Journeying south to spring and north to winter

I’ve spend a large part of my adult life travelling from the south of England, and more lately from the South West of England, to the North of England and more lately to the far north of Scotland. It’s a journey in time, backwards and forwards through the seasons, as well as distance.

I would ring my dad in Manchester and he would tell me excitedly how the daffodils I had bought him were just poking through the soil. In Devon they had all just finished flowering. I would measure the weeks between traditional spring events happening to us, 267 miles of road apart.

I’m in Rome now, at the Pratone di Torre Spaccata, and it’s 19 degrees Celsius. I wonder if this is an Almond tree. I ought to have looked underneath, there’s usually a clue or two scattered on the soil beneath.

Almond Blossom - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I remember Almond trees having particularly dark bark from my trips to Puglia, where there are beautiful mixed fields of olives, cherries, almonds and artichokes.

In a month the fruit will be swelling and ripening nicely.

Almonds are the subject of many articles about how what we call nuts aren’t really nuts. Almonds are the edible kernels of dry, peach-like fruit. However, I think that if you insist on telling everyone that almonds are not nuts but drupes, then you’re the one who’s nuts.

Soon I’ll be heading back to England. I’ll be springing back.

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