The Wind is in from Africa

Of course, the wind wasn't in from Africa but it had that feel of almost exotic hopefulness to it. Warm, buffeting, stiff even. The sun seemed (was) higher in the sky with real warmth.

I've taken this view so many times but it does constantly change. Here the dark uniformity of those holly-oaks is broken up by the wind turning back their leaves to reveal that almost olive-green beneath.

I drove back over to Margate. At least I know my way to the ward now through labyrinthine corridors and floor changes. The news that really cheered John up and got him to stop obsessing about his slippers and the man opposite who had had the temerity to eat an apple was the fact that Chelsea beat Arsenal lat night in the footie. A huge grin spread over his face as if this news had really gotten through and hit some pleasure centre occluded by the stroke.

However, once lodged John could not get over the beauty of the victory and did go on about it ad alta voce for the benefit of his fellow patients ' the best piece of news I've heard in a very long time. You must bring your wife so that we can celebrate with champagne before the feeling fades.'

And his slippers are safe in the bedside cabinet. And Vanessa -'if I shout she will come', he said - came and gave him some thickened apple juice. Vanessa didn't come but a nice 'orderly' (?) fetched her and she loved his delight at his team's great victory. Her husband supports Millwall and at the mention of the name John's eyes filled with tears. 'That was one of Erika's teams', he said.

I drove back with Test Match Special on the radio where England seem to be getting a tonking in the last test in South Africa.

What a lot of world there is.

Couple of extras - the old stinking iris with berries reslpendent still in late January sun and this plant that has appeared in the garden with its saw-tooth leaves.

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