Oh to be in england, now that april’s (almost) there

We’ve had a plague of brown moths in Kigali recently. They just appeared one morning and papered the house. At work, they lurk in the giant avocado tree and come charging out at you, scattering tiny desiccated versions of their recent selves on your dress as you hurriedly cross the yard.

There is no chatter online about it or in the local newspapers. Nobody else seems to notice or be bothered by them and I wish I hadn’t read so much Kafka as a (tortured) teenager. I can deal with all the cockroaches and ants and suchlike, but not these motherflutterers…

Perhaps they’re here as part of the weather cycle. April is when the ‘big rains’ come and we have already had some spectacular warm-ups for the event.

So when I received an email from Lisa commenting on the cherry blossom coming out on the trees in Brighton and the merits of growing her petunias from seed, it made my heart pang for home.  Before I knew it I had bought Elgar’s Enigma Variations on iTunes and found myself in full pine… (yes Jane, that does mean ‘Nimrod’).

It is the time of year when Nicky will be making furtive trips to Wyevale, Emma and Rupert will be bounding all over the beach, and everyone will be planning trips to The Field or Cuckmere Valley and having lashings of beer at The Giant’s Rest, arguing about what pudding to have and remarking on how beautiful England is this time of year. And was that a Nightingale we heard on our walk today?

Don’t get me wrong, Rwanda is an amazingly beautiful country and I am spoilt rotten by the incredible bird life here. In 30 minutes I can be in beautiful countryside with hills that go on forever. I just bloody miss sharing the spring in england with my friends.

Home Thoughts From Abroad

Oh, to be in England,
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England – now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows –
Hark! where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge –
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower,
– Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Robert Browning

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