As they say, “a walk in the park”.

Spring can’t seem to make her mind up this year. She dips her toe into the world, uncorking our pent-up optimism, only to shy away and let winter take care of business for another few weeks.

It bodes poorly for the summer, though we’ve had years before where spring seemed to have been skipped, so there’s some hope yet.

Tomorrow is Queen’s Day, the last, the day on which Prince Willem-Alexander is to be crowned King Willem. A good day, then, for a walk in the wild.

Well, I say ‘wild’… This whole province is an artificial island. Every tree was planned and planted, but then, I believe that can be said for most of Holland. Nature never held much sway here – not the green kind, anyway. The sea, always the sea, was our country’s ally and adversary in equal measure, bringing trade and profit in a fearsome wave, and threatening to swallow us all in the next.

But this is still the land of Hieronymus Bosch, Allert van Everdingen, Albert Cuyp. Oil paints, by some accounts, entered the European art scene by first staining the fingers of Dutch painters.

I certainly won’t pretend to see what they saw, but when I climbed this tree and tippy-toed through those thistle and squinted just so at the sun, I may, I think, have caught a glimpse.

– Nico Janssen.