Yesterday, we heard the first cuckoo in spring. In Hong Kong, there were no cuckoos, and no real spring either. But here, in the long shadows and slanting sunbeams of evening, l heard the woody, two-tone note as l lay back in the grass with Diana beside me. And from the thickets at the western head of the valley, where the sun was going down, came the cough of a pheasant.
A little later, l opened the front door at the top of the steps up to the main floor, to see the most marvelous red sunset, with scalloped cloudscapes hanging upside down above the horizon, like peaky drifts of pink meringue. A jet contrail etched a brighter silver line behind the clouds as it caught the full glare of the sun, now set below our skyline. And over the other side of the house, above the eastern hillcrests, the gathering clouds were purple.