Spring is fine, nicer weather, lots of lovely things in bloom and in leaf, longer daylight (and this far north, you really notice it when the clocks go forward)... It's all good.
But come May, and a few days of consistently warm weather, and what happens? I'm waking up every night because I can't breathe. Blah. Hateful asthma. At least it waited until after my viva, and at least I have medicine which does a reasonable job of controlling it. It'll take a few days to build up a dose, but after that I should be ok more often than not. (It also has the useful side-effect of reducing my sneeziness, though it's evil medicine which one wouldn't take just for mild hay fever.)
Then of course I'm moving back to Cambridge where my asthma is always worse, and probably at this rate right in the height of summer.
Apologies for the whingeing...
Today is the 18th day, making 2 complete weeks and 4 days of the Omer.
Not at all ignorant, I wouldn't expect you to know about random obscure Jewish customs.
The Omer is a bit to do with Passover, but it's actually more to do with Pentecost. You know how Pentecost is supposed to be 7 weeks after Passover (which means it's 7 weeks after Easter for Christians)? The thing is, you're supposed to count those 7 weeks. I'm counting by writing in my journal how many days have elapsed! The word Omer refers to that period; it's the name of a measure of grain, since grain was brought as an offering to the Temple for Passover and Pentecost.
It's also a semi-solemn period, a little bit like Lent I guess. But people don't usually give things up, they just try to avoid excessive celebration. Many people don't cut their hair or shave during the Omer, and it's customary to postpone getting married or otherwise having wild parties until after Pentecost.
I like the idea of counting the days in a period, and this is another parallel that you could draw between Omer and Lent, at least for me: I find myself quite avidly keeping track of Lent as it goes by.
Eastertide is coming to an end for most Christians, and it would be perhaps nice if people kept track of the Paschal period as much as they do Lent. The whole "buzz" of Easter is something that many people seem to simply let go of after the first week or so (if that!). Learning this little bit about the Omer is really interesting, so thank you again for it.
is this issue enough that I should rethink the Botanical Gardens as a place worth our seeing ? It's most thoughtful of you to be worrying about that. I don't think that pollen is what I'm allergic to, at least not directly. Yeah, I know it would be helpful if I actually knew what the trigger was, but sadly I don't. I think it's partly to do with weather conditions, but I'm not sure whether the weather is affecting my lungs directly or affecting something that is producing allergens.
I'm fairly certain I'm allergic to oil seed rape, which is why Cambridge is a really bad place for me healthwise. There might be enough rape around here that it's getting to me too, but I'm not aware of huge fields of bright yellow as there are all around Cambridge.
Beyond that, I've never been triggered by being around a bunch of exotic plants, and there doesn't seem to be any correlation between high pollen count days and me being miserable; pollen might make me sneeze, but that's very liveable with. In fact, I very rarely get asthma at all when I'm out of the UK, which again suggests it's something specific, rather than just particles in the atmosphere. *shrug*