Now that spring has definitely sprung, some very familiar sights and sounds can be encountered across Derbyshire.
The days are longer, the daffodils are on every green patch of grass and, out in the countryside, the spring lambs are taking their first steps. Images of Easter are everywhere and the nets are busy at local cricket clubs.
However, one thing that cannot be relied on is the weather. It may be that much of April is sunny and warm and there have been plenty of recent years when it has been like that, according to the Met Office, although it should be noted that this is not just a matter of climate change; while the sunniest April on record occurred in 2020, the driest was in 1842.
Another dry April may seem like the last reason to head for an indoor pay centre in Derby, but it actually makes sense to hope for at least a few rainy days this month.
As the BBC noted in 2020, when the lockdown April ended, the historic trend dating back to 1950 was for dry Aprils to be followed by very wet May and June periods. One possible reason is that the breakdown of winter weather patterns may push the jet stream southwards, so that by late spring and early summer it is bringing more rain across Britain than normal.
If that happens, it is likely there will be plenty of reasons to look for indoor play facilities in late May and early June. This will be a pity as it will happen just as the days are at their lightest, which in good weather will mean long hours to play outside.
So, if this turns out to be a mixed month with the famous ‘April showers’ keeping you and your children indoors more than you hoped, this may actually be something to be thankful for, with a more pleasant start to summer likely as a result.