Oh May, you have been and gone and we barely spoke! For many years our relationship was difficult thanks to your henchmen, Revision and Exams, whose menacing behaviour caused anxiety, fear, stress and panic, firstly for me, then for the Best Beloved, then for our children. Over the last few years they have backed off (although The Mathematician is stoically enduring them still) and your burgeoning, blowsy beauty, with its promise of summer, has been revealed to me.
This year I was really looking forward to seeing you. My expectations were high: on the last evening of April I drove 150 miles home from the South East into the most spectacular sunset, the sky striped with layers of orange from peach to umber, grey from thunder to dove, purple from amethyst to lilac. "Look at the sky!" I kept saying to the Best Beloved; "Look at the road!" he kept saying to me. I was full of wonder, and full of excitement about the month ahead, imagining walks through swathes of bluebells and wild garlic in the woods, cycling along sunny lanes lined with Queen Anne's Lace, gentle evenings spent sitting in the garden listening to the swifts screaming as they wheeled overhead.
Alas, 'twas not to be. May, you brought with you extended working hours and so every day I have put my head down and got on with the job: up in the morning, cooking and laundry, off to work in the afternoon and home in time to eat, wash up, collapse on the sofa and watch television with the Best Beloved for an hour before staggering up to bed. Please don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the extra money, really, really grateful, but I would have liked to spend a little time with you. Of course, there was a little fun: our annual Eurovision party was sparkletastic -
The table centrepiece was my Swedish Kosta Boda bowl, filled with appropriate, shiny decorations.
The food was fab: Swedish meatballs (obviously!) -
a creamy potato and asparagus salad -
Skagenrora, a prawn salad, served with lettuce on rye bread -
Gravadlax, served on crispbread with whipped cream cheese with black pepper and some pickled cucumber salad on the side -
I haven't seen any bluebells, any wild garlic or any swifts. I saw may blossom on the tree outside my bedroom window, and it's scent knocked me out every time I stepped out of the back door, but, May, I didn't see you blossom...
...until the last four days of the month, when the Best Beloved and I packed our camping gear into the car and went off to Somerset BY OURSELVES! And, May, there you were in all your voluptuous beauty. You were dressed in sunshine, your golden light revealing lanes lined with frothy clouds of delicate Queen Anne's Lace, fields of buttercups, hawthorn hedges with creamy blossoms beginning to blush at their own wantonness, trees in full leaf, the new, soft, sappy growth yellow-green against its darker, stronger kin. I didn't see swifts but you showed me swallows instead, swooping and dipping low across the fields to gather up insects.
Thank you Somerset, and Thank you May. I hope we can spend more time together next year.
See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x