The world from my window this morning is bright and cheerful. May is absolutely the best month, with the lime green leaves of trees on the village green and the gypsy lace, pink campions, bluebells and yellow dead nettles along the banks of the lanes. The fields are full of buttercups, dandelion clocks, cuckoo flowers and speedwell.
There are wallflowers in pots outside my front door, a huge sign on the playground fence advertising a fete tomorrow (complete with snail racing and paintballing) and the remains of some tulips next to the village pump. The latter is due for another twee revamp in the shape of concrete containers filled with bedding plants, courtesy of a villager who thinks it makes the square look nice. Please God don't let her put bizzy lizzies there again. I can't abide them. Begonias make my flesh creep.
The tree pollen causes me to sneeze, as does the dust created by Mr Grigg as he puts the finishing touches to our front room, now that the builder (with shirt on) has done his business. I've not always been a sneezer. I was born and brought up in the countryside and believed hay fever was for softies. But when I got into my 30s I started sneezing for England. It usually happens mid-morning or mid-afternoon and can be triggered by pollen, dust and perfume. And when I sneeze, I don't just sneeze once. No, I'll go on at least a dozen times and they'll be of superhero loudness. No cat-type or terrier sneeze for me, thank you very much.
So I expect to be sneezing a lot this weekend as we dust down our bric-a-brac and put it on a stall in front of the wallflowers for the village garage sale. There are about 15 of us taking part, some of whom will be lugging tables up to the square to pick the best spot to trade. It's only the second time we have done it and we're hoping for a good turnout like last time, when dealers were out and about first thing, snapping up bargains from unsuspecting sellers.
I've cleared out my wardrobe and what I don't sell I'm going to take to the charity shop. My wardrobe is just a single one (Mr Grigg please take note, this is not big enough for any woman let alone a clothes freak like me) and has been so choc-a-bloc I couldn't see anything. If I'd been a character from the C S Lewis books there is no way I would have ever found Narnia. The surplus clothes are now in a black bin bag, ready to be put on a clothes rail outside. My fear, however, is that when Pelly sets out her stall next to mine, we will end up doing swapsies and each have more than we started with.
I am sorry to say that Posh Totty is not having a stall. There are plenty who would like to rifle through her cast-offs. I was sitting between her and her giggling daughter, Charlotte Whinge-Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) , at the pub steak night this week, while her husband MDF Man suddenly morphed into Boden Man with a striped rugby shirt and slacks.
Slacks. Now there's a word. This is the beauty of having an older husband. You start using words like 'slacks' and 'sweaters'.
I'll be planting bizzy lizzies next.
That's about it
Love Maddie x
Living in Greece for the past couple of months, I've been asked what the refugee situation is like here. Well, to be perfectly hones...
With November comes the fog and Lush Places becomes Slush Places once more. It's muddy underfoot and the dog has a field day gobbling...
The Stylistics were never my favourite band, although I liked them. They were just there, always there. Part of a soundtrack to a life. Wh...
They've brought in the maize harvest now, the contractors working into the evening darkness to reveal a stubby, brown field by morning. ...
Like Laurie Lee, I was the baby in a big family, living on the land in a rural village. It was an idyllic upbringing and I have much to be ...