This is a holiday for workers in many parts of the world, but for me May Day means two things - my return to Paris and lily of the valley, one of my favourite flowers. Tomorrow I'll be picking a few stems from the planter in the courtyard, my Parisian neighbours don't seem to share my lily of the valley passion, plus they'll all be away for the long weekend. Lily of the valley will be everywhere in Paris for the first week of May. In the markets there will be enterprising citizens with buckets full of small bunches gathered from the woods, or perhaps the gardens around Paris.
Lily of the valley is ephemeral and by the second week of May it will be gone until next year - that's what makes it so special.