May 2018


 May is the fifth month of the year

in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars

and the third of seven months

to have a length of 31 days.

May is the month of Spring

 in the Northern  Hemisphere and Autumn

in the Southern Hemisphere.


 Tuesday 1st May

We have had some days of frost,

and it is still very cold outside.


 4th of May

Suddenly our garden is full of birds,

many of them seeking food for their young.

Clusters of pigeons peck at the soft bread

broken for them

while crows fly off with beaks full of bread

for their nestling -

It is heartening to see this

innate kindness in birds and mammals

towards their young.


 The trees are almost in full bloom

while the flower-beds are radiant

with colour from cultivated plants and

with what human-beings call weeds.

The dandelion flowers are a brilliant gold in colour

although they are named after their leaves -

which, when translated from the French,

mean ‘ the teeth of lions’ -

which is a good description

even if most of us are not acquainted

with lions in such close proximity !


 Saturday 12th

 The weather suddenly changed

some days ago, becoming warm and sunny.

The foxes now appear at daybreak

and munch away at the soft bread,

which they share with the birds.

The birds are feeding their young

and big black crows fill their beaks with food

and fly away.


The whole garden has become

a sheltered area surrounded by trees in full leaf.

We can no longer see the Welsh hills

beyond the colourful background of blossom.

Petals, blown away by the wind,

pattern the grass within our enclosure.

Birds sing before dawn,

reminding me to feed them SOON .....


On Saturday 5th of this month

we received a large order for Mandala Cards

from the Buckfast Abbey Bookshop.

With the patient help of Sister Monica,

after I had cut the cards to their right size,

she prepared them for posting,

placing them in individual envelopes,

each one in a see-through plastic cover.

There are approximately some 350 of them .....

They will be ready for a parcel collection

 early next week.


Sister Monica will celebrate

 her 90th birthday tomorrow.

Members of her family are due this evening

and they will stay in our guest-house

over the weekend.




 17th May

 The weather has become very warm,

and the dawn chorus is earlier every day.

Sister Monica had a very happy birthday celebration

on Sunday 13th May.

A relation had baked a wonderful cake for her,

which we are all still sharing.


On Wednesday morning, the 16th May,

I learned that my brother had died earlier that very morning.

My sister  Ylva ‘phoned from Holland to give me the sad news.

Our brother had fallen backwards while examining

the some radiators

in the family home in Uetersen, Holstein.

When he had not returned to ground level

an hour later his wife Ingrid went to look for him 

and found that her beloved husband was dead.

My brother was 80 years of age.

All members of his family are devastated.

 Ingrid is undoubtedly suffering the most....

May Klaus-Magnus rest in peace.



Klaus-Magnus and his sister Nora c.1945


The birds are still singing .....


 18th May

My week in the kitchen ends tomorrow -

which is quite a relief !

I enjoy preparing fresh vegetables

early in the morning, during the night silence.

The vegetables are then ready to be cooked after breakfast.


Now that the mating season is over

the foxes come early in the morning - at about 5.30 a.m..

The magpies - courageous birds -

keep their distance but peck away

at the soft bread, recently broken.

This also reminds me of our

Holy Communion at Mass every day

when we remember those especially

who need our prayer.


Tuesday 22nd May


The Darkness and the Dawn

 When Adam and Eve were driven out

of the garden of Eden they wandered

over the face of the earth.

The sun began to set, and they looked with fear

at the lessening of the light,

and felt a horror like death steal over their hearts.

The light of heaven grew paler,

and the wretched ones clasped

each other in an agony of despair.

Then all grew dark.

The luckless ones fell on the earth,

silent, and thought God had withdrawn

from them the light for ever;

and they spent the night in tears.

But a beam of light began to rise

over the eastern hills, after many hours of darkness,

and the golden sun came back

and dried the tears of Adam and Eve,

and then they cried out with joy and said,

Heaviness may endure for a night,

but joy cometh in the morning;

this is a law God hath laid upon Nature.

  From the Talmund


23rd May

The dawn chorus begins very early in the morning now.

Having dressed, and after feeding cat Brunie,

 I hasten downstairs

to break bread for the birds.

A solitary herring - gull floats down from the sky

to peck at the scraps left by the cat called Cornflake.

( He was given that name because

his fur is the colour of a golden breakfast cereal ....)


24th May

The weather today is very warm but overcast.

Today Dave our gardener was again

accompanied by his friend - also called Dave -

and they worked steadily in the garden all morning.

Our one acre of land needs much attention

this time of year.

Both Daves seem to enjoy working out of doors.


A recently discovered fragment

of old wallpaper - a herald of summer.