Last night, when I went outside to clap – in my case, pan lid percussion – it sounded like I was clapping into silence. If there was applause down in the village, it was swallowed up by the damp air before it reached here.
Captain Tom, now promoted to Colonel, was one hundred yesterday. Amongst all the greetings, honours, cards and gifts, there was a flypast his home – a spitfire and a hurricane I think. No birthdays here, but, late morning, a large grey metal bird flew low over the farmhouse, the vegetable garden, the fields. It must have been on a training exercise of some sort, and seemed oddly out of place .
May Day’s almost over. No maypole. No morris dancing. No bonfire. The lane’s been even quieter today, a winter Sunday afternoon kind of stillness. We walked through the woods and wet fields this afternoon with the arthritic spaniel, the first time in three days. He had seemed too uncomfortable to take out before so we’d just let him rest, chill out. Three days is a long growing time at the moment. Grass, brambles, wild flowers, everything has put on a huge spurt. The May is only just starting to blossom. Dandelions are becoming clocks, but daisies and bluebells are co-existing happily. In the garden we have cornflowers and Canterbury bells, and all the things we don’t want as well.
The news confuses and disturbs me. We all need our symbols, our emblems of hope, our Captain Toms. Perhaps tomorrow, when we eat pizza, it may feel like the beginning of Summer.