These last few days I have come across the odd earwig in the kitchen. I put it down to the plants that now find themselves inside until outside temperatures decide, once and for all, that spring has really arrived. I am heartened in thinking that this is the case because on Sunday I saw the first swallows looping and swooping across the skies above our little garden. I am sure that swallows know better than us when better weather is set to arrive.
I am quite tolerant of creepy crawlies but earwigs have always been more scary, maybe because they look like tiny scorpions but more because as a child someone told me that if they get into your ear they cannot turn around and have to eat their way through your head to get out the other side. I do not remember who it was that told me the story but you have to admit it is the stuff of nightmares and exactly the sort of thing adults think is funny but can scar you for life. Anyway, I am certainly not going to allow them close enough – not never, not ever!
The tulips in our garden have been so beautiful this year. I completely forgot that they had been left in the beds from last spring. They were in pots then as the garden and house were a building site and I wanted a touch of something colourful and heart-lifting whilst the builders were busy. Afterwards they were moved to the flowerbeds to recover and, more than that, they have multiplied to fill their space. Some are simple red parrot shaped, others tall goblets of orange and yellow, but the most exotic are the multi-coloured tulips that resemble peonies with their dense petals and little rounded heads. They would have been really valuable in Holland with the Old Masters and their lavish paintings of flowers and fruit, not to mention the tulip bulb trade. Now the sun has been shining unrelentingly though, their days are numbered – until next year.