We have been cursed and are living in interesting times.
One of Jean-Luc's oldest and closest friends has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and we are devastated. We are doing our best to support her and Jean-Luc is taking her to the weekly chemo sessions but loving smiles are being delivered through veils of tears on both sides.
I'm not going to dwell on this as much of it is private to Jean-Luc and our friend; instead I will talk of May and the garden and our recent trip to Amsterdam (a delayed birthday present from Jean-Luc to me).
Over the five days we were away something wonderful happened - early summer arrived!
It is that perfect time of year; the sky is blue, the trees are that exquisite shade of spring green that positively screams 'LIFE' and the trees and hedges are full of blossom.
I lean over the back fence, stare into the green and breathe deep, scented breaths.
The garden has come alive and colour is creeping into the borders.
More subtle blossom is gracing our hedge. I spent about five minutes just staring and sniffing these beautiful flowers.
My much loved field maple; when we moved in three and a half years ago, it was in a stray volunteer sapling that I had rescued and it barely reached shoulder height. It's obviously loved being able to spread its roots and has shot up.
It's repaid the care with beautiful spring and autumn colour and forms the shade backbone of my rather pretentiously named 'woodland border'. The ferns and wild garlic that grow underneath are ever grateful for its shade.
In the greenhouse miracles have happened and the Oca has grown! This is one of this years experiments in exotica and I can't wait to see what sort of (small) harvest we might get.
This gorgeous spider has been patrolling the blackcurrant bush and eating its fill of aphids, sadly it needs a larger appetite or some friends to dine with. But how lovely to see it.
It's not been all good news. When you catch one of your own household (she shall remain nameless) squatting over your newly sprouted Jerusalem artichokes Something has to be done and so we now have a bed of sticks.
And I've been enjoying the sun and catching up on quilting my patchwork, which is meant to be based on the nasturtium flowers that grew all along the fruit bed last year.
Next stop Amsterdam!