The summer seems to have decided to put in a brief appearance. My marigolds have started to flower, the garlic is doing well, all the leeks are in, and I’ve finally been able to buy and set my pea seeds, some indoors and some outside. That’s about all I’ve managed this week actually. I was feeling ill Sunday (May Day) and put it down to hay fever – oil seed rape is a major cash crop around here – so on Monday when I went shopping I didn’t think much of the prickly throat I’d developed. When I got home I planted my peas and planned a small May Day celebration.
That got cancelled quickly when I started having trouble breathing. By Tuesday I was coughing constantly, couldn’t get out of bed for more than half an hour or stay awake for more than an hour at a time. My closest friends described me as sounding like I have the plague and looking like death.
It’s only a cold (with a side order of hay fever and asthma) and today has seen some improvements, but I’m still making funny noises as I breathe and stairs continue to be a struggle. I’m not coughing as much and I’ve been able to stay awake a few hours to read but that’s it. I even made it out in to sit in the garden for twenty minutes
It’s funny, for a given value of funny, considering that May is a time for celebrating the start of summer, and more life, that I feel like dying.
In Old English, May is Theimlchi – three milkings – and the increase in milk available from cows and sheep would have provided a nice supplement to the diet, still quite restricted before summer vegetables become available. There’s no definitive evidence that any religious rites took place in May and much of the trappings of modern May Day celebrations are Victorian in origin – such as the ribbon dance – but the warming weather, and with it the promise of food from my garden to supplement my rather meager rations (I’m more than a bit broke this week – my rent, gas and electricity, and contents insurance go out before my next ESA payment so I have £2 to live on for ten days unless someone lends me some cash. It’s like this every month, carefully budgeting doesn’t change the fact that if you’re sick and can’t work then life is hard) is a reason to celebrate. If I had the energy I would. I even missed my Friday devotions yesterday and had to say my thanks prayer in bed between naps.
Random news, when I’m better I’m going to start on an embroidery to honour the Goddess Nehelenia, based on the votive alters found in the Netherlands and in Cologne. Several years ago I made a similar one for the Mothers based on votive alters.
My embroidery for the Mothers
Image I’m going to work from for Nehelenia embroidery
I’m worn out now, so I’m off back to bed for a lie down. I hope you are well and enjoying the good weather.