The knees say early spring, the nose says summer!
The blistering heat and endless blue skies of a week or so ago are gone. The sky shades unnervingly from brilliant blue to steely grey with mounds of clouds, heaped up like tumbled bedclothes. The sun is still very much there, its rays focussed by the gaps in the clouds, drawn inexorably to the rape fields which glow boldly amidst the gentler downy green of the growing corn. Walking with Lyra in the mornings, there is a distinct chill on starting off, but tingling fingers are toasty and the jumper is feeling just a bit too much, by the time we are back. It is baby bunny season in the hedgerows. We know this because Pingu wrestled one through the catflap a few mornings ago. I discovered the remainder (tail and two hind legs – alas poor Cottontail) when bringing Keith a coffee. (Luckily for me, I had previously evacuated the marital bed for the spare room after one dig in the ribs too many (the rape pollen has started the third wave of hay fever and, allegedly, I do not so much snore as make “weird animal noises”.) Keith can seemingly sleep through the concerted bone crunching. I cannot.) Lyra and I have, preserving karma, have made amends to the sky bunny. When passing the little wood at Trasnagh a few days ago we startled a weasel and a baby bunny – one shot off to the left, the other to the right. Whilst they could have just been playing nicely, I rather think our intervention may have saved the day for Flopsy.
Most afternoons recently have been rather toasty in the more sheltered corners of the garden. There has been much weeding, though the dry stretch has made chiselling out the dandelions a challenge. The buttercups thrive whatever the weather. I tackled the bed by the top pond yesterday and, I kid you not, pulled out buttercups with roots two feet long. The tulips are still spectacular but just starting to tip over. Hoping to see them again next year I have purchased some liquid feed on the internet. It smells so bad it must be good. By the pond the blue cammassia are coming through (though not liking the dry weather) and the marsh marigolds are giving it laldy. (Domestic endeavours on the other hand have totally fallen by the wayside – the ironing pile is vertiginous and it was only the thought of mum (who returned today) noticing that I had not hoovered since she left that got me going on the stairs)).
I broke into shorts yesterday and, on seeing the sun shining through the trees in the orchard this morning, assumed that another day in paradise awaited and donned said items once more. Alas, there were rather more bedclothes than blue sky when I finally made it out of the house and there was a distinct nip in the air. I was reluctant to change entirely so rooted through the goody bag of dad’s old jumpers and for most of the day I have been sporting shorts and a thick cream lambswool submariner’s jumper. Frankly, it is an excellent look. I fully expect Vogue to catch on to my fashion icon status any day now. I just ran back across to the house from Luigis (where the pre dinner darts match is in play) as large drops of rain started to fall. The dusty, earthy smell that hits when the raindrops meet the sun warmed paving stones (this is called petrichor by the way!) just screams “school summer holidays” to me. Until I was eleven every spring, in anticipation of summer, I receive a new flowery cotton frock, a white cardi for good and a cagoule.
It was too chilly, even in the Das Boot jumper, to weed much so instead I retrieved Ishbel’s birthday cake from the freezer and iced it in anticipation of her triumphal return from Surrey next week. It is a riot of colour, but a surprise, so you will have to wait for a photo. There is much spare icing so I have baked a three flavour cake and have grand plans to make my own fondant fancies tomorrow if the rain persists. I am hoping it does for the sake of the cammassia, the ironing pile and the gazillion other inside chores which will certainly be ignored if there is but a glimmer of sun.