Nothing comes from nothing. Maybe. But imagining a void or wiping whatever as clean as one wants it to be, is an invigorating action. Vigor. The sap rising and early pink or white blossom is like fluff on branches. The northern hemisphere is about to recreate and even though the sky is leaden there is expectation in the air. The garden is dishevelled and there are spring bulbs to plant. Primroses are out and daffodils will soon follow.

It is over a year since we moved to London and there is, shamefully, much still to be unpacked. Mostly my papers. They hold memories I am not ready to lose. January moves slowly, but February gathers momentum. I try to imagine the months in reverse for the southern hemisphere, now moving into autumn, and recall my time in Ecuador. It was springtime there and I wondered why there were so many agricultural businesses producing bulbs. They would be flown to Europe in time for Christmas. Thousands of blobs of future colour crammed into an aeroplane’s hold. A world upside down but rather pleasantly so.

Children are fascinated by the idea of an upside-down reality, the squashed round shape of Australia with New Zealand straggling beside and slightly below it, or above and the other way round depending on which way you looked at the globe. That was my favourite Christmas present as a child, our world suspended on a stand so that I could whirl it round until, soon, it snapped off. No amount of tearful requests secured me a replacement. Instead I was given a large, strongly bound atlas.

Every morning I have been moving around India in my writing. Back in England now, the action moves away from the white cliffs into the Sussex downs cropped smooth by herds of softly-mooing sheep. Memories blur landscapes pleasantly.

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