Of a whole street of flowering cherries, this was the last tree to bloom; and the tuis were gorging themselves. I counted nine tuis in this one tree, swooping in, turning somersaults, cavorting drunkly as they sipped what must be like nectar of the gods, if you are a bird. The rest of the trees had dropped a carpet of blossom, staining the footpaths red.
I remembered when I lived in Mt Eden, and it was always the tree outside my house that was the first in the street to burst into bloom. People used to remark on it, as if some special influence was responsible. The secret was quite simple. My house, and the tree, sat on a rise: the highest point in the street. And that little bit of extra sun tempted spring to arrive two weeks earlier.