It's International Women's Day today. Some countries take this seriously, some don't. The US does not. Armenia does. It's a no-kidding holiday: shops closed, no school. Men are supposed to turn up with small gifts -- chocolate, flowers. So yesterday the streets were full of flower sellers. Don't know where they came from, but there were daffodils and cut roses everywhere. And I saw my first bees of the season, buzzing sleepily, still dopy with the cold, over the bouquets. I'd forgotten about the bees. April is a month of blossoms here, and the bees go wild. A few more weeks, and all the trees in our back yard will be bent down under masses of blossoms, and each will be surrounded by a humming halo of busy bees. I'm looking forward to that. But also: today, after lunch, I took the boys out for a long walk. I wanted to get them out the door quickly, so Claudia could take a nap while the baby slept. So I didn't clear lunch off the table. And when I got back, a single, solitary fly was buzzing slow circles in the air above the dirty plates. The flies are a curse here in summer. I'd forgotten that. By August there'll be hundreds of the filthy things in the house -- more coming in every time the door opens -- and the kitchen a perpetual battlefield. Still: spring. I can't feel bad about it.