Despite the recent storms and gales, I found primroses in bloom in Flimby woods today. That's early, for Cumbria. In my Cornish homeland, of course, they'll have been out in profusion for weeks now. These Northern plants are less prolific, more reticent, discreetly hiding beside the deepest, darkest paths, seen only by deer and rabbits - and by those who go searching for them. These sparse, hidden clumps are the modest evokers of all the springs I remember, primroses shining out from dark hollows, lining the edges of fields, carpeting the banks of streams. In the North, one learns to value such small living tokens of one's past.