1 JANUARY 1927, Page 17

The year once began in March ; and even a

Roman poet argued that it " ought to have been begun in young spring " ; but though January is the coldest and most wintry month of the year, it is amazing in this northern, almost Arctic, island, how spring comes into evidence from the moment the days begin to lengthen. In a certain blessed little spinney the primroses are already out. The hazel catkins obviously lengthen. Thrushes, tits and robins were before the New Year was born, and the gnats dancing in the air on the south side of the hedges. Spring is always looking out of the window in England, except when a long bearing frost puts up