I spent the Easter weekend in Devon, a long-overdue visit to my parents, who live an hour apart, not far from where I grew up. Just as I remember childhood summers, the weather was hot, unseasonably so, more like June than April.
With my dad we poked around Totnes' legendary market, and everywhere the air smelt musky. Hmm. Good to see civic pride rubbing off on the young.
The Devon hills are as round and inviting as a dollop of clotted cream. They draw the eye, and encourage you to explore their secrets.
Treasures await those prepared to walk.
I don't know why I try and photograph bluebells. Photos don't ever come close to capturing their exquisite beauty, the shimmering layers of purple then green. They can't convey the smell or the accompanying birdsong or the feeling of being there, the relief of having made it through another winter. But every year I go ahead and do it anyway in the hope that it'll be different this time.
And even there in the woods, bursting with spring, a reminder of transience and of how quickly everything is forgotten. Et in Arcadia ego.
Before leaving for Oxford, I took a spontaneous detour to Dartmoor. Picked a place on the map, somewhere I'd never been before, parked the car and found a footpath. Was pixie-led up through a wood jammed with granite boulders, every one a forgotten shrine.
At the top of the hill I emerged again into bright, hazy sunshine. A hidden wooded valley on the other side, burnished with the cascade song of warblers. Buzzards circled and ravens crawed.
And sitting on a granite promontory I heard the true herald of spring, a cuckoo, my first of the year. How strange. His call descends a major third, the happiest of musical intervals - cuck-oo, cuck-oo - but it bugles in an annual rite of suberfuge and murder, a sacrificial act of the most primitive kind, the genetic urge to live no matter what the cost. Darkness at the very heart of light.