Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Merry Month of May

I expect that many of you will remember the weeks I spent making rag jackets for my son, granddaughter and a friend for the May Day procession of the Jack in The Green Festival, while I wasn't well. These are the three jackets in the above picture.
The walk took place on Saturday.
The making of these jackets really did give me a purpose to get up and go, when I was going through the uncharted waters of chemotherapy.

Sam and Amber left the house early on Saturday morning. The weather forecast was not good, but it kept dry.
Millie, the youngest granddaughter was not capable of the long walk from the harbour side to the site in Horfield where the procession ended, so it was decided that I would look after her and meet them half way, later in the afternoon.
Millie was happy to go on the swings in a Park about a mile and a half from where we live. It was still quite a hilly walk for the two of us but we did it with no problems.
Very soon we heard the beating of the drums and the sounds of the melodian, violin and pipes, so we knew that the procession was nearing the place where we were waiting.
Millie was pleased to be reunited with her daddy and I was very warmly greeted because most of the group knew that I had undergone chemo and admired my effort to get there, and of course, I'd made the jackets!
I must admit that they are among the nicest group of people that you could ever come across.
I was able to complete the walk (another 2 miles or so) and we ended up on Horfield Common where the Jack was *killed* and dismantled.
I dare say there are some deep folklore beliefs involved in all of this, but I am not at all interested in them.
What I am interested in, is the close-knit community spirit that goes on in this group and the way they react warmly to all those around them. I also love processions.
They inspire tradition and a community spirit that is sadly lacking in our area today.
I was so pleased that Amber could manage the long walk from the very beginning to the end and also that I could make the occasion too. I had no idea whether I would be well enough to go until the last minute and I was glad that the weather kept dry because the very next day turned out to be extremely wet in the morning.
Whatever the Jack did..... it has been raining and cold ever since.
If you would like photos of last years Jack in the Green you can read about it on my blog here.......
or you can find out more about the festival here. ( On the official site.)

Photos copyright: Maggie May

May is also the start of the summer and it is also the month of my birthday.
The green flowers in the garden are, I think, some kind of early clematis. They seem to battle through a passionflower every year, though the passion flower has been severely stunted by the bad frost of last winter and is still a brown mass of twiggy like bare stems. I do love to see these green flowers though.

Dicentra Spectabilis, otherwise known as Bleeding Heart, is another early flowering plant that seems to come out in my garden year after year, no matter what the weather throws at it. A truly lovely flower.

The primulas below have been nibbled by something or other, maybe from the little elves that live under the blue toad stool. I love the colour of the blue primula.
I wonder what the weather will be like for the rest of May this year?
Do other readers love this month, as much as I do?


slommler said...

The rag jackets are fabulous! Glad you enjoyed your procession.
I love May too and seeing all the flowers peek their lovely heads out of the ground.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

What a wonderful festival! And you are so lucky to have a birthday in such a beautiful month. May is one of my favorites!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Lets hope you all go from rags to riches LOL.
Glad you had a good time.
So you passed the swings where we went when we were little - all those years ago.
The folk do seem to be very nice people.
I've been a bit busy with a few things l;ately so I have misseed a few of your posts and everyone else's - sorry. Eddie X

Gail said...

The jackets are fab and loved your account of proceedings. The blue toadstool is fascinating!

Chic Mama said...

What a lovely tradition to be involved with. The jackets look great. Hope you are feeling okay. x

Mimi said...

Yes, Maggie, I love May!
It's the month of 2 of my kids birthdays, and it signals that my summer holidays are almost here! It's probably my favourite month, because we have the promise of summer, and none of it is gone by!
The rag jackets look brilliant, and i'm so glad you could make some of the procession.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

May is the PERFECT month for Maggie May :-) Gorgeous photos...and yes, May has always been a favorite...and it is particularly lovely in GB! So glad you felt well enough to participate in the does look and sound wonderful! And you are incredibly talented! What fantastic rag jackets! I love them...they are such whimsical...Hope you are having a beautiful Sunday! Love you, Janine XO

SandyCarlson said...

Happy May, indeed. It's good to see these traditions alive and well.

Bernie said...

The rag jackets are wonderful, good job Miss Maggie, love your flowers and we may share a birthday as I was also born in May. We may even be the same age.
Have a great week my friend....Hugs

Nora said...

Glad you had such a good day and that the jackets were such a success. What a labour of love those were! Your flowers look lovely and even that toadstool does. I'm so glad that you're feeling so much better. Good for you.


lakeviewer said...

Love your flowers! Most of all, love your courage and tenacity to get out and about and enjoy your family.

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

I ADORE those blue flowers!

Teacher's Pet said...

I remember very well your making the rag jackets....and, Maggie, I must say, my friend...that you can outwalk me!!!
I love the photos of the flowers.
Do you mind revealing the day in May that will be your birthday?
Hugs and smiles,

Anonymous said...

Amazing rag jackets - just fabulous! Love festivals like this one.

Frau said...

Great job on the jackets! I'm glad you were able to join them for the walk. Hang in there it's your birthday month...cake everyday!

Ayak said...

And don't those jackets look wonderful Maggie! I'm glad you maaged the last 2 miles and it sounds like it was a most enjoyable day.
I also love's different here of course because it really is summer, but it's not as hot as the next three months. Love the pics of the flowers..beautiful.
Lots of Love
Linda xx

Anonymous said...

You, Maggie May, are an inspiration. Make me feel quite ashamed of myself. Those fab. jackets and how great to see our old traditions, the origins lost in time- are still being carried on today. Rule Britania! If that isn't being too Jingoistic.And Rule Oh glorious Maggie.

Rose said...

Maggie, you did such a great job in creating these jackets! Sam and Amber must have been quite a hit wearing these. I'm so glad you were able to attend and share in the festivities.

Good to see all the blooms in your garden; May is a favorite month of mine, too, it's the month when I can finally believe spring is really here to stay. Wishing you a belated Happy May Day!

Joey said...

You are so very talented! I'm going to read about the Rag Jackets. I've not seen any before.

You just amaze me. You see the beauty in life, and you capture it in so many different ways.

God bless you, Maggie. Praying for you.

Hilary said...

Those jackets are so cool and it looks like you put a lot of work into them. I'm glad you got some warm fuzzies from the group. Your flowers are lovely... that blue toadstool intriguing. And yes, I love the month of May.. and June. :)

Akelamalu said...

The jackets turned out great after you put so much work into them!

My youngest son's birthday is in May - it's a lovely month! I hope you have a lovely birthday Maggie. :)

aims said...

My mother's birthday is May 10th and it almost always corresponds with Mother's Day here in Canada! I never have to wonder when one or the other is because they are so close. This year Mother's Day is May 9th.

Your flowers are gorgeous considering that we just had incredible snow storms that left about 3 inches on the ground.

It's gone now but we could easily get more. Crazy province we live in isn't it? We could use those rag coats quite easily to keep warm(ish).

Anonymous said...

great jackets - may be they will become trendy lol
So glad that you have found you again , lovely post Maggie xxx

Anonymous said...

Your jackets look fabulous, well done on making those. Sounds like you had a wonderful time, what a great excuse to get out of the house.

CJ xx

Suldog said...

Wonderful! You must have been feeling well to make the final leg. I'm so glad!

Gone Back South said...

Hi Maggie! Glad to see you've got some respite from the chemo - enjoy it x

Jeni said...

I remember you posted about this event and making jackets for your son and granddaughter last year. And I'm so proud of you -so very proud of you -that you did this again and even walked part of the distance as well. Outstanding, Maggie, just purely outstanding! What a feeling of accomplishment and TRIUMPH this all had to have given you! Amazing, isn't it what we can do when it is something that we feel such a need to be present, to make that contribution to an event. And thanks to you too for your good wishes about my little episode this past weekend. THere will still be surgery sometime in the near future -still not sure exactly what all will be done though and no date has been set as yet either. I'm not going to worry about it though as what will be, will be and worry just makes it all that much harder to contend with then. Peace and many congratulations to you for your May Day parade and participation!

Marguerite said...

Looks like a wonderful festival and the rag jackets look great! So glad that you were up for that long walk! You are amazing and your flowers are just lovely! Blessings, Marguerite

She Writes said...

Happy birthday month, dear Maggie :).

YES!! I do recall the jacket!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I remember you posting last year about Jack in the Green. I must say the jackets look marvellous - well done Maggie. I agree with you that these festivals and festivities help to creat a community spirit - sadly lacking these days. Glad you enjoyed the day. I do like May (my birthday month is April) because it usually heralds the warmer weather and it is such a pretty month. A x

Life with Kaishon said...

You did an amazing job on their pieces. Beautiful work. I am so glad that you are choosing hope. You are an inspiration Miss Maggie!