May Day

Or should that read MayDay – a distress call for help?

So here I sit, greeting 3am, and 4am and …

Insomnia is an old friend – we’ve learned to ‘agree to disagree’ and put up with each other.  It’s not so bad, self employment means I can grab 40 winks siesta later in the day, and rural Spanish village life means I can nod off to barking dogs, motorbikes, car horns, church bells and the odd braying barren of mule.

Today is the first of the month, and I have a soft spot for May.

The weather is going to be brilliant for our village fiesta, starting with a (loud) bang today and ending with a littered village and a few sore heads on Sunday.


Santa Cruz brings us visitors, mates of The Girl, Spanish in-betweeners, all male and beardy and starving. They’ll arrive politely, and within a few short hours deplete the fridge, wreck the house and probably puke (hopefully in the toilet).  A runny egg sandwich and a banana in the morning will sort them out.  Kill or cure as we say.

Just The Boy missing from the festivities, he’ll soon be home from Wales after his first year of studies and life on his own.

The Girl is helping out with preparations by going climbing for the day with Cliff, something to do with a gorge and putting bolts in. A 6 or 8 hour trek that gets her nicely out of any menial duties…

That’s okay, I was young once 🙂

Childhood memories of May, Catholic Ireland and her parades and flowers, wrapping Peony roses from the back garden in newspaper for the May altar at school, not a petal left on their heads by the time I struggled and slipped up the school hill.

Lucan village parade. A wide white satin ribbon that never stayed on my poker-straight hair, despite my mother’s best efforts to decapitate me with hair-clips.

Communion dresses and scratchy net veils on a second outing, hissed reminders to stand straight, pull up your socks. “Is that chewing gum in your mouth Carol Byrne??”

Quavering voices, and digs and giggles as we pretended to embrace a pious air.

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

Bring flowers of the rarest
bring blossoms the fairest,
from garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
our full hearts are swelling,
our glad voices telling
the praise of the loveliest flower of the vale!

Actually, I have no idea why I have a soft spot for May!  Anyway, here goes, beds to make, strategic buckets to place, party feet on, liver prepared…vamos!

Cruces in May of Spain or a damp memory-making parade in Ireland, or indeed wherever you are this May weekend, enjoy. x

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