Before I go on, I just want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support I've received since my last post, both publicly and privately - it's really meant a lot to me; as frustrating as this whole thing has been for me, I find myself in the midst of an amazing community, so really - thank you.
I asked Lady Cattra Shadow the Scarlet Cat to remove the posts, and I've since been contacted by her and received assurances that the articles in question were (re)posted by accident, and that she's taken down all of her blogs while she makes sure that everything of mine is gone. I've asked for confirmation that this time all of the articles have been deleted from the various places she's hosting them on, including something called myfreecopyright.com, which makes copies of your work and gives it a digital watermark...and stuff...She's been using it on her blog, so if it automatically makes copies of everything then there are articles of mine hosted there that need to be deleted too.
And then hopefully that will be the end of it.
In the meantime, I've been busy doing family stuff (with my sister and her family visiting) and thinking about the places I can drag my husband and kids along to when we go down to stay in Kirkcudbright this weekend (we get an extra Bank Holiday for the royal wedding, so it's a longer May Day weekend than usual). There has been some working in the garden, and I've finally had some of the veg I've sown outside sprout - radish, carrot, onions, but mainly leeks - lots of leeks. I was starting to get a bit worried that they'd all fail, there.
Seeing as we've been having a bit of a heat wave, it's not just the veg that's springing into life. Because winter hung around for a long while, round here it seems like some of the flowers and trees are quite late in coming into leaf and bloom. The good news for me, though, is that the rowan tree I planted when I moved here is coming into blossom for the first time ever:
Hopefully that means we'll have some berries in the autumn. I planted the tree a little too close to the fence and there's a branch trying to work it's way through the slats, so I'm going to have to chop that bit off at some point - I'll be leaving that job for between the two Bealltainn's, though. I can use the wood for charms for the next year.
And of course, with the warmer weather come the bluebells in the woods:
But mostly it's about the yellow - dandelion (which came out very late this year):
Lesser celandine, everywhere you go in the woods (where the bluebells aren't, at least):
And round here, gorse - lots and lots of gorse:
In previous years I've seen it flowering from around November or December if it's been mild enough, but this year it seems like it was very late to get going.
As yet, I've not spotted any marsh marigolds, I don't think - lus-buidhe Bealltainn, the yellow plant of Bealltainn that marks the start of summer - but the cowslips I planted around my little garden shrine are in full bloom:
And the primrose I put in looks like it isn't far behind.
With Bealltainn approaching, thoughts have been turning to what I'm going to be doing; seeing as we'll be away I think I'm going to have to have a fairly quiet and low key celebration while I'm at the caravan - some offerings down at the beach, a quiet bit of time for some meditation, and maybe a barbecue if the weather stays as sunny as it has been. Since most of the ritual stuff that I do centres on the house and securing protection for it in the coming year and season, I'll have to wait to do that when I get home on Monday.
Usually the kids and I churn some butter, and we make bannocks, and a seasonal picture together. Thanks to my disorganisation and then my back problems we never got round to doing a picture for Spring, and I'm not sure if we'll have time to get one done before the weekend this time round either - I haven't even thought of a theme we can do yet. We'll just have to see. It's going to feel strange celebrating Bealltainn when I'm not here at home, in my own space.