You may have noticed that the title of this blog proposes a quest - or let us say, a pilgrimage - for two eminently simple pleasures. The first, green grass, reveals nothing more than a desire to live in a country where grass is capable of maintaining a not-dead-and-brown existence for more than two days at a time. The second is a plea for climate. Cold cider is not so terribly hard to come by in the Antipodes, but I yearn for the kind of weather that allows it to remain cold for more than a minute or so.
I cannot say for certain whether we will find these things where we are going. I last visited England at the tender age of eight, and I certainly seem to recall an abundance of green grass. I also, however, convinced myself of its perpetual grey skies, a technical falsehood perpetrated in later years by my fickle brain, and belied by the evidence of photographs which show a uniformly clear blue above my head for the entire duration of the trip. Of the cider (to your immense surprise, I am sure) my recollections present no opinion. Let us also consider that at this time I insisted on collecting a pebble or similar from each and every castle and monument we visited, and by the time of my return came home with a substantial rock collection, not one of whose place of origin I could remember.
Suffice it to say, we cannot rely on my eight-year-old self. And the Ferret has never been, so there is no point at all in consulting him. Of green grass and cold cider, therefore, I can say nothing but that pilgrimages are the pastime of the idealist, and we must have an ideal to pursue if we are to embark at all. Reality, on the other hand, may be dealt with (and on occasion, re-arranged) as we come upon it.
We shall therefore, as Blake said, build Jerusalem (of a sort) in England's green and pleasant land.