3 May 2008


"We're bringing in the may
Bringing in the may
Our hearts be light and gay
In the happy month of May."

"May" being the sweet white blossom of the hawthorn. Long ago, the people of England would deck their homes with this - celebrating the Earth's fertility linked to the promise of another bountiful harvest. Perhaps originating in Germanic lands came the Maypole dance - owing much to pagan belief in an underworld - this intricate dance was performed around a phallic pole - again willing renewed fertility.

Today I cut our lawn for the first time in 2008. It took an hour. I carried the grass cuttings to my compost pile. Later, I rooted out my Bosch strimmer from the storage area-cum-workshop beneath our house. Busily strimming at the lawn's edge, I narrowly missed slicing a young frog in half. The traumatised creature burrowed under a discarded lump of millstone grit. Then the strimmer cord disappeared as it usually does so I turned the instrument upside down for its necessary five minute maintenance. Whoever invented the plastic cord strimmer should be tried in a court of law for design crimes. This is the fourth strimmer I have owned and they have all been bloody useless. If you can strim for ten minutes without losing the cord then you deserve a place in the Guinness Book of Records!

There's lots of lovely blossom around just now and I can see the pink white blossom on our apple trees starting to emerge. Outside in the street, the cherry trees are putting on their annual show before wind or rain strips away their fine confetti gowns. Their blossom never lasts long. You must appreciate it while you can.

How splendid to have a three day weekend. There should be more of them. In fact I am thinking of forming a new political party called "The Three Day Weekend Party". It's only manifesto promise would be to move immediately from the outdated concept of a two day weekend to the more popular three day version. Undoubtedly, we would sweep to power. Regarding British public holidays, why do we have to call them "Bank" Holidays and what has this got to do with our ancient traditions? Personally, I hate banks, banking, financial institutions and all that jazz - so mind-numbingly boring and so undeserving of having public holidays routinely named after them. Let's have - Robin Hood's Day, International Peace Day, The Queen's Birthday, Guy Fawkes Day, Emily Pankhurst - Women's Rights Day but not ruddy "Bank" holidays! How dull!

To celebrate May we visited the Kashmir Curry Centre on Spittal Hill for their customarily excellent Asian cuisine. The Kashmiri Lamb is to die for - as is the freshly made Nan bread which threatens to float away from the table. I love the simple and rather basic ambience of this unpretentious place with its wholesome and encouragingly limited menu. I have been there many times and hope it never changes - while recognising that like all things it will change in the end just as certainly as May's blossom will disappear.


  1. No sorry, YP. Whilst I agree and commiserate with your experiences with strimmers (I have managed to get through two so far), I cannot agree about Bank holidays. They are an absolute nuisance - especially as they make me lose 5 potential counselling hours each time. Now if that's not a good reason for banning them, I don't know what is!

  2. I cannot raise much enthusiasm for your Strimmer Controversy. My key to it all is to have a gardener who is 84 (my mother, who lives next door) and she just gets on with it in a really rather brilliant way. Robin Hood's Day though, oh yes! I'm up for that one!

  3. Hurrah for May! Are there May Pole festivities in Sheffield? Perhaps it's because it's dinner time, and perhaps it's because I love curry so much, but my stomach gave an audio groan of longing as I read about the Kashmiri Lamb.

  4. ice cream - try you local tesco! may pole dancing here tomorrow, well not me.....

  5. JENNYTA - Such an attitude to public holidays could get you lynched!
    DAPHNE - Exploiting the elderly is tantamount to condoning slavery. Let's have a Chase Daphne Public Holiday!
    ALKELDA - No maypoles in Sheffield itself that I know of but in the surrounding area there are a few villages that still keep up the maypole tradition - including the mysterious village of Eyam.
    MUDDY BOOTS - Pole dancing at Mr Moos. Don't you allow the Kurdish and Kosovan ice cream workers to dance too?

  6. I have had strimmer grief this weekend - I broke mine after all of 15 minutes. I turned my attention instead to my brand new hedge trimmer - and lasted half an hour before I went through the electric lead. I wish I was lying (as per your latest post) - but I'm not. :-(


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