Walking in the early evening sunshine just now I was reminded of one of the nicest things my mother used to do for me. When I was living and working in London as a young woman, she would pick primroses and snowdrops from the banks of the hill on top of which we lived in the country, pack them in wet moss in a tin, wrap them securely and send them to me through the post. The arrival of these moist and sweetly smelling cullings from my home ground restored me in heart and spirit and gave me courage for another year.
At the beginning of the war, when I was 11, we had moved from Birmingham to a small village seven miles from Worcester. From that time on the countryside seemed an essential part of my being, although the search for interesting jobs took me to London, where the stimulation and resources of a capital city became equally important to me. But at times of stress and unhappiness I would often take flight to the country again to recover my equilibrium.