Mixed-up magical May

On Monday evening, as I came out of a work meeting at 8.40pm, I was surprised to see that it was still twilight. I drove home as the dusky, pearly light gradually deepened, becoming night by the time I'd arrived. This late evening twilight is entirely normal for this time of year, as are the trees frothing with blossom, the bursting forth of leaves and tulips and bluebells, the evident signs of spring all around me. And yet the twilight, on this last day of April, had surprised me, because after a mid-month summery surge temperatures had plummeted and the entire week had been wet and wintry cold. Limbs which had emerged, blissfully bare, were back under wraps, winter clothes regretfully donned once more, and so, regardless of blossom and buds, it was hard to believe that spring was truly here.

On Tuesday May morning dawned as it should, with sunlight streaming through my curtains, and blossom joyously aloft under an unbroken, brilliantly blue sky. In mediaeval literature, according to Twitter's Clerk of Oxford, May morning is the most magical time of year - the time when you might encounter fairies, have marvellous dreams, or tryst with your lover. In my case, the magic happened that night: driving home from another work event, this time after 10pm, we saw the most gloriously full of full moons; a mystically rosy, peachy-creamy globe directly before us, seemingly suspended just a few feet above rooftops.

Since then May has continued to be somewhat mixed-up: bursts of heavy rain, interspersed with sunshine blazing improbably from a leaden sky, and temperatures dancing up and down, as if those May morning fairies have infiltrated our thermometers. Maybe they will weave some magic while they're there, to ensure we really do get the warmth forecast for at least the next week or so of this month (including a bank holiday weekend which traditionally is always chilly!). My summer clothes are ironed and waiting to be worn!


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