One of the joyous side effects of the sorting out of my gut flora has been the occasional flare up in the sinuses (don't ask me why, but apparently it's not uncommon). I've never been particularly prone to sinus problems. There's no sore throat or cold or flu, no swollen glands, just a dry burning pain at the top of the nose that at times makes me want to rip open my nasal cavities with my bare hands.
The first bout was in early March when I tried to increase the probiotics dosage too suddenly; then a badly upset stomach was accompanied by the world's worst ever sinus headache. Fortunately I had an appointment already booked with the cranial osteopath who worked her usual magic and the pain dissipated the same day. A second flare-up yesterday; this time the osteopath's on holiday and anyway it isn't that bad, but it's bad enough.
So switch off the central heating (too drying), open the windows to let in the damp rainy air and steam inhalations every few hours. A towel to cover the head and a bowl of hot water with a couple of drops of lavender essential oil. Surprisingly soothing.
But I wish it would all go away.
By way of homage to the modest but so useful plant, my own lavender bush a few summers ago - a magnet to the bumble and honey bees of the neighbourhood.
(For anyone out there with an astrological bent my natal Moon at 25 Aries is currently being battered by the ongoing planetary line-up and, yes, in particular Mars. So no surprise perhaps.)
A pair of blackbirds have built a nest in the large evergreen shrub (nobody, not even the gardener, can identify it) by the compost heap. Peering into the shrub's depths the other day I caught sight of the female sitting on her eggs, quiet and unmoving. I feel honoured. The downside is that I won't be able to have the lawn mowed for several months until the young ones leave the nest for fear of driving the parents away, but do I care if the back garden resembles the savannah grasslands come June? No.