Friday, 1 May 2020

May Day

The 1st of May marks the end of winter and the start of summer, although it is officially the last month of spring. Here in the United Kingdom May Day was traditionally a celebration day with everyone getting together. The celebrations included Morris Dancing, crowning a May Queen and dancing around a Maypole.

There are some towns and villages that still celebrate May Day but not many, most people don't recognise the actual day as we have the first Monday of the month as a Bank Holiday ... tradition is being lost and most people now see it as a long holiday weekend.

However things are very different in 2020; not only because people cannot get together but because our Government have changed the Bank Holiday. This year we have Friday 8th May as the national holiday to celebrate May Day and VE (Victory in Europe) Day and it was planned to have street parties everywhere. I'll be making a Victoria Sponge and maybe a few other bits from Mrs Beeton's recipes but we may have to enjoy them in the garden. I have a feeling with everyone using social media and although apart being more together it could be a big get together after all.

On the first of May in 1561, France’s King Charles IX was given a muguet flower, or lily of the valley in English, as a lucky charm and liked it so much that he decided to offer them each year to the ladies of the court.

These days, the flowers are sold in bouquets on the street around France and people offer them to friends or family members for good luck. My Lily of the Valley are out and I've cut a small bunch for the house as today is my late Grandmother's birthday, she was born in 1908.

My Lily of the Valley 

"Je porte Bonheur" bonne Fête du Muguet a toutes mes amis 
"I give you happiness" happy May Day to all my friends

Just a little stitching news, firstly tomorrow is Jo's Let the People Choose but sadly I don't have anything for this month's theme of fire. However I will be reading everyone's blogs to see what stitching they have, I might find some ideas too.

With the members of Needlecraft Haven I've been doing Stitching the Night Away SAL from 2019. Block 4 for April was quite tricky, looking at the chart I just could not work out how to follow it. It is all back stitch and is a lovely design but I was going cross-eyed.

Looking closer I decided to stitch it using long stitch starting first with the vertical stitches and then doing all the horizontal. Here's how it looked as I worked through.

Vertical stitches completed 
Starting to add the horizontals
As I added the horizontal,stitches the pattern came to life, I love it. You'll be able to see my finished work at the end of May in my Smalls SAL post, a great blogging idea hosted by Mary.

Finally on stitching here's my orts for April. I collect them in a small jar in my workbox, they get very compacted as I don't want to put them in my big jar until the end of the month. This month I've shown them spread out before adding them to my bon bon jar.


After talking to my Oncologist on Monday my road is still long and has become a little bit bumpy, not quite as straight as I would like but the sun will be shining at the end 🌞

I do still need the four chemotherapy treatments that were halted when the virus broke out, although it will depend on how I tolerate them, after which I will need radiotherapy. A daunting time as me and chemotherapy side effects are not the best of friends.

When my treatment was stopped our world was in the midst of coping with this sudden dangerous virus. I am so very lucky that, in the difficult time of readjustment and assessment for the hospitals and doctors, my lumpectomy was carried out and my cancer removed, such a huge weight lifted from us all!

I cannot thank the doctors and their teams of nurses and other staff enough.

With most people staying home and following restrictions as asked the hospitals have been able to cope with this awful situation we are all in. I know it has been a difficult and certainly a worrying time for the nurses and doctors I see.

My treatment will start soon, going into hospital again for a few hours to have the drugs intravenously. The Oncologist explained how the chemotherapy room is self contained so unfortunately the restrictions mean Nick cannot be with me. He will be driving though as I am not allowed to just now and hopefully later at home the side effects will be manageable.

It really really helps to know this time the tumour is not there, no worries about whether the chemotherapy is working ... this time it's to increase future prevention and reduce the chance of any cancer returning.

So here we go again .........  another 12 weeks or more ...... plenty of reading time ....... 
plenty of stitching time ........  champagne is waiting 🥂


  1. Oh Clare. My husband and I are praying for you. I am so very glad your treatments are once again beginning. Hang in there!! God bless you.

  2. Wishing you well Clare ,I am sure you will get treatment soon.
    They still do Maypole dancing here in our town , but not this year .
    Enjoy your weekend and sending ,

  3. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts for the remainder of your journey. You will make it. Stay strong.

  4. The morris men are usually up Old John at Bradgate Park but alas not this year.
    Nice to see May in the monthly frame
    I've cut some of my lily of the valley and brought it inside today.
    love and (hugs) xx

  5. Happy May Day weekend. We could have kept the Workers' Bank Holiday as well as VE Day and it wouldn't have had much effect this year! I actually think it would have been good to have had a day to celebrate the Key Workers and those who can't work from home or be furloughed.

    I love the way you have stitched the basketweave on the blackwork design, it looks much easier to follow like that.

    I am glad that your hospital is looking after you, the end is in sight even if there are still a lot of appointments to get through.

  6. May Day is normally a huge thing in Padstow, they have two rival parades each led by an Obby Oss. Not this year though for obvious reasons.
    My mum used to grow lily of the valley - well to be honest lily of the valley took over her garden like a Triffid and she couldn't have got rid of it if she'd wanted to.
    Best wishes for your ongoing treatments

  7. I enjoy seeing each month getting its turn in the frame. A good idea to do this month's SAL piece in longstitch. It's effective.


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