It's May! And we're all full of the joys of spring! The left-wing people take to the streets, the Anglicans stand on top of church towers and sing at the dawn, and I anxiously scan the orchard for evidence of blossom.
Blossom. It's the cider-maker's unhealthy obsession in Spring. How much of it is there, is there enough water, enough light for it, and are the dreaded frosts kept at bay.
Fortunately this year has seen the wettest April in decades, so frost hasn't been a problem and though we're ironically short of water due to almost no winter rainfall, the blossom hasn't had it too dry. It's been a little later than last year too, probably because of the cold winter.
Seems odd, a wet drought. The usual grousing in the suburbs about hosepipe bans. But it's very real, even now after all that rain if you dig down a few inches the ground is dried out. The water is being sucked up by the plants, it's draining straight off the surface before it can soak in, and it's simply being evaporated by warm weather. Even a wet April can be warm enough for that it seems!
So the chances are it's going to be a dry summer. Which provides a fresh set of worries for a cider-makers, will the apples shrivel up and fall off the trees, or perhaps will they have a low juice yield?
I should spend less time worrying, shouldn't I.
One notable anniversary passed last week, it's a year since the Rusty Old Wreck passed its MOT after a lengthy period off the road. This year's MOT now passed, it's fit for another year's driving. Shame the weather's so damp, the roads are all muddy.
There's no pleasing some people is there...