Wednesday, April 24, 2019


At this time of the year dandelions are in their full flush of flowering. This is the time to make dandelion wine if one is so inclined. Not me, for my freezer is still full of raspberries, gooseberries and redcurrants and anyway, dandelion wine is fiddly, faffy and, in the end, overly sweet.

When we were children dandelions were ‘piss the bed’. I tried making chains from them in the school playground. Bigger kids taunted me. Touch those and you’ll wet the bed. I was embarrassed. How did they know? I wet the bed anyway, even when I didn’t touch dandelions.

There were counting games. How to tell the time using dandelion clocks. We’d blow the seeds away, one o’clock, two o’ clock and so on. It was always mid afternoon or early evening with dandelion clocks.

These days dandelions have other meanings. For those of us who consider ourselves ‘green’ they are no longer a pernicious and evil weed, but rather a valuable source of food for early pollinaters and caterpillars and no decent gardener should ever be without them.

But now, at this time of the year, this first flush of dandelions on roadside verges bring back poignant memories. In the very last days of our mother’s life, when I was making those daily journeys to her home and the weather was so fine, the dandelions carpeted the central reservation of the dual carriageway and every year since then when they bloom in profusion I am nearly undone.


ganching said...

I remember writing about the dandelions at the time. I'd never seen so many before.

Nelly said...

Re-read that Ganching. What a time it was. Hard, but looking back, kind of affirming too. I'm always a bit sad in fine weather, late spring and early summer. All of our parents, Bert's and ours died during a period of fine, warm weather.

Cathy said...

Funny how we all look at them differently - for you they bring back feelings of sadness, for The Golfer they mean 'work', he 'hates' how they spring up almost overnight and has to get the mower out to top them, for me there are those memories of dandelion clocks 'telling time' with the number of puffs before the seeds are scattered.
We all knew they were used for medicinal and other purposes but in those days not promoted with an almost holier than thou attitude the way it is these days

I'm sorry for your loss those years ago Nelly - it was at this early time of the year I became an orphan, my mother passing in February and my father in March (different years) but there's always a sadness until May arrives
Take care

Mage said...

Just flat out beautiful.

Nelly said...

Cathy - my sadness dissipates by high summer but I'm working on not feeling it so much. Spring and early summer is such a beautiful time.
Mage - thank you.