"Oh to be in England now that April's 'here', and whoever wakes in England sees, some morning, unaware, that the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf round the elm tree bole are in tiny leaf, while the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough, in England - now! And after April, when May follows, and the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows....".
These words from Robert Browning's 19th century poem, brings to the mind's eye the countryside as spring emerges after the gloom of the long wet winter.
Those of us living and working in the heart of the Sussex countryside, have been fortunate to witness this scene developing around us.
The woods filled with the scent and colour of wild garlic and bluebells, and now the emerging soft green canopy as the trees gently burst into leaf. It is a privilege to live in rural England in our isolation and with space around us.
Data shows that the majority of those who have been diagnosed with the corona virus, and most of those sadly struck down by this rampant disease, live in and around the densely populated metropolises of London, Manchester, Birmingham, York and Glasgow and other large towns and cities.
For many of us, particularly those working the land, life has changed little as we go about our daily tasks. Other than perhaps the dramatic increase in numbers of people walking across the fields.
Some walk in family groups with their children and dogs. Others flash by in their multi-coloured lycra, with bottled water, and headsets camped to their ears. Many appear oblivious to their surroundings so deeply are they engrossed in whatever it is they are listening to!
Both bode well for the nation, bringing hope, vigour and stability. The nation needs the PM's reliable and solid leadership, and the countryside desperately needs the rain. Between the two we shall hopefully soon see emerging green shoots