Cherry blossoms are terribly pretty, but I’m referring more to the cherry trees in Japanese silk art than the real thing. And I’ll tell you why. For the last couple of weeks, and for a couple more weeks to come, the state of my car suggests that I’ve just been to a wedding.


I live under a cherry tree. The flowers are pinkish white and look a little like confetti. At least, they do at the moment. Give it another month, and they’ll dry out and go a sort of gone-bad brown. It will look more like I’ve terrified a flock of angry, loose-bowelled pigeons. It’s stubbornness that stops me from cleaning my car until the last of the blossom has fallen. I will do it quite soon though. I’ve just realised that the light fuzz of green powder all over my bodywork is, in fact, tree pollen from my beech tree. Which would explain all the sneezing.

Anyway, when I was really quite little, I found a box of stuff that had made it from my dad’s bachelor pad, but never quite made it into my mother’s colour scheme. This box of stuff would have been in the attic for a year or so before my birth but, clearly, my dad didn’t want rid of it right away.

There was a heavily veneered wall clock – very nineteen-seventies – with a golden chrome pendulum, which lost time regularly, and stopped dead every three days. Once it came out of the attic, the constant rewinding seemed to annoy the whole family. Anyway, my dad also had a handful of scrolls.

I know. That’s what I thought.


In fact, they were bound in a similar style to scrolls, but wrapped around delicately painted cylindrical wood. Once unrolled, it turned out scroll was a picture of cherry trees, in the Japanese style. Almost like calligraphy, but with petals.


My mother was more into her Van Gogh prints, so the cherry blossom scrolls went up around my room until such time as they were accompanied by Mark from Take That.
Mark was always the prettiest one.