I was getting a bit worried about the cherry blossom. It wasn’t wakening from its winter slumber. Since I arrived back from Sweden in early September, the cherry blossoms have been out and about in Christchurch and the Oxford district. Christchurch city and suburbs are bursting with pastel colours.

But my cherry blossom? Nope. No signs of anything happening until late last week when I spotted tiny buds. And then literally, overnight, the cherry blossom gracefully unfolded its delicate pink and white flowers as if to say see, it was worth the wait. And indeed it was worth the wait. The blossoms are a creamy pearl colour interspersed with dusky pink. But already the petals are floating to the ground. So I won’t be able to enjoy its beauty for too much longer I suspect.

Every day, I stand underneath its branches and feel like I’m enfolded in a pastel pink and white umbrella. The tree is next to the weeping willow, which is also cascading its fronds in full glory along with the daffodils waving their cheery heads.

This is my favourite time of year in New Zealand. Just before the heat of summer. Yep, it can get hot here. Not as hot as Oz but the days are warm enough to break out a sweat. Right now, the evenings and mornings are a bit cool and daytime isn’t T-shirt weather just yet. But evidence of the approaching warm weather is everywhere.

The grass is growing faster than we can mow it. Spring lambs are jumping up and down on the sheep property next to us. Baby rabbits are scooting across the paddocks. Birds are happily chirping and the sun is (usually) shining on blue sky days.