Spring, lorries, Sadlers Wells, champagne and soil

Spring came on a lorry last night

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Or so it felt, as we walked through balmy unbowed London to see the English National Ballet’s triple bill at Sadlers Wells. We marvelled at the blossom, we stepped across streets to walk in the sun, and listened to kids playing outside in the squares again. And then there was this lorry waiting outside the theatre…. a ballet lorry!

It was a wonderful evening, but it was the third piece, Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre du printemps, an interpretation of Stravinsky’s work and an astonishing performance by the English National Ballet, that made every hair on my body stand on end. Much as spring itself does. The first sign that something special was happening was when they poured buckets and buckets of soil on the stage, and raked it almost as a performance. (I obviously didn’t take photos during the dancing, but I couldn’t resist one of this alternative ballet…)

Raking soil at Sadlers Wells

And because it’s the week when it felt important to keep on enjoying the simple beauty and optimism of a London that is as much about honey and selling so many different kinds of potatoes as it’s about politics…

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… a week when I met a man who makes my favourite champagne (Taittinger, in case you happen to be passing), and when the tulips on my balcony have not quite burst into colour although I know they want to…

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… and maybe because of all that, when I sat down with my journal, although none of this is really about a garden, a spring poem came out.

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