What are these lily of the valley flowers doing on today’s Good Morning blog. Today is May Day and these flowers are known as May Bells translated literally from the German name. It is a custom to give a sprig to your lady friend or other friends on 1st May. In the office someone would put a stalk in a glass of water on your desk, how romantic. Of course, to commemorate the day I could have posted a picture of Lenin, as 1st May was always a day for Russia to celebrate their socialist doctrine, in later years with street parades showing their newest missiles and rockets. This is now a thing of the past. Putin has now discouraged such ideas, although Kim Jong Un in North Korea has not yet got the message, but he does it when he feels like it.
I prefer the lily of the valley, although they can also be persistant. I never planted them in my garden, but one day one began to grow – an invader. However, I was impressed but one arrives seldom alone. The flowers die but the leaves remain until the colder weather arrives and the next spring they are back, they have multiplied and even begun to infiltrate the neighbours garden. Too much May day spirit also has its limits. The gardener arrived and said with shock in his voice “I would remove them, otherwise they will take over”. I decided to follow his words and dug them up. It was not easy, because what you see above the earth is just a small part of it, the weave an intricate maze of roots below. Ten years later they have almost disappeared, but only almost. I still find 3 or 4 plants appearing in Spring and my neighbour also has a developing plantation in her garden, due to me. The next door flat is now empty, so they can spread and take over in the meanwhile.
Another aspect of these flowers is that they are highly poisonous, especially the little red berries that appear after flowering, so I would say “burn after flowering” to be on the safe side.
In the spirit of May Day, most countries give the working population a holiay. The Brits naturally combine it with a Bank Holiday, to extend the week-end. We thrifty Swiss only get half a day, in the afternoon. As a golden oldie, every day is a holiday so who cares. However, we will be on a shopping safari this morning as usual, hoping that the place will not be crowded with the average housewife population ensuring that they will not starve. I had to explain to my autistic No. 1 son that he has a free afternoon, but I am not sure if he got that one and said he would eat in town for lunch in any case. Differences to the normal situations are difficult to explain to an autist.
At least there will be no building work taking place today. They slaved all day on Saturday to finish the construction of the scaffolding and will now have a well deserved day of rest. Tomorrow the removal of our metal blinds will take place, but luckily we now have our own fitted inside blinds, which we are really pleased with. The aluminium blinds will be replaced when the work on the facade is finished, next October.
Yesterday was a warm sunny spring day so I decided on an afternoon walk along the river. This was a mistake, not only the heat but the march of the masses annoyed me and when I returned I decided to reduce my walking adventures. It is not fun avoiding children taking their first drive with a bicycle, or pram, as well as the adult keep fit experts. In future I will only go places with my camera when it is a journey to something completely different, or stay at home and blog.
Enjoy your May Day wherever you are, be it on a political gathering (every Swiss town has one, to keep the red flag flying) or just a relaxing day with the masses on a nice walk. It is raining here, with grey skies and cold temperatures to cause me to keep the kitchen window closed and to tell Mr. Swiss to do the same. Must go, and will leave you with a photo from yesterday’s walk.