There's a wedding today in Arequipa, Peru. As in countries the world over, little boys still in nappies dress up as men in stiff suits...