There are days when it's freezing outside and pretty chilly inside too. Sitting down in one place isn't the best way to keep warm. So you think 'well as I'm cold anyway I'll go for a walk'. Except that it was warmer inside and you last about 30 minutes traipsing over the fields. Still, it got me out of the house and this lovely reward. I came across half a dozen trees laden with pussy willow which have now gone onto the nature table which is groaning with bounty already. The cherry blossom has started to come out and although it's a bit early for England I think it might be out in Japan now. Cherry blossom time in Japan is something to see and the Japanese take it very seriousy. Wherever, there is a cluster of trees dripping with blossom there will be a little cherry blossom viewing party (as it it is called) underneath. Out comes the food, the snacks and the sake, ofcourse and the parties go on into the night. There are even songs dedicated to the blossom. I remember coming back from Japan all those years ago and vowing that I would carry on some of the customs that I'd learnt. Things like not wearing your shoes in the house, cleaning yourself before you got into the bath, having celebrations for girl's day, boy's day or the summer tanabata festival. Sadly, it didn't last long although I don't ever wear shoes in the house these days. Having a shower and then a soak in the bath just isn't the same thing. Maybe, one day in the house of my dreams I will have a Japanese bathroom...fully tiled, a maple bath ......Mmmm.