It was a cold, windy day with grey skies. Leaves were being scraped along the ground and tossed in the air. I pulled my coat tightly around me as I left an appointment and prepared myself for two more – dreary ones, like the day itself.

With an hour to kill between them, I needed warming and cheering. So I made my way to the Wintergardens in Auckland’s domain. I walked straight towards a bed of pansies, lots of little cheerful faces, smiling at me.

They were so bright and alert that I found myself smiling back

especially when I changed upon this cluster. The funny thing is, that when I look at the photos, I see that their mouths are downturned, but when I was amongst them, I swear that they were chattering and smiling and greeting me in the most friendly way possible.