Horse chestnuts have already flowered and shed their blossom. But here's a memorial to the early spring.
Words come into fashion and like fashion their use fades. One of the words, that I hope will quickly fade is empathy. What's wrong with sympathy? Empathy seems to me to be little more than an overstatement of sympathy. It is sympathy pressed home and screwed tight. It is intrusive, invasive. presumptive. Sympathy is what I want when in need of support. It is politer than empathy and keeps its distance. So if so inclined please think sympathy rather than empathy.
Every now and then I enjoy the catalogues which come through the post and which allow a vicarious enjoyment of items for which I have no need and not the least desire to possess. Top of today's list is a solar-powered frog. "At nightfall it emits a warm, gentle glow that lasts for up to 8 hours... It is made with a Tiffany-effect construction and like their real-life counterparts, they'll happily withstand the weather all the year round." I would order one today, but for our garden gnomes, who would find such a new arrival unacceptable and undoubtedly have a right of veto.