Late with late May trees

Same old trees – but, I realise, not the same year after year! The problem with sticking rigidly to an end-of-the-month schedule is that the weather gets in the way. May 2021 was cold, very wet and miserable here in SE UK. This meant that tree number one, which was spectacular in May last year, had all its blossom pelted off in a few days in week three this time. The winner for May is clearly tree number 4 – a young Judas tree with glorious colour, even on such a grey day. This month (June) my money is on tree number two – the mock orange. Fingers crossed – this is a very special tree for me.

Hic sunt dracones….

And plenty of them…

Half term fun. Dragon hunting with a five year old in Brighton Pavilion.

She was less keen on this:

She refused to believe anyone had ever eaten it. In fact, I think we may be heading towards more vegetarian choices quite soon….

The most interesting thing in the Pavilion apparently has nothing to do with poor old Prinny. It is Queen Victoria’s bed – with SEVEN mattresses, carefully counted!

Playing with the dye pots again

(And I have the fingernails to prove it…)

Some dipped, some injected, some spattered, some painted with a brush…. no end of fun! The unwound skeins above are not yet finished, but they will end up as sock yarn and/or mini skeins. The samples at the top are on a new base of kid mohair lace weight. I like it, but it may be better suited to more pastel colours.

May in the UK has been utterly grim, weatherwise (at least in this corner of the South East – I haven’t travelled far). So indoor activities like the above are ideal. I use mostly acid dyes in England – much less messy than the natural plant materials or indigo that I prefer in France (where I can work outside, with proper SUN!)

I did get out walking today though – despite the chilly rain. I usually end up on the Downs or along the seafront but today I went Urban. I have been lucky enough to have lived in Brighton for my whole adult life – mostly right in the city centre – but there are still numerous back streets and little squares to discover. Because there are so many separate conservation areas, there is a lot of information online – so I set out like a proper tourist to explore. It is quite surprising how much you never notice till you actually look for it…I shall do more!

Bluebells for Teresa

In memory of Teresa Kasner, who would certainly have appreciated them. I can only echo the thoughts of CJ, Christina, Meredith and so many others who have lost a blogging friend. Teresa’s background, life and even interests may have been quite different from mine – but it didn’t matter, her warmth and enthusiasms meant it was impossible to miss a post. I am shocked and saddened there will be no more. Thank you, Teresa – and condolences to all your family, especially Dayle.

Such grief and darkness at the moment.

Trees as props

That’s what these trees have become for me since my daughter died at the end of January. When I first had the idea, and went over to the gardens to take the January pictures, she was already dead, we just hadn’t found her yet. Since then, the trees have taken on a tangled significance – part despair, part reassurance, always powerful. I made her wedding bouquet from the second tree, a mock orange. I hope to capture this one at its best at the end of June. (Not guaranteed, though – the fabulous sweet flowers only last a very short time…)

The trees have propped up my blog too. I didn’t want it to stop altogether but there really weren’t any words. So the trees have been a kind of bookmark, holding me in place – significant, but neutral at the same time.

I have been spinning. And dyeing just a little. I might even be making progress with WordPress – but that is also not guaranteed – I really hate these block layouts and the Smug Message constantly tells me I have NO RIGHT (!) to edit anything….

Proof I’m not actually winning – this should really have been a single post, connected to the April trees one below. Maybe next time…!