Just now in Crete...by unspoken agreement everybody cut the hay last weekend, so every hillside has its little field-square of flattened pale gold stubble. The broom bushes which line every highway are cascading fountains of yellow, alternating with the pink of the oleanders. The city squares are carpeted with the glorious mauve blossoms of the jacaranda, and the newly-planted saplings which are greening all the streets of Rethymno are suddenly looking like real trees. We are eating the last of the mousmoula and the first of the Yerakari cherries, plus the new season’s vlita, glistrida and fresh chick peas. We are making a traditional spring salad of chopped boiled potato, tomato, egg red onion and rusks. The hardy among us have had our first swims; the urban young are taking seriously to bicycles. We are trying not to notice how few tourists there are. Just days before the elections, the mood seems to be much the same as I imagine it in England: a plague on all their houses….