Every spring I saw magnolia trees in other people's gardens, an elegance of ivory, and I longed for one of my own. And all that time the cherry tree that I had planted in my own garden grew larger. It brought an exuberance of white in spring, soft flickering shade in the heat of summer and a fiery burst of amber in the autumn. This year I looked at the snowy perfection of the blossom and realised that I didn't want a magnolia tree any more. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all life's vexations could be resolved by waiting patiently for twenty three years.