Golly it's ages since I have blogged. My doors have been visited by plague and pestilence, so I've been otherwise occupied of late. The plague has been various fluey type bugs afflicting us all in turn and the pestilence is the dratted head lice. Never has squishing something felt so good. Head lice are currently at Number One in my Pests I Hate Most Chart. Slugs are at number two. For now.
In between mopping fevered brows and sleeping at lunchtime (fluey side effect) I have gardened my little socks off, run 5k in the Race for Life (raising £170 in the process), bought a new (to me) 4x4 and driven to Sheffield and back to have my broken tooth repaired by my lovely dentist sister.
I really like May. It's a month stuffed with promise of good things to come. Sometimes the rest of the year doesn't live up to the promises made by May, but there's always hope. The garden is full of buds and baby vegetable plants, the lambs are bopping about in the field, trees are leafy and green and flowery and when the sun comes out it's warm. Too warm actually, because May for me is also my month of sunburn. I do it every year, completely by accident, but I should know not to by now. In my defence I was bonfiring and the heat from the flames distracted me from the heat of the sun and... well the rest is, as they say, history. And yes I am freckled and fair of skin and sun is DANGEROUS. But it was a good bonfire and I enjoyed it. It'll be big t-shirt cover-ups for me from now on, I promise.
Then there was the Race for Life at Scolton Manor, just outside Haverfordwest. It was lovely to be there again. The race has a wonderful atmosphere and it is just so exciting to take part in such a happy thing. I always race in celebration of my Godmother, Thelma, who had breast cancer years ago, had the conventional treatment and is now happily in her 70s. The treatment also saved her sister from the same disease. It's lovely to be able to do something small, like a run, by way of saying thank you to Cancer Research for helping to find the drugs and treatments to help Thelma and her sister and others like them.
The day after the race I hit the road in the direction of Sheffield accompanied by Mum who also needed dental treatment. We decided on the avoid motorways at all costs route and headed up through Aberystwyth and over the Cambrian mountains accompanied by a swarm of Sunday motorcyclists. The entire route to Sheffield was buzzing with bikers enjoying the bends and twists of the route.
Exactly half way is Welshpool at the National Trust's Powis Castle where we indulged in coffee and cake to fortify us for the rest of the six hour journey. Jackie fed us handsomely on Sunday and filled us up with wine, then fixed our teeth on Monday morning. We headed back to Wales the same day accompanied this time by thundering lorries and the occasional swarm of bikers. I used to have a motorbike and it is on days like these that I miss it the most. I've threatened Brian that I will have a mid-life crisis and buy another one, but he has added motorbikes, along with sunburn, to the list of things that are DANGEROUS and, therefore, BANNED.
So today it was back to the garden, clearing out the polytunnel and making it productive again. I have finally planted up my hanging basket this year with gloriously purple surfinia petunias which have a lovely musky scent. I treated myself to a new fuchsia too and a new sage and a lemon balm. I've planted my Marvel of Four Seasons lettuces out alongside a nice thick row of scrummy coriander and have a queue of cucumbers, beans, peas and tomatoes waiting to find a permanent home in the garden somewhere.
The 4x4 I mentioned earlier is a nine year old Honda CRV. FINALLY we have one after exactly a year of looking. It's gorgeous and I love it, but I'm terrified that Horrid Gordon will slap a Nasty Tax on it because rich people in Chelsea think 4x4s are for cities. We have this one to tackle our hilly, muddy, floody school run having had a couple of close shaves when I have nearly failed to get to school to pick Hannah and Rosie up. It's lovely not to get stuck in the soft verges between home and school too, which has been a regular occurrence until now. It's already done a Proper Farm Job too, taking a deceased ewe lamb to the Veterinary Investigative Centre in Carmarthen. So, Mr Brown, I do actually NEED a 4x4, it's not just a lifestyle choice or a fashion accessory. So there.