To England, for a long weekend, and as the plane dropped down towards Birmingham it was plain that people had been right when they told me that this was an extraordinary spring. The hedgerows were white with may blossom, thick and dense, as if it were in fact snowy January. But the fields, even from way up, were that peculiar bright green of early spring, when most of the leaves are still very new and clean.

The next morning, walking with the dog on the scarp overlooking Cheltenham and towards the Malverns was simply breath-taking. The may was as thick down on the ground, but it was the greens of the fresh tree leaves that stunned me into silence. Larks overhead. A cuckoo. The dog pissing on everything. Central Casting could not have produced a more perfect semblance of an English spring.

Later on the walk we came to a riding establishment which may just have the finest situation ever. The maneges are built out from the steep hillside so that looking straight out one sees not the fields but the far hills. From the back of a horse I imagine it must feel rather like flying through the clouds on Pegasus himself. As Rachel observed, just the place for an infinity pool.

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