May 2023 Sketchbook & Journal

Here’s my notes on nature and family life in May…

This is it guys, summer is coming, swooping in with the swallows.  Piglet is due home from nursery any minute and he wants to get the paddling pool out. The sun has SHOWN UP for the past week.  We are living life outdoors again and I’m loving it.  The washing line is full of colourful little-people laundry, there’s buttercups on the lawn, sticky fingerprints on my sunglasses, violas nodding in pots.  I think this bit – the bit just before summer – is my favourite bit of summer. I like the anticipation of summer more than summer itself.  Nothing holds so much hope and possibility as a British summertime.  Romance! Tan lines! Flower crowns and lazy riverbank days and gorgeous picnics and garden parties and summer weddings and the faded glory of the Great British Seaside.  

May was a busy month for us.  Piglet turned four.  This was the first birthday that he has been properly excited for.  I made a big train cake (chocolate, of course) and I’ve never felt more like a mum. He is very proud of his new ‘4’ status, although I heard him tell a wee friend he is almost 5, so perhaps the novelty is wearing off already.  Four is: stomp rockets, train sets, raspberry ripple ice cream, size 10 shoes, telling jokes (but not the punch line), early mornings, being tickled till you squeal.  

I’ve been busy in the studio working on the calendar designs for 2024.  It is always a huge, but lovely, job.  I’ve been grateful for my increased sketchbook work and nature journaling.  Having the sketchbooks and these blogs as a resource has made such a difference to planning the content for the calendars.  Studio time is so sparse and precious.  I’m trying to run the same business on a third of the time as I gave it before (fully my choice, I don’t want more childcare).  I can’t tell you how grateful I am for loyal customers and enthusiastic patrons.  

Other May things: big, fat raindrops on pink blossom; blackbirds singing at sundown; a dawn chorus walk in the woods after Piglet woke us up at 5.30am; bunnies in the garden; growing tadpoles; pottering along to the allotment after tea to water the beans; aquilegia; forget-me-nots (or forgive-me-nots, as Piglet calls them, which gives them quite a different temperament); rhododendrons; Trix practicing her walking barefoot on the grass.

I did my fair share of worrying in May (we’re just born to love and worry, right?).  Maybe I’ll worry less in June.

EDIT: The paddling pool came out, was fun for a bit but then the water was a bit cold and it all ended in tears.  Paddling pools, like summertime, are better in anticipation.

May sketchbook page by Hannah Longmuir
May sketchbook page by Hannah Longmuir
May sketchbook page by Hannah Longmuir
May sketchbook page by Hannah Longmuir

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