Spring has sprung

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The Independent Online

It's here! And, as usual, it has taken us by surprise; which is curious, given that it's an annual phenomenon.

All the signs were there, too: Sir Paul McCartney off on a new tour, the threat of a rail strike, warnings on thrush, blackbird and sedge warbler numbers, clams breeding so prolifically that the Broads need dredging, the confusion you had with the time on Sunday, the strangely insistent urge to visit the garden centre, the unusual experience of being out and dry; yes, indeed, at last, spring has sprung.

Marvellous, isn't it? Buds burst, shoots shoot, small creatures gambol while the crisp air and the gentle warmth of the sun bring their message of new life and hope.

Is it any wonder that Britain's worst football team, Royal Crown China FC, of Derby, have just won for the first time in two years? Splendid to see, too, that, equally traditionally, it will be cold and wet by the weekend.

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