........,for I'm to be Queen of the May. "The May Queen" is one of Tennyson's poems which is really dated when you read it. If you don't know it then I urge you to read it because it does have echoes of earlier times - an age that has almost disappeared in this "modern" twenty-first century. It falls into the same category as Flora Thompson 's "Lark Rise to Candleford." And how we loved that series on our televisions recently - nostalgia, nostalgia.Also, if you have never looked closely at hawthorn blossom I urge you to do that too - close up it is exquisite, although why it is called May blossom in North yorkshire I don't know - it should be June blossom.David, the farmer, can remember when they celebrated May Day up here - when he was a child.They would select a May Queen, dress her in white and parade round the village, ending up with the rest of the children dancing round the maypole. The custom dates back to pagan times and is one of many to celebrate Spring's coming (before the days of electricity and central heating I would guess that Spring would be very welcome indeed.)The word May is always a bit confusing - May blossom flowering in June and the old saying "Ne'er cast a clout till May be out!" - people up here still argue about whether that means the May blossom or the month of May. Judging by today' s weather, anyone who has cast a clout already will be hastily putting it back on.The whole thing is surrounded in folk lore and superstition. Some believe that in pagan times the May Queen was sacrificed after the parade. Well, we shall never know, shall we. But Ido know that in Britten's "Albert Herring", being unable to source a May Queen they settle for a May King instead! Can't see them sacrificing a King in pagan times - it always seemed to be young virginal girls, didn't it?One day soon May blossom will burgeon here and the air will be filled with that heady, slmondy scent. But it is a long time coming, so meanwhile I shall enjoy the tiny bit out on the hedge, which I have photographed above.