Ne'er cast a clout 'til the May is out! The usual accompaniment to rubbish weather until June. A warning not to get caught out by the variable weather outdoors, and it has nothing to do with the calendar.
The May (Crataegus monogyna) is more familiar as the Hawthorn. The dense thorny bush used as field boundaries that still winds its way across countless miles of the English countryside.
Rich in the folklore and mythology of the countryside, Shakespeare draws on it in Sonnet 18, comparing his beloved to a Summer's day, and the rough winds shaking the darling buds.
H.E. Bates 1958 novel "The Darling Buds of May" takes it's title from the first shoots of the Hawthorn seeking out the warming sun, pointing to the summer months ahead. To watch the buds until they burst open, deck the trees with blossom and herald the change in the season, and not get caught out in the cold by shedding your winter coat too soon.
So what will you catch this May? Back in 1999 the Association of American Publishers picked May as Get Caught Reading month. To celebrate the authors who produce the works, creating the worlds where we lose ourselves.
The idea is simple enough; get caught reading. It doesn't have to be printed, It's not get caught with a book month, it's about reading. Enjoying the seemingly limitless supply of material to grab an old favourite or find a new one.
Load up your bag, or your reader, and see how many times you can get caught!