May is such a wonderful month.
Walking around the fields in May is a joy. The wheat is a lush green, clumps of wildflowers spread along the verges and trees reflect in the surface of a dark pond. The scent of blossom fills the air, sweet in some cases but not so sweet in the case of hawthorn, which is filling the hedges with its Copydex smell (or death or sex depending on your nose). Hands feel the roughness of a rusted gate or the smooth surface of a stone. Birdsong fills the air and seems particularly loud this year; yesterday we heard the cuckoo for the first time this year. How I pity those runners and walkers who can’t venture out without earphones, blocking their ears to the sounds around them.
In the garden, the first of the radishes are ready to be pulled and the lilac is starting to bloom. This week we spied hundreds of tadpoles swimming in the pond in the yard and a big toad lurking by the compost heap. Coats have been cast aside (though that may be only briefly) and garden furniture cleaned, ready for use.
Everywhere feels vibrant and alive.
It’s no surprise then that the Barley Barn is buzzing with creativity. We’ve been trialling plans for new classes, learning different printmaking techniques and filling sketchbooks with colour and experiments. Printmaking classes have been fun with plenty of chatter and laughter as brains have been taxed and skills learnt.
Mostly, there’s been a lot of mess and inky fingers. Which is as it should be.