Okay, for all you people in the Northern Hemisphere, I know this is unseasonal, but Down Under, the winter still has bite but the garden is showing that spring is not far away. From my desk I can see two late-winter flowering bushes that are making me very happy indeed.
The first is a pink Camellia, which is bursting with blossom and which has carpeted the ground beneath it with petals so thickly that all one can see is pink.
The other is a white star magnolia, which is also covered with flowers.
And the best thing about them is that their beauty is a gift.
I’d love to say that it is due to my diligent gardening and horticultural skills, but neither of those things exist. These plants are alive because they are tough and because, in the recent drought years, they were protected from the extremes of heat by the adjacent creepers that used them as climbing frames. They are flowering like mad because they have recently been released from the creepers and can now get a decent crack at the sunlight. They are beautiful because it is in their nature to be.
There are many things in the world that are hard and cold and tough.
But there are also moments and people of extraordinary beauty and today I am grateful for them.
Do you have a favourite beautiful thing – or person?