Home Thoughts From Abroad

People sometimes ask me what I miss about England now that I live in Spain. There are a number of food items which I like and can't get over here, but they are something to look forward to on my visits. So usually my answer is that to be honest, I don't miss anything. But a couple of days ago I was sorting through my files of photos and came across this one, and there was something staring me in the face. You do not get these vibrant, spring-like greens in Spain; Spanish greens are all much darker, more muted and frequently dusty. I was struck by Robert Browning's famous lines, which now that March is over, I reproduce here along with the photo. 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!

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