May is my favourite month of the year. The weather is usually warm, but not oppressively so, the air is fragrant, fruit trees are in blossom, and the foliage grows deep green against an aquamarine sky. It's also FA Cup final and Champions' League Final month, miraculous Stephen Gerrard goals forever lodged in the memory. And it's a poignant month: Ayrton Senna crashed to his death at Imola on 1st May 1994, on one of the most beautiful days I can remember, the warm Bolognan air rich with pollen and petals; and Gilles Villenueve, the greatest free spirit in modern Grand Prix racing, was flung to his death from his cartwheeling Ferrari at Zolder on 8th May 1982.
Already, however, in mid-April this year it feels like May. What's more, when I look at the Sun, or enjoy its warmth, it also feels like the herald of interminable heat; five months of pestilential heat to come. The Woodland Trust have suggested that Spring in the new Summer, and they May not be wrong.