Gareth the rugby gnome has been banished to his alcove in the garden until the autumn internationals and my Nerium oleander* pot plant has also been moved outside. I believe that this marks the official beginning of spring in Colliers Wood, even if it is a little late by some estimates.
* Nerium oleander is a highly toxic ornamental shrub widely cultivated in the Mediterranean. (It has been grown since ancient times and features in many of the Roman wall paintings in Pompeii.) Its effect on the central nervous system may show itself in symptoms such as drowsiness, tremors or shaking of the muscles, seizures, collapse, and - with a following wind - coma that can lead to death. Even my gardening style is a walk on the wild side. Come to think of it, my mother bought it for me as a birthday present. Is there a nuance or two I am missing here somewhere?