A buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) feeding on blackthorn blossom (Prunus spinosa) in the Beddington Farmlands nature reserve in Sutton, London. The blackthorn foams with blossom again. Chiffchaffs have arrived, and creak their seesaw tune from trees that seem to tremble with rising sap. Spring is here – and I notice, with something approaching disappointment (but more likely just dull amazement), that it has been more than a year since I last blogged. It has been an unusual year, though, and I'm in no mood to beat myself up. Since I wrote last March about confinement and illness, I've managed to start finding time for adventure and professional advancement. Looking at the months that have passed since my last post, I find reasons to feel happy about life (if not about my blogging).